11/22/2011

Messegner Bag - fold-over bag tutorial

I wish I can make this soon!  Thank you Noodlehead!



Now before I get too sappy, here it is: the fold-over bag - a casual and fun spring bag!



Materials needed:
1/2 yard material for exterior (you'll need about 3/4 of a yard if you have a fabric with a directional print)
1/2 yard material for lining
scraps for pocket
double fold bias tape (I made my own, but it's really easy to pick some up at the store, too!)
about a 1/2 yard of medium weight fusible interfacing
2 yards of cotton webbing (1 1/2" wide)
(5) 3/8" grommets
the usual sewing tools: rotary cutter/mat, thread, pins, etc.

Let's get going!
Preparing your material:
First cut your exterior and lining fabrics to 14" wide by 22" tall (2 of exterior, 2 of lining). For the pocket, cut a piece of fabric 8.5" wide by 11" tall (iron on your fusible webbing to the wrong side of this pocket piece). You'll need to use a piece of bias tape approximately 8 3/4" long to use for the top of the pocket and about a 32" piece for the top edge of the bag. In both cases my bias tape wasn't actually bias tape (since we're not using it around any curves it isn't necessary) - it was cut straight across the grain.



For the inside pocket:
You can adjust this pocket size as you see fit, I wanted it to hold my two most important things - my keys and my cell phone. I also like a nice stiff pocket (that's why I'm using the interfacing - so if you don't care about that you can just omit it).


Fold each side in 1/2 inch and press. Fold entire piece wrong sides together in half and press again.


Attach bias tape to the top of the pocket. Next you'll want to take one piece of your lining fabric that's cut to size and fuse on another piece of interfacing to the back side. (This will help your pocket from ripping away from the lining if you get a little crazy digging in the pocket looking for your rigging cell phone.) I place the top of my pocket about 13" from the top of my bag opening.

Sew pocket in place along both sides and bottom (I'm showing the inside of the lining so you can see how I stitched the pocket in place). You may also choose to divide the pocket by sewing a single line of stitching down the pocket.


For the bag:


Next, take the two exterior pieces and place them right sides together. Pin. With a 1/2" seam allowance sew both sides and bottom of bag together, leaving the top open.

To make the boxed corners place your hand inside the bag corner and press together the two seams making a triangle.


Now measure 1 1/2" from the tip of that triangle and make a mark (I use a pin - but that's kind of a lazy and less precise way to make the line) perpendicular to the seam. Sew along that mark.

Trim tip off leaving a 1/2" seam allowance. Repeat for other corner.
Do the same steps above for the lining of the bag.


Assembling the bag:


Place lining into exterior of bag WRONG sides facing together. Align side seams and pin in place.



Take your bias tape and pin in place, aligning raw edges to the raw edges of the top of the bag. Start sewing along the fold about a 1/2" in, leaving a little tail unsewn (we'll take care of this in the next step).


Sew all the way around the top of the bag.


Now, fold in that little tail, that'll leave a nice finished edged when you flip the tape over.

Flip tape over and pin in place, sew close to edge. I had success sewing the bias tape on with the lining side up, but you may want to sew it with the exterior side up since that's the side that you'll be seeing most.


Fold over the top of the bag and press (you can fold it over however far looks good to you, I folded mine down about 6.5" from the top. Looking pretty spiffy now.
Attaching the strap:
I cut my cotton webbing about 49 inches long, but you can pin your strap on the bag and adjust it to fit how you like it. I wanted a cross-body type strap.

For an added punch of color (or pattern if you wish), take a few small pieces of scrap fabric and make them into double fold bias tape. Sew onto raw edges of cotton webbing - this will cover up the raw edges. My first bag I was able to tuck the webbing underneath to hide the raw edge, but the black webbing was pretty thick - so this was a nice alternative. Pin the strap in place centered on the side seams with a tail of it hanging about 4" down from the top of the fold. Mark where your grommets will be placed, cut the holes through all layers of the fabric, insert grommet, hammer into place (be sure to read the directions on the back of the grommet package for full directions). Place two grommets on each side of bag. {If you don't have grommets, or don't like the look, you can also just sew the straps in place, but it can get a little tricky}. Just be sure to make sure your straps aren't crossed and that they are parallel to the side seam when you go to insert your grommets.

Making front tab (this is mostly decorative, but it sort of functions as a pull tab for when you want to open the bag):


Take another piece of scrap fabric 2" wide by 6" long. Fold in long sides 1/4" and press. Fold tab in half with WRONG sides together and press. Tuck under the raw edge about 1/2" at the top and pin in place on bag with this end facing the top of the bag. Sew in place by topstitching all the way around the rectangle and making a square with your stitching where it meets the bag. Attach grommet.

You're done! This can be a really fun and functional bag. I used a home dec weight fabric from ikea for the exterior of this bag, but you could also use a regular quilting weight cotton. You might want to interface it with some medium weight interfacing if you choose to use a regular quilting cotton, unless you want a really 'slouchy' bag. Enjoy! Here's an alternate version I made using slightly different bag measurements, but the same concept:

Terms of use: For personal use only.

Easy Page Corner Bookmarks

Found this clever project of Page Corner Bookmarks visit nheilke.

