Posts > News, Sewing, How To > January 30, 2018

How to make the-S bag : a reversible shopping bag (in a bag)

Have you recently bought the-S bag kit?

here’s how to stitch it up…

the-S bagIncluded in the kit

  • 50cms of printed poly-cotton poplin
  • 50cms of gingham (or another poly-cotton) to make up the lining
  • a small piece of plain poly- cotton (to form the cord channel)
  • a small square of spot print cotton fabric to form the corner pouch
  • a small piece of iron on interfacing
  • a length of cord and a cord stop

We have supplied poly-cotton and poly-cotton gingham in the-S bag kit for strength and launderablity


the-S bag(Please note that the making up photos featured here show  4 different coloured sample bags each with a different coloured gingham lining)

For the body of the bag: cut two rectangles, 40cms wide x 42cms long, from the printed poly-cotton print fabric (1.5cms seam allowance on all four sides is included in these measurements)

For the lining of the bag : cut two rectangles the same size as the bag,40cms wide x 42cms long, from the gingham (1.5cms seam allowance on all four sides is included in these measurements)

the-S bagFor the handles : cut two rectangles, 6.5cms by 43cms (inclusive of 1.5cms seam allowance on all four sides) from the printed poly-cotton and cut two rectangles the same size, 6.5cms by 43cms, from the gingham, (inclusive of 1.5cms seam allowance).

Cut 2 pieces of iron on interfacing 3.5cms by 40cms (no seam allowance included or required)

For the triangular, corner drawstring pouch : cut the square of printed spot fabric provided (22cms by 22cms inclusive of 1.5cms seam allowance) diagonally in half, to form two triangles. (1.5cms seam is include on the long diagonal side too)

For the drawstring channel : the 2 remaining small pieces of poplin 26.5cms x 8cms are inclusive of 1.5cms seam allowance on all 4 sides will be folded in half lengthways and will have their short ends folded inward in stage 3


the-S bagthe-S bagUsing a hot iron and a cloth (but NO steam) Interface the wrong side of both lining handles.  With right sides together, stitch the interfaced gingham handle linings to the main fabric handles. Layer the handles seam allowances by trimming.

Turn handles through to right side, using a Loop Turner. Roll the seam with your finger tips until the seam is at the edge and press it. Top-stitch the handles for a professional appearance and for strength.


the-S bagPosition and pin, each prepared handle in a loop with right sides together at the top of the bag – we positioned ours 10cms from the side edges with a 13cm gap inbetween them.

It’s important to leave a 3.5cms length of handle free from the top line of the bag (this will be over-stitched for extra strength later).

Stitch just inside the top line seam allowance through handles 1.4cms from top line and parallel to the raw edge to fix the handles in place



the-S bagthe-S bagStart with the cord channel;

Press in 1.5cms seam allowance on the two short sides of both cord channels and top-stitch.

Press cord channel in half lengthways


the-S bagJoin cord channel (right sides together) to diagonal side of triangular storage bag so that when the channel is pressed up and away from triangle it leaves a channel approx 1.5cms wide for the cord. (There’s actually too much fabric deliberately included with the kit because it’s easier to sew a bigger piece and trim away the excess)

Now trim excess and layer this seam.

Top stitch TOP folded edge of channel very close to the folded edge only, but DO NOT TOP STITCH joined edge yet


Place gingham bag lining right sides together with the two bag pieces and stitch through lining and bag along top line including through handles. Press this seam. No need to trim this seam DO NOT TOP STITCH yet


the-S bagthe-S bagLay out the two bag/handle/lining pieces with the bag section closest.

Pin the triangular bag into position  on left and right adjacent corners matching raw edges at side and bottom corner. Pin or tack along diagonal edge.


the-S bagFold cord in half

Twist a loop through the cord stop, (if cord is quite thick, use a piece of thread through the loop to pull it through the cord stop)

Make a small loop and make a retaining knot.


the-S bagthe-S bagWrap the cord ends with sellotape and using a safety pin,

thread cord end through the drawstring channel from the side of the bag toward the bottom of the bag.

Make sure the sellotaped raw ends go over the seam allowance of the bottom edge.

the-S bagNOW Fold the right bag  over the left  bag placing right sides together. PIN all edges

Starting at the top edge of the lining, machine bag and lining together,

IMPORTANT : Avoid stitching the loop and cord stop. (tuck them out of the way)


the-S bag

IMPORTANT : Reverse stitch over the cords protruding through the seam allowance at the bottom to give extra durability.

You must leave a gap in stitching, on the lining section of the bag (so that the lining can be turned through in the next stage)

Trim the four corners, and trim away the excess edges of the triangular spoted corner pieces and cords, but don’t layer or trim the seams


the-S bagthe-S bagBag out (i.e. turn through) and push lining into the main bag, handles will pop out,

Pay special attention to pushing out the corners to get them nice and pointed.



the-S bagAt this stage, don’t forget to stitch up the gap in lining





the-S bagNow remove the table from the sewing machine to create a free arm.

Top stitch the top line and reinforcing X at each of the 4 handle bases



the-S bagthe-S bagSmooth corner of lining and pin behind pouch.

Now change to a zipper foot top and finally top-stitch the corner pouch channel through both bag and lining layers. Remove pins and/or tacking from earlier stage .


the-S bagNow roll, scrunch and stuff the main bag and handles into the corner pouch.

Draw up the cord and slide up the cord stop to secure the pouch.

ta dah! Super cute and super practical!


the-S bagWhat a great excuse to go shopping at the-stitchery,

just don’t forget your bag (we now charge for plastic bags!)


We made up four bags for fun, and to check how easy they were to make. We had even more fun on the-S bag Saturday, sewing up the-S bag live in the POP UP space, upstairs in the Riverside, Lewes. We used some of the fabric from the-S box February Fresh Fabrics; We got the-S bag finished in 2.5 hours (not including cutting out)

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