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Hobo Shoulder Bag Tutorial & Pattern

Hobo Shoulder Bag Tutorial & Pattern

This simple, spacious and convenient bag design will take you only 1-2 hours to create. You can skip the fabric flower decoration and make simple version out of large-scale patterned fabric. Depending on your choice you can achieve modern minimalist look or romantic bohemian look.

The bag features:
- one main interior compartment (lining) with one slip pocket, divided in sections.
- the bag closes with a magnetic snap.

Approximate measurements: The bag is 20 inches (51 cm) wide and 23 inches (59 cm) high. Strap drop is 12 inches (31 cm).
The handles can easily be adjusted at the cutting out stage.

The following in-depth instructions show the construction of the beige bag. For the exterior I used heavy weight solid beige linen fabric. For the interior I used  light weight striped cotton fabric in coordinating colors. No interfacing was used on these fabrics. This gave me the slouchy look that I was after. For the flower I used fabric and lace remnants and a button.

But if using a lighter than furnishing weight fabric then I suggest you interface all pieces cut from exterior fabric (exterior body and interior slip pocket). For the silver bag I used light weight taffeta and I interfaced it with fusible batting.
This gave the fabric density without making the bag too structured.

  Assemble materials needed:
Fabrics if width is 44” or 140 cm:
-  lining fabric
 - 1 yard (65 cm) exterior fabric 2/3 yard (65 cm)
- matching threads
- 1 magnetic snap
 - small piece of interfacing for the magnetic snap
- *optional* fabric and lace remnants and coordinating 3/4” (2 cm) or similar diameter button for the flower decoration
- *optional* fusible batting or alternative interfacing of your choice for the pieces cut from exterior fabric if your fabrics are of quilting weight.

You will also need:
- scissors
- tailor's chalk (or erasable fabric marker)
- sewing machine
- iron & ironing board
- measuring tape
- pins
- needle
- printer and regular printing paper
- scotch tape


 Before you start - wash and iron the fabrics.
If you are planning on washing your new bag in the future, then it might be a good idea to wash and press your fabrics beforehand to avoid shrinkage.  I recommend a gentle hand wash and press, in the same manner as you would wash the bag later.

Print & Assemble
The pattern comes ready to print out on standard Letter paper.

 *You can also print it on  simply by checking the "Disable shrink to fit" in your print options or the scale should be at 100% or any available settings for "Printing to scale" or "Actual size" or "Print Scaling: None" have to be checked.

  *Please note that occasionally some printers may not print the pattern to scale which may affect the size and shape of your finished product. To avoid this, please print out page  only and check your measurements against the ones shown on the rectangles. If scaling is fine, print pages , these are the pages containing the pattern pieces, which you’ll need for cutting the fabrics.

 *The pattern doesn’t fit entirely on one sheet of paper for printing. You will need to join all four pieces with tape. Cut each one separately and then line them up so that the join lines overlap to become one line. There are also numbers put at the angles that should meet - 1 goes to 1, 2 goes to 2, etc.

Cutting the exterior fabric:
1. Cut on fold 2 Body panels.
2. Cut 1 piece 10 1/2”x 12” (26.7 cm x 30.5 cm) for the Interior Slip Pocket.
3. Cut 2 pieces 6 1/2”x 4” (16.5 cm x 10 cm) for the handles.
*Consider to cut handle pieces longer than 6” (16.5 cm) if strap drop of 12 inches (31 cm) is not long enough for you.
Cutting the interior fabric (lining):
1. Cut on fold 2 Body panels.

 Cutting the interfacing:
1. Cut 2 pieces 2”x 2” (5 x 5 cm) for the magnetic snap for the bag opening.         
 *Optional* If using a lighter than furnishing weight fabric then I suggest you interface all pieces cut from exterior fabric.

*Optional* Cutting assorted fabrics  for the frayed flower decoration:
1. Cut 1 piece 14 1/2”x 3” (37 cm x 7.5 cm) for the outer circle.
2. Cut 1 piece 13”x 2” (33 cm x 5 cm) for the middle circle.
3. Cut 1 piece 11”x 2” (28 cm x 5 cm) for the inner circle.

  *Optional* Apply interfacing to all pieces cut from exterior fabric.
* The pattern uses a 1/2" (1.3 cm) seam allowance.
* Fold all the body pieces in half, right sides together and all raw edges matching, then press by hand to make a center crease. This will help you later to line up the middles.

Sewing the exterior of the bag

 Sewing the bottom pleats:

1. Place one exterior Body panel right
side facing up. Following the pattern trace points A and B on the bottom edge. They will show you the position of the pleats.

2. Pleat Body panel by pinching points A
together and pinching points B together. See photos here for orientation before pleating. Remember to change the direction of the pleating for the left and the right sides.

3. Machine baste the pleats using a scant 1/2" (1.3 cm) seam allowance.
4. Repeat with the other Body panel.

 Sewing the frayed flower decoration
1. Run a stitch along the fabric strips, about an 1/2" (1.3 cm) from the edge of the two longer pieces and in the middle of the shortest one. (See photo) Make sure to leave ends of the threads at least 3" (8 cm) long on both sides.

2. Softly gather the fabrics to create nice gathered ruffles by pulling the threads.

3. Place one exterior Body panel right side facing up. Following the pattern trace the flower center point, referring to the cover photo for orientation

4. With the fabric right side up, begin rolling the widest ruffle around the flower center point, creating a 5 1/2" (14 cm) diameter circle. Pin and stitch it in place.
Try to sew over the gathering stitch, secure both ends of the stitching by backstitching.

