BIG, BAD*** BAG by Tjzoriginalz




This is probably the biggest handbag I've ever made for myself.  It's about 22" wide and 14" deep by 5" thick. I love that I can put everything in it, even a pair of shoes if I need to.  My inspiration was a bag my sister had.  She travels a lot, and used hers for a carryon.  Hers had drawstring pockets on the front, but I replaced that with elastic.  She really liked that the strap was convertible from a shoulder bag to a cross-body style bag to free up her hands when traveling.  I took that a bit further and made the strap extendable long enough to sling over both shoulders like a backpack.  To keep it from pulling on the back of the neck, there is a string hidden in the center band between the two front pockets.  By using it to tie the strap down, it turns the strap into two loops.  I decided on this feature when I was on a hike with my son and had the purse with me.  After 5 km, it was getting heavy, even backpack style and it was rubbing against the back of my neck.  You know what they say about the mother of invention!
I love a bag with lots of inside pockets, so one side has 3 open pockets and the other has 1 zippered pocket.  The front elastic pockets are bigger than my fist - so lots of room for cell phones, keys, a sippy cup etc. (we're past the sippy cut stage, but it would work)
The fabric is a decorator polished cotton.  It is a remnant that I got in a surprise bag.  So this week, I set out to my local fabric store and scored some more fabric - on clearance, then on 50% of that, making it $1.50/meter.  2 meters will make 2 bags.  I bought it in a 2 meter length so I wouldn't have to piece the strap. 
The top zipper is inserted using a different technique than I usually do.  To make it, I cut 2 pieces of fabric the width of the bag plus 3" in length.  I cut them 5" wide.  By folding them in half lengthwise and attaching the folded edge to the zipper tape, one on each side it made a nice wide panel.  I trimmed 1/4" of the fabric on the raw edge, only on the underside piece and then pressed the top piece over 1/4".  Once the bag was made, I attached that pressed edge along the top inside edge of the bag.  Making sure the lining didn't peek through, I then topstitched it into place.  I added a second row of topstitching 1/4" from the first.
I always add a toggle to the zipper tab.  I make a belt loop sized tab and place it through a jump ring and sew it down.  The jump rings are easily available in the jewellery craft departments of many stores.
Yes, the lining is BRIGHT !  I've learned from experience that a dark lining in a purse makes it hard to find things. 






Love it! You did an awesome job! I really like how you did the pink inside, I hate that many of my bags have dark lining and I cant see anything.


I just added a tutorial for a slightly smaller version of this bag on my blog. Feel free to use it.

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