Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Zip Top Handbag in Garment Designer

Garment Designer Project submitted by Gabrielle Stanley. If you would like to submit a Guest Blog Post that uses Cochenille products feel free to email Sonia at

 Zip Top Handbag

This handbag is a good size for everyday use, providing you don't carry the kitchen sink.

You need: (all measurements in inches. Seam allowances must be added.)

Cut 2 inf fabric, 2 in lining and 2 in fusible wadding. Mark Center points at bottom and top.

Cut 1 in fabric, 1 in lining, 1 in fusible wadding and 1(with now seam allowances) in plastic canvas (or other rigid stiffening). Mark center points of each side and also corners where seam lines intersect.

Cut 2 in fabric and 2 in fusible wadding.

Cut 2 in fabric.

Additionally you will need 2 small scraps of fabric, and a zip. I used continuous zip and cut it 11 inches. The finished opening is 10.25 inches.

To Make:

1.     Fuse the fusible wadding to the sides, base and tops.

2.    Take the straps and fold them in 1/4 along the length, so the raw edges are enclosed. Topstitch down both edges.

3.    Sew the two sides together along the sloped seams.

4.    Position the handles so there is one per side, 3 inches in from the ends, and tack in place. Make sure they are not twisted.

5.    Sew the two small scraps of fabric to the ends of the zip.

6.    Sew the tops to either side of the zip, continuing the stitching onto the scraps of fabric, but leaving the ends unsewn for 1 in. Fold the tops down and topstitch where you have sewn. You will now have a rectangle of fabric with a zip in the middle.

7.    Fold this in half along the length of the zip, and sew the two ends together. Now fold the ends back along the zip, and sew across the triangle formed. Open the zip.

8.    Place the top inside the sides and sew together around the top. Turn right sides out and topstitch around the edge.

9. Take the base and align the middle of the short ends with the seamline of the sides. Pin the rest of the short edges to the bottom of the sides. Sew between the corner markings ONLY.

10.    Clip the sides to the ends of the stitching.

11.    Sew the remaining long edges of the base to the bottom of the sides.

12.    Trim a little from the edges of the plastic canvas and place it inside the bag.

13.    If you want an inside pocket, sew it to one of the lining sides.

14.    Sew the lining sides together along the sloped edges.

15.    Sew the lining base to the lining sides using the same method as sewing the fabric base to the fabric sides.

16.    Place the lining inside the bag and hand sew it around the edge of the zip tape.

If you would like the Garment Designer 2.5 files for this pattern, feel free to email sonia at and put Zip Top Handbag in the subject, and a .gds file will be emailed back to you.

~ Gabrielle Stanley
Cochenille Design Studio
UK Educator


  1. Someone asked how I generated the pattern pieces - the strap is a Waistband, the other pieces are Squarish Shapes.

  2. This is absolutely the perfect size bag! Beautifully illustrated.