5. Repeat the same steps with the middle  fabric strip, creating a 4" (10 cm) diameter circle.

6. Fold the shortest fabric strip in half lengthwise. Begin rolling the ruffle from one end and hand stitch it in place to create inner circle.

7. Repeat this procedure until you come to the end of the ruffle. Add a few final stitches to be sure everything is secure and knot off the thread. 

8. Stitch the button in the center of your flower and your frayed ruffle flower is ready!
*Optional* You may use some permanent fabric glue under the layers to stop the flower from flopping forward.

Completing the exterior

1. Place both exterior Body panels right sides together. Match the raw edges and pin, starting from the bottom center. Take care to match points A and B.
2. Sew all around the bottom and sides. Back stitch the beginning and the end.
3. Turn right side out to check the result at the bottom.
4. Press the side seams open for about 9" (23 cm) from the top of the bag.

Your bag exterior is ready!

Sewing the interior (lining) of the bag
1. Take one 2”x2” (5x5 cm) piece of interfacing and place it 1/2”(1.3 cm) from the top edge – centered on the wrong side of an interior body panel.  Fuse in place and repeat for the other interior panel.

*Optional* If you are using a lighter than furnishing weight lining fabric you may completely interface interior body pieces before you add the extra pieces of interfacing for the snap.

Installing the magnetic snap

1. Take the one circular back of the magnetic snap and center it over the square piece of interfacing. ( The hole of the washer has to be placed on the center fold approximately 1 1/2” (3.8 cm) below the top edge.)

2. Mark the two vertical slits with a pencil. These lines will indicate the exact size and location of the holes required to install the magnetic snap.

3. Use a pair of scissors or a seam ripper to poke small holes, going in and out in one tiny movement. Make sure they are only just long enough and not too long, otherwise you will have holes visible next to your snaps.

4. Push the snap tabs through the holes on the RIGHT SIDE of the fabric, so they poke out the back of the fabric.

5. Place the circular snap back over the tabs.
6. Press those tabs inwards.

*Optional* Iron another piece of interfacing
on to the back the magnet. This protects it from rubbing on the lining fabric & creating a hole.

7. Repeat the same with the other magnetic snap half on the other interior Body panel.

Sewing the interior slip pocket
1. Fold Interior slip pocket piece in half widthwise, right sides together.
2. Match the raw edges and pin.

3. Sew all the way around with a 1/2" (1.3 cm) seam allowance. Leave a gap open at the bottom for turning. Backstitch the beginning and the end.

4. Clip the corners.

5. Turn the pocket inside out through the hole you’ve left open. Poke out the corners with something pointy until you have nice and sharp looking corners.
*You can use chopsticks from Chinese food to poke the corners out.

6. Press.

7. Top stitch the upper edge to give it a nice clean look.

8. Place the pocket on the top of the right side of the one interior Body panel. Pin in place centered 3" (7.5 cm) below the top edge.

9. Edge stitch the sides and bottom edges of the pocket. Back stitch at the beginning and the end.

10. *Optional* Following the photo add two vertical lines of stitching to divide the pocket into three sections.
Your interior slip pocket is ready!

 Completing the interior

Follow the same procedures and  for pleating and stitching together the interior Body panels.
!!! The only difference here is to leave a gap open at one side seam for turning. For its size and position follow the pattern. *Optional* use here 5/8” (1.6cm) seam allowance for a nicer fit.

Finishing the bag

Completing the body

1. With your lining wrong side out and your exterior right side out, place your exterior inside your lining, making sure that the lining pocket and the flower are NOT touching.

2. Line up the lining and the exterior top raw edges and pin.

3. Stitch all the way around the with a 1/2" (1.3 cm) seam allowance. Back stitch at the side seams to reinforce the stitch line.
*Leave open the top ends where handles should be!

4. Clip straight lines perpendicular to the seam about every 0.5 "(1 cm) and even closer together around the side seams  into the seam allowance all the way around the top of your bag. Open up the seam down to the reinforced stitching.

*Be careful to cut close but not through the seam. This will give the seam some ease.

5. Pull the bag right side out through the gap, left opened at the side seam of the lining. Make sure there is no tension around the seams. Add more clips as necessary.

6. Press and edge stitch to close the gap in the lining.

7. Taking care to roll the lining to the inside, press and edge stitch all the way around the top of your bag.

Sewing the handles

1. Place one handle piece on one top end on the front side of bag’s body, right sides together. Follow the photos here and pin it in place, matching the centers of top raw edge of the bag and short side of the handle piece.
2. Stitch it with a 1/2" (1.3 cm) seam allowance.

3. Stitch the same way the other short side of the handle piece onto the end of the other strap.

4. Press the seams inward towards the handle.

5. Fold long raw edges of the handle piece under to the wrong side and press. When folding, try to achieve the same width as of the top end of the bag.

6. Trim off all four corners. This will make the handle lie flat when finished. Be careful to cut close, but not through the seam.

7. Fold the handle piece in half lengthwise and pin, sandwiching all raw edges.

8. Edge stitch around the three open sides to enclose. Back stitch the beginning and the end.

9. Repeat the same steps with other handle piece and back side of the bag.

Your bag is ready! 

Hobo Shoulder Bag Tutorial & Pattern


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