Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Make-up Bag Tutorial

I won some pre-quilted fabric a few months ago during my quilt guild's auction.  Originally I thought that I was going to make oven mitts from it.  Then today I was inspired to make notions / make-up bags out of them.  The bags have an interesting shape to them.  The top lays flat and the bottom goes in the opposite direction (toward you).  For some reason this shape makes the bag roomier.  I bought one from my quilt guild a year ago, and I love it.  
This particular pre-quilted fabric was the reason I made several make-up bags today.  It is red on one side and has a pink floral print on the other side (Valentine's colors).  Of course you can quilt your own fabric instead.  I've done that before with this project.  This may sound a little backwards, but I first measure my zipper, and then I add an inch to that measurement.  Then I cut my fabric that length.  The width can be that same measurement or longer.  This isn't an exact science, so you can play around with the size.
Next pin your zipper face down on your fabric and pin.  I think that it is on top of the fabric that will go on the outside of your bag.  I have it pictured on both sides above, but they will be two different bags.
Then sew the zipper on.  I used what I like to call a hem stitch.  It is the same one used when sewing the bottom of t-shirts.  This is because there will be a raw edge of fabric exposed when it is finished.  I've tried to make it so that there wasn't that raw edge in the past, but it did not work out well.  
Do the same for the other side.
I took this picture after I took all the red fabric ones, because I improved on the original pattern a bit.  I'm telling you this, because you will not see the results of this step in the next few steps.  After sewing the zipper on, I sewed the raw edge flat against the fabric.  Make sure not to sew the bag closed by accidentally sewing the two sides of the bag together.  I found that this step gave the bag a cleaner look.  
Next sew the bottom side of the bag closed.  The bottom is the side with the bottom of the zipper.  In the picture above it is the right hand side.
Find the center of the bag on the top, place a pin there, and fold the sides to the center.  Pin them in place.  It will look a little weird, but it is correct.  I prefer to have my zipper open half way for this part.  Do not have it all the way open, because it might be harder to close later on.
Cut some ribbon for the loop at the top of the bag (so that it can hang from something).  Pin it so that the loop is inside of the bag (what will later be the outside of the bag).
Fold it to hide the raw edges, and sew along that edge (the width/top of the bag).
Next turn it right side out.  Now you have a cute little travel bag for your make-up, jewelry, or whatever.
I made 9 from the fabric that I had.  The lower left one was the first one that I made today.  I forgot all about the ribbon on it until it was to late.  Oh well.  These will make nice Valentine's gifts for some of my friends.  
There was a little bit of fabric left over that was to small for a make-up bag.   Instead I made a little pouch out of it.  It can hold change, cards, and other small things in it.

I find it funny that I keep saying "make-up bag,"  because I don't wear any make-up.  I have kept jewelry and small knitting and crochet projects in these bags.  I even made a large one to use as a craft bag.  I'm not sure how clear my instructions are.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Happy Crafting!


  1. So simple, but so cute! Thanks for sharing at Beyond the Picket Fence.

  2. These bags are so cute ! Thanks for sharing!

  3. How nice the quilting fabric and your bags! Thanks!

  4. Cool shape! And I love the inside being a complimentary color. Well done! Thanks for sharing ... I'll be linking. And please come join my party anytime!