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Saturday, 24 December 2016

Free Pattern/Tutorial: Make it Yours Bag

Make it Yours Bag by eSheep Designs
Finally released!
In the early summer of 2013 — a good six months before this blog was even thought of — I actually designed my first bag and wrote my first pattern/tutorial. I've posted about my Make it Yours bag project several times and had every intention of finishing up the pattern and putting it "out there".

But in my last update from April of 2015, it was clear that the project was no longer at the forefront of my interests.

Last month, I metaphorically dusted off the PDF and opened it up, having not looked at it in (probably) two years. I discovered that it was pretty well complete, at least insofar as version I goes. (The pattern changes for the bigger, deeper bag that I made for version II had not been incorporated.)

In flipping through it, it finally occurred to me to let go of this one and give it away as a freebie. That's right: I'm giving away my "first born".

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I feel so blessed with what I've accomplished thus far on my journey that giving away this pattern seems the appropriate thing to do. (And what better time of year to do it?)

So in the spirit of the season — in celebration of whatever holiday you may (or may not) observe — please accept this gift and my thanks for spending some of your precious time here with me every so often.

The Make it Yours Bag was so named for the variety of features that you have to choose from, that can result in several different variations on the finished bag. It is not difficult to make — even if you include all of the options — and can be mastered by an experienced beginner. I still love it for its simplicity and for the way that it has a place for everything that I need to carry. (Recall my post from a couple of weeks ago about my purse pet peeves? This simple bag met my needs and did not over-complicate my purse carrying life.)

Make it Yours Bag by eSheep Designs
View of Make it Yours Bag interior...

"Optioned out", it has three zippered pockets (two exterior, one interior), a big slip pocket, card slots, a cell phone pocket, pen slots and sunglasses loops.

The PDF consists of 49 pages, including 4 pages of pattern templates and over 70 photos. Measurements in both imperial and metric. Available exclusively from my Craftsy shop here.

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I need to have a couple of easily accessible pockets on the outside of basically every bag I carry. These angled zippered pockets fit the bill for me.

Make it Yours Bag by eSheep Designs
Dual angled zippered pockets on one side of the Make it Yours Bag...

The zippers themselves were reclaimed from a discarded jacket.

Make it Yours Bag by eSheep Designs
Optional full panel slip pocket for all kinds of storage...

My favourite part of this design is the front slip pocket that covers the entire side of the bag. It offers discreet storage, is easily accessible and is huge!

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For those who hate zippers, here is an idea for a pocket that doesn't need a zipper. (I've placed a wristlet key fob in it to show the location.)

Make it Yours Bag by eSheep Designs
Add a zipperless pocket...

One of the options for the exterior of the bag is to pleat. Not only that, if you want pleats, you can make however many you choose.

The other side of this blue bag had four pleats; this side has six. (And a little hanger for purse bling!)

Make it Yours Bag by eSheep Designs
Opposite side with different pleating...

Even though the basic design is not difficult, the PDF is written for someone who has made a bag before. I don't do any "hand-holding" in the instructions and proceed from topic to topic on the assumption that you've done this before (i.e., put in zippers, made pockets, attached magnetic snaps, etc.)

The main takeaway from this pattern is that I have laid out a variety of features that you can add — or not — to your version of this bag to make it entirely yours. I'm hoping to stir your creative juices and encourage you to be adventurous in your bag making.

One small thing... if you do end up making this, please share some pics with me; I would love to see where the inspiration takes you.

And with that, may I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas if you celebrate and a relaxing and harmonious holiday week if you don't. Oh, and a question: do you typically do any sewing the week between Christmas and new year's?


  1. Looks like a great bag, Rochelle. The zippered pockets on the outside would be very handy. I'll be doing a little sewing between Christmas and New Year, in between stints in the garden. Merry Christmas!

  2. Thank you for the pattern Rochelle and have a wonderful holiday season! I like those angled zippered pockets too.

  3. Thank you for the pattern. I hadn't seen this before now but it looks like a great purse.

    Merry Christmas

  4. I like how you have so many organizational spaces in your bag! It looks great inside. Yes, I sew between Christmas and New Year's.....every. single. year. It's part of my relaxation, though the sewing is for gifts (our family celebrations are not all on the same day and span the holiday week).

    Merry Christmas/Happy New Year to you!

  5. Thanks for the bag pattern. It looks like the kind of bag I like to carry.

    1. You're very welcome and I do hope you have the opportunity to try it out someday.

  6. Your bags are beautiful,just saw it on ALLfreeSewing and new I had to make it.Thank you for the free pattern.You should be very proud of what you created.

    1. Aw shucks, you're too kind! Thank you very much for stopping by and sharing your feedback. If and when you end up making the bag, I'd love to see a pic.


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