Tall Pocket Rag Quilt Shoulder Bag....

Using the same ragging technique as a basic rag quilt or rag quilt tote,
The pieces for this bag are cut taller so there are fewer pieces to stitch together
and the pockets inside (and outside if you choose to add outer pockets)
are deeper.  Which is good for me because I like my totes and bags to have
pockets slightly larger than a tic tac (insert chuckle here)

So for the bag shown on the previous page, I chose my fabrics which were roses and a crackle blender for the two outer prints and a rosebud print from the Scarborough Fair series for the inside of the bag including pockets.  The rose fabric is from Yuwa - I found a couple of FQ's on eBay (yay!)

I then cut my pieces and my batting
according to the size that I wanted the bag to end up being-
taking into account the size of the seam allowance I'd use for the ragging later on.

I cut my batting for the walls of the bag to 5" x 9" each - ending up with 8 pieces...
3 for the front, 3 for the back and one for each side.

I also cut a piece of batting for the bottom, to 11"
(knowing that I'd use a 1" seam allowance -
for my front and back panels leaving me with finished front and back pieces 11" across)

and I cut the strips for my handles (I ended up only using one strap going from side to side-
instead of attaching one to the front and one to the back.  I just like the way it sits on the shoulder
better and don't much like hand held bags but that's just my preferrence)
My strap batting was eventually cut to 1.5" wide by  about 25" long
I cut a piece of blender fabric about 4" x 26" to wrap around the batting and sew later on.

I knew I wanted the bag to have alternating fabrics for the outside,
especially since I have so little of the lovely Yuwa rose print -
I also wanted to give it a slightly quilted look using straight line stitching
so I cut my rose fabric and my blender fabric in pieces measuring 2+3/4" x 9"
knowing I'd use a 1/4" seam to stitch them together to fit the pieces of batting.

For the inside pieces,
I cut them the same as the batting panels with the exception of the pockets:

For the pockets which would be on the inside of the back panel of my bag,
I cut a piece measuring 12" x 14" and folded it lengthwise
so that from the fold down to the bottom where the edges met,
it measured 7" and lengthwise it was still 12"
(between finishing this bag and the tutorial being featured, I'd gone back and forth between 11 inches or 12 but because some is tucked in between two back panels later on in the tutorial - I'll leave my example at 12" sorry for any confusion caused)
I cut a piece 14" by  5" so that folded it would also be
7" from the fold to the bottom x 5" for an inner side pocket.

Once I had all my inner and outer pieces and batting cut to the sizes I needed,

I started piecing the panels together - inside fabric to batting
and also the outer printed pieces to be stitched together....
And I laid them out on the mat to be stitched and pinned in order.

I stitched the contrasting fabrics together using a 1/4" seam and pressed the seams open

Lightly ironed them one by one onto the pieces of batting to help them stay
a little more securely while sewing.

Unaware that I'd forgotten a very important step in the process which is
removing my normal presser foot and replacing it with a walking foot since I was
using layers of fabric with batting in between. (oopsieee)

(see what happened with the regular presser foot? The fabric shifted)

So, on went the walking foot...

and on went the sewing :)

At the tops of the middle pieces for the front and back of the bag, I attached a snap closure about an inch down from the top (and in retrospect, topstitching the bag would have run alot smoother had I waited to attach the snap AFTER topstitching the bag ;)

There are directions that come with the little snap kit
 (about 2 or 3 dollars from Walmart) -
I used a hammer as well.

After getting all my outer panels for the front and back of the bag stitched and sandwiched,
I pinned them together (insides facing together) and used a 1" seam allowance, starting about 3/4" of an inch from the tops to about an inch from the bottoms...

As for the 3 finished panels/pieces that would form the back wall of the bag,
I stitched two panels together and before pinning the third piece to the first two,
I cut my 12" long pocket fabric to fit the width of the pieces already stitched together
and pinned it to the inside - then  did the same for the third panel, then pinned and stitched
so that when the back panel had all three pieces stitched together, there would be one large
pocket and one smaller pocket side by side. click the image to see a larger
view and get a better idea of what I mean.

I top stitched the pockets about 1/4" from the fold and attached the longer piece to the back inside
wall (and the 5" x 7" piece to one of the inside side-panels - shown here)

I then pinned the bottom edge of front of the bag (insides facing each other)
to one long edge of the bag's bottom panel and repeated with the back side of the bag
and then using a 1" seam allowance, stitched them together.

 I repeated these steps for pinning the sides (insides facing together of course)

and completed the bag by adding the handle
(I don't have pictures of that process, my apologies.)
I simply ironed the fabric one side at a time over the strap's strip of batting,
folding the outer seam inwards by about a 1/4" and "quilting" down the length
of the strap in 3 straight lines, then I folded the straps ends under about 1/2" and attached to the outside of each end of the bag about an inch and a half down from the top.

I chose the 1" seam allowance because I love a chunky rag cut but you don't have to use
that large of a seam allowance if you'd rather the raggy bits be a little shorter.
Just remember to use the seam allowance in the end measurement when figuring the size of your bag.

IE   My pieces were 5" wide by 9" high for the fronts backs and sides...
taking an inch off each side that would meet in the front, gives me an "after sewing" length of 11"
so my bottom panel had to be cut 5" by 11"


  1. What a cute bag - thanks for sharing - I'm going to have to try that one someday - saved it as a PDF. I became a follower too - read your past posts - I liked!

  2. Love the idea. It's fun to make bags because they are so useful.

  3. Love your ideas!

  4. Hi Christine, who has created a wonderful blog, I love the tutorial bag is so pretty!
    I invite you to visit my blog and make you a follower, I already did a follower of yours, so we will be able to grow together.
    Greetings from Spain, Susan


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