I used to believe that a person could never have too many books, or too many bookmarks. Then I moved into an apartment slightly larger than some people’s closets (and much smaller than many people’s garages) and all these beliefs got turned on their na├»eve little heads.
But what a person can always look for more of is really cool unique bookmarks. Placeholders special enough for the books that are special enough to remain in your culled-out-of-spacial-necessity collection.
Page corner bookmarks are cute, practical and deeply under-represented in the world. They’re easy to make, easy to customize, and will set you apart from all those same-same flat rectangular bookmarks. Corner bookmarks are where it’s at.

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What you’ll need:
  • pretty paper of cardstock weight OR a combination of plain cardstock and pretty, decorated lighter weight paper
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • mechanical pencil
  • glue stick
  • [optional] other decorating tools, such as crayons, markers, stamps, stickers, ink pads, embossing powder, etc.
  • page corner monster bookmark template (or you can make your own using the instructions below)
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Putting it all together:
Below, I’ll teach you how to make two similar-but-different types of corner bookmarks. The first is a square overlapped by a triangle , the second is a triangle overlapped by a smaller triangle.
If you are making your own template from scratch, follow all the steps below. If you’re using the PDF template linked to above, cut the pieces out and skip to step 5.
1) Ok, the very simplest thing to do is to cut a triangular piece off the corner of an envelope, and use that. Decorate it if you wish. If you want to get a bit more in depth, ignore the envelope method and move on to step 2.

2) On a piece of plain scrap paper, draw a square. Use your ruler so its sides are perfectly straight. Don’t make it too big – mine measured 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches, though you could go larger than that. Draw second square exactly the same size on the right side of the first square (so they share a side) and a third square exactly the same size on the top of the first square. You should end up with 3 squares that compose an L shape.

3) Using your ruler, draw a diagonal line across the uppermost square, from its top right corner to its bottom left corner. Scribble out the upper left half (now a triangle) of the square, as you won’t be using that part.

Next, draw a diagonal line across the bottom right square, from its top right corner to its bottom left corner. Scribble out the lower right half (now a triangle) of this square.

4) Cut out all parts of the entire shape that have not been scribbled out. This should be a square with two triangles attached to it, one on the top and one on the right. This is your template.

5) Trace your template onto your pretty piece of cardstock (or onto the plain piece of cardstock that you intend to decorate), and cut the shape out.

6) Using your ruler and the tip of your mechanical pencil with no lead showing, score a line (make an indent) along the edges of the square that connect to the two triangles.

  • 6.5) [optional] Cut a square of pretty paper slightly smaller than the one you used for your template and glue it onto the square portion of your shape. I generally do this if the paper I’m using is quite plain.
7) Fold one triangle inwards, so it covers the upper half of the square.

8) Apply glue to the underside (the side still facing up) of the second triangle, and fold it over onto the first triangle.


  • 8.5) [optional] As in step 6.5, if you’ve used plain cardstock and want to glue fancy paper on top of it, cut out a triangle of the fancy paper that’s slightly smaller than the folded-over triangles of the bookmark. Glue the smaller triangle on top of the larger, folded-over ones.
9) Add any decorations or illustrations you wish. Use by slipping over the corner of the page you wish to mark, like a pocket.


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Now, here’s how to make a triangular bookmark, where the back is a triangle and not a square.
1) Follow steps 2 and 3 from above.

2) Use your ruler to draw a diagonal line across the remaining, center square, from its bottom right to its top left. Then draw another line, parallel to the one you just created but about 1/2 inch lower down. Erase the first line.



3) Extend the shape’s bottom line and the two side lines so that they meet up. You should now have a shape that looks like a castle flag: a rectangle with a triangular indent at one end.

4) Cut the shape out.

5) Trace the template onto your nice paper. Be sure to make a little mark on either side where the corners of the two outer triangles meet the inner triangle , and extend this mark onto the inside of your shape.


Cut the shape out. If you want a fancy bottom edge, cut that line with fancy scrapbooking scissors.

6) Now follow steps 7 – 11 from above, scoring along the appropriate lines, folding the two outer triangles in on top of each other, gluing them down and adding any fancy paper or other embellishments.


(I actually turned mine over at this point and folded it the other way, so the colours were switched. See below.)






EDIT: Here’s another take on monstrous page corner bookmarks, from another artist who thought it up completely separate from me, long before I even thought of thinking about doing this project or writing this post. Great minds, eh?
2nd EDIT: Many people have seen this blog post over the past months, and many have commented very kindly on it, and many have used the tutorial to make their own page corner bookmarks. A number of the links following the comments below lead to wonderful images of other people’s creative takes on this project. I wanted to post one image in particular here, which I take from the Priestthorpe Primary School Blog. There, a whole classroom of kids made their own page corner bookmarks, and they look fabulous! I love all the different personalities displayed.
Thanks to all of you who’ve shared your own page corner bookmark results, and all of you who’ve said such kind things about the project. It’s heartwarming to think about all the books around the world that are having their page corners nibbled at this very instant.
3rd EDIT: Yet more thanks to all the folks who continue to make use of this tutorial and post your own wonderful versions. Here’s another idea: This crafter decided to use small round stick-on jewels for the pupils, which I think looks great. The downside of course is that they protrude a bit, so your book won’t close flat, but if they’re fairly small jewels it shouldn’t be too bad. Stickers, sequins or paper buttons could also make great pupil substitutes