Simple Pleated Bag

May 25, 2017 at 9:11 am 15 comments

I had picked up some beautiful Laura Ashley fabric on sale. Some velvet fabric, a contrasting cotton and a main patterned fabric. 

It has sat in a bag for a while and yesterday I had a spare hour ( which ended up being 3 or 4 πŸ˜‚) and I had in mind a pleated bag with a big velvet bow.

Once I’d laid out roughly the design I wanted and added copious layers of interfacing, a bow looked too over the top, so I settled for a tied knot instead. 

I have secured the velvet into the sides of the bag so it’s integral rather than just a sash wrapped around. 

I had also wanted to add wooden circular handles but they ended looking out of proportion. It’s quite satisfying creating a bag in an organic process but a little frustrating as you wish you had more technical knowledge to help! I did take a few shortcuts- I shortened the length of the bag once I’d cut it out so didn’t want to waste the fabric and added it inside as pockets. The pockets are not as deep as I’d have liked but I’ve used the fabric up so that’s positive.

I had to add pockets as having made a few tote styled bags, you end up with a mass of junk at the bottom so these pockets help organise the contents a little. The velvet handles were using up the excess velvet that I’d sewn for the bow. If I’d had the fabric, I’d have added some red handles for contrast, but still love the end result. 

The pleating is underneath a wide top band. You can’t see the contrast on the front due to the knot. I used my Fiskars self healing mat to measure out the inches for pleating so that it was absolutely even.

Having two directions to the fabric really helps with the design, to lead the eye in different directions. 

During the late night sewing, I neglected to add in magnetic clasps. I will add some press studs for a simple closure. 

I love learning through experimentation. This was a case in point. I did have to hand crank a good proportion of the top stitching once I’d pulled the bag through the bottom of the lining. Maybe not using so many layers of interfacing would be a good idea next time- but I do love more structural bags, so this suits me perfectly! 

I have some beautiful floral silk to use next time, but I’ve never really sewn silk bags before. Anyone seen any great ideas or have any ideas? Please shout! 

Have a lovely day!

Keren xx


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15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dawn  |  May 25, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Absolutely stunning. Perfect for summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2. kerenbaker  |  May 25, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Thankyou so much Dawn! Do you sew? x


  • 3. Sue Brannan  |  May 25, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Hello Keres, wow you have made one amazing bag love the fact you’ve been able to incorporate so many useful pockets and those pleats are so neat and geometrical!! X


    • 4. kerenbaker  |  May 25, 2017 at 9:56 am

      Thankyou! How are you? What are you up to? x


  • 5. jgrayb  |  May 25, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Keren it is beautiful!


  • 7. Peg  |  May 25, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    A real stunner Keren, Happy sewing and I’ll look forward to seeing more from you πŸ‘


  • 8. Michele F  |  May 25, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Gorgeous, inside and out! Your fabric, and pleated design, are perfect!


  • 9. Conil  |  May 25, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    All right…now I know you can do anything you set your mind to…this is gorgeous. Absolutely nuts about those pleats and the inside pockets (know what you mean about bag bottoms turning into the black hole of Calcutta).
    Sorry I can’t help you with silk ideas…I’m sadly lacking in any fabric construction skills.


  • 10. Jean Timms  |  May 25, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Lovely Keren want to copy it’s lovely colours too

    Liked by 1 person

    • 11. kerenbaker  |  May 25, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Copy away – it’s not a hard design!


  • 12. Paula Whittaker  |  May 26, 2017 at 9:03 am

    wow what a gorgeous bag…wish I could sew a button on let alone knock something like this up in a few hours!


  • 13. Ruth Andrews  |  May 27, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Oh my goodness! This is amazing! I love sewing my little zipper bags, but they take me quite a long time, so I’m impressed with how little time it took you to do this. It’s a beautiful fabric and I love the pleats (wouldn’t even know where to start!). Hats off to you! Xx


  • 14. Barbara  |  May 29, 2017 at 9:59 am

    What a beautiful bag. Stunning colours. And I thought I did well to make a couple of padded sleeves for my small and large MISTI’S. Can’t wait to see what you come up with using the silk.


  • 15. vickiscraft  |  May 29, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Wow, just gorgeous, love that fabric too! x



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Welcome to this space, my little place of creative refuge away from the busy-ness of life!
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