How I add a handle to my boxy bags with new UPDATE

Someone asked me the other day what pattern I used for my boxy bags. And how I did my handles. I'm sure there is an easier way, but this is how I do it.

First of all, I use this pattern to make the boxy bag. It was the first pattern I used to sew a zipper. I have seen many patterns for boxy bags and this is by far my favorite one.  I like to use a fat quarter for my bags.

I'm not going to go into detail on how I sew the boxy bag because I think her tutorial is great! But I did sew the tabs a little differently and will show how I add a handle to it. I will add that I have taken the handle before and placed it where the tab goes and sewed it that way, but I prefer the handles the way I'll show today.

Here we go...


I like to cut the material this way so the picture pieces still connect. 


This is my handle piece. It is 4 inches by 11. I put interfacing on the wrong side and press it in half.


Then I fold the edges toward the center. And fold in half again and sew down the sides. For the tabs, the pieces are 4 by 8 inches. After the sides are sewn, they come to 1x8 inches and I cut it in half to equal 1x4 each. The handle is now 1x11 inches.


Sew down on each side like shown.


Set aside and ready to go.


When you get to this part of the tutorial... This is where I put in the handles. I usually would trim the zipper ends by now but find it's easier to know which way is up if you wait to trim it.

Now, I know I do this a little backwards but this is how I make the handles and it works for me.

I go ahead and sew the flaps down then rip open a little bit in the middle and insert the handle in and resew it down. You only take out the middle stitches on the outer pieces on the top.


And make sure you have already trimmed about 1/4 inch off before you rip out the seams.


After you sew the first side in. Insert your hands into the pouch- to make sure the strap isn't twisted. 



It's easier to keep the handle centered when you only remove a few stitches.

Turn inside out. Sew up lining opening and you are done!

Let me know if you have any questions. Or need to see it on a video.

Update- So the other day I was curious to know how big my squares would be if I cut them out first and then sewed them up.

I sewed one like the tutorial showed and when I cut the tip off I measured it. And it came to:


Make sure that the 1 3/4 is shown in the exact spot like this, not the other way around. If you count where the seam line is it is also 1 3/4 inches.

I actually ended up forgetting and sewing it shut (out of habit) and then had to rip it open to put the handle in! Talk about annoying especially since I double backstitched several times.  In the end, I found that I could sew the seam closed, but leave a gap in the middle.


Then trim off 1/4 inch away from seam.

Insert handle in opening and then sew it shut.

This way is easier than having to rip out anything.

And the finished bag--













Comments

Jane doohan said…
Could you post a photo of the finished bag? Thanks!

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