Knock off bag tutorial

It is true that one woman’s trash is another’s treasure. In this case, it’s me who got the treasure!

My daughter took an interest in those super cute, super pricey, designer quilted bags. She asked for one and I said I’d go to the mall and have a look at them.  Let me tell you that a good look is all that I got. SUPER expensive for a SUPER tiny bag. It was only large enough to fit keys, phone, and a few essentials. Did I mention the price? More than a tank full of gasoline for her car!!!!!! I told her they were cute, but she would have to do without that purchase.

A few days later I was at my mom’s house. She had some bags given to her and offered me a look at what she didn’t want! There it was! In this pile of cast-offs was a cute quilted bag! It was not perfect, nor was it the designer label, but we don’t care about that! I took one look at it and knew I could transform it into the cute, tiny little bag she wanted…for FREE!

I took it home and got to work on it!


The before!

I started in one corner and seam ripped the entire bag bottom completely out.

We needed for it to be a cross body bag, so we needed one long strap rather than two. I marked about two inches up on two of the straps. One from each side of the bag on the opposite side from the other. (did that make any sense?) 

I pinned them out of the way, being sure not to pin through the entire bag.

After squaring the corners up, and pinning the bag together, I measured the width of the new bag across both the top and bottom, then marked the cutting line.

Before cutting, I seam ripped the zipper out on both ends just beyond the cutting line I made. I hand stitched a little tack at each point of the zipper seam to keep it from coming un-sewn in the future. Leaving the zipper intact will ensure it will not be damaged and can still be used in the new bag…I don’t ever like to do anything extra…like put in any zips that I don’t have to!!!!

Let the cutting begin! Notice the zip is still whole? It will stay that wat to the end.

Remove the pins and turn the bag with right sides facing. Square it up again and pin it along all sides.

I straight stitched with a couple of passes around the bag for extra strength. After stitching, trim around the new seam leaving about 1/4 inch or so.

I ran a short, narrow zigzag around the seam to stop any fraying that may happen.

Turn the bag right side out. The zipper ends will stay nicely in the bag. You can tack them in place before you turn the bag right side out if you wanted to.

I pinned back the little pieces left from the cut strap, then seam ripped a spot along the zipper just wide enough to slide the piece of strap into. I pinned it in to place then stitched it down following the original seam on the zipper.

And now we have arrived at the absolute hardest part of this entire project. Sewing the straps together. This should have been the easiest part, but I managed to make it time-consuming!

I opened up the seam on the straps about three inches, and pinned the lining down on each side. Simple enough.  

I joined up the creases from one strap to the other, then sewed everything back together.  

I did this three times. Then I finally got it right! 

I think it turned out well. It was waiting on her bed for her when she got home. She really liked it!!!

I turned a two-time cast-off into a bag that now gets compliments from her friends!  I’d say this was a win!



I am a work at home mom. I have three great kids, Macie 18, Trent 15, and the newest addition to our family is Layna, who is a whole 6 months old! I love to stay home and take care or my kids, The Hubs and my home! I sew and craft and create to stay sane! My mind is a constant blur of a million projects!
This entry was posted in Crafts, DIY, Fabric, recycling, repurposing, Sewing, Tooksberry, Tutorials and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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