Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Edith Bag: A Tutorial

A preface to this 42-picture tutorial for The Edith Bag. First, thank you to those who commented in a previous post about wanting a tutorial for this cute bag designed by Edith Bieri of QuiltsUndMehr. Second, my apology for the color quality of the photos. The camera is top quality - a Canon S100 - so it's the lighting that's the problem. Most of these pictures were taken under a Reveal light bulb which casts a pink-ness on everything. (Perhaps that's appropriate! October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a cancer for which I have a newfound understanding.) I have now scheduled the installation of overhead LED can lights with daylight illumination, which will make a big difference in the quality of future photos.

The Edith Bag Tutorial

  • 10" X 10" fabric for outside cover
  • 10" X 10" fabric for lining
  • 10-1/2" X 10-1/2" fusible fleece 
  • 1-1/2" X 8" fabric for strap
  • 12" zipper
Cut out lining, fleece and strap.

Note that fusible fleece has a soft side (on right) and a fusible side (on left). On the fusible side, look and feel for rough dots that melt when ironed.

Create your own cover. These are a few examples.

You might English paper-pieced hexagons or sew a patchwork square. Then lay your created fabric on top of the fusible - soft fusible fleece side facing up (rough dots facing down) - and machine quilt. Or, stitch-and-flip sew with selvages, or fabric strips.

Create the Outside Cover
This tutorial shows stitch and flip sewing with fabric strips.

Place a fabric strip, print side up, on the soft side of the 10-1/2" X 10-1/2" fusible fleece; fusible dots are face down.

Lay a second fabric strip, print side down, on top of the first strip, aligning edges. Sew along the raw edge using a quarter-inch seam. I like to use my machine's walking foot to ensure that nothing slips out of place as I'm sewing.

Flip over the second strip. Finger press. Place a third strip, print side down, on the second strip. Sew. Continue in this manner until the entire fusible fleece square is covered with fabric.

With the fusible fleece side facing up, use a large ruler to square-up the entire piece to measure 10" X 10".

This completes your outside cover.

Sew In the Zipper
Open the 12" zipper. Place the zipper face down aligning the edge of the zipper with the edge of the outside cover (on right). The zipper teeth should point toward the inside (left). Pin.

Place the 10" X 10" lining fabric, print side down on top of the zipper. Align raw edges with the outside cover and zipper edges. Pin.

Change your sewing machine foot to a zipper foot. If needed, move the sewing machine needle to the far left. Sew, aligning the right side of the zipper foot with the raw edges. Remove pins ahead of your sewing so as not to accidentally run over a pin and break a needle.

Pin the opposite zipper side to the opposite side of the outside cover, aligning the edges. Check to make sure the zipper remains face down. The zipper teeth should point toward the inside (right). Pin.

Lay the opposite side of the lining, print side down, on top of the zipper, again aligning the raw edges. Pin.

Sew, aligning the right side of the zipper foot with the raw edges.

This is how it looks after sewing both sides of the zipper.

Turn right side out. The lining will be against the fusible fleece dots. Press to secure the lining, making sure the lining and outside cover are pressed away from the zipper.

Still using the zipper foot, edge stitch along the fold.

Open the zipper at least half way.

Turn right side in; lining out.

Make the Strap
Press in half the 1-1/2" X 8" strip.

Open the strip. Turn each long raw edge toward the center. Press.

Press long edges together.

Switch to a regular sewing machine foot. Edge stitch the strap.

Fold the strap in half and pin raw edges together.

Place the folded strap inside the bag on top of the zipper at the zipper end. Match the strap raw edges to the raw edges of the outside cover/lining.

Center the zipper. Pin together both open ends of the outside cover/lining.

Using your regular sewing machine foot, align the side of the foot with the raw edges. Sew each end through all layers. Backstitch at the beginning of the seam, over the zipper, and at the end of the seam.

Cut to remove the tail end of the zipper.

On each of the four corners, draw a box 3/4" from each edge.

Cut to remove these corners.

Set your machine to a wide zig-zag and shorten the stitch length. Stitch to overcast the raw edges at both ends.

Reset your sewing machine to a regular stitch. Fold each cut-out corner to position the end seam in the middle. Aligning the side of your regular sewing machine foot with the raw edge, sew, being sure to push the end seam allowance away from the zipper. Sew over the seam again.

Set your machine to a wide zig-zag and shorten the stitch length. Stitch to overcast raw edges on all four corners.

Turn right side out to admire your finished bag. Add a decorative ribbon or tag to the zipper tab.

The Edith Bag was designed by my dear friend Edith Bieri (QuiltsUndMehr) of Neftenbach, Switzerland. This tutorial was created with her permission. Linda


  1. Great tutorial. Thanks Linda and also Edith! I will definitely give it a try.

  2. Such a fun, easy bag! I will make one! Thank you to you and Edith.

  3. Thank you so much, Linda. And a big thanks to Edith, too! I appreciate your efforts in putting that together. I can't wait to sew a few up. Happy Quilting!

  4. What a super tutorial! Thanks for going to such detail!

  5. Thanks so much Linda. Hope to get to it today!

  6. Thanks for all the work on this. I bet it's kept your mind occupied from thinking about other things.

  7. Nice tutorial - thank you, Linda! (And, hey - it's been fun this week to see several different folks include a pic of your quilt at JAX in their show blog posts.) :D

  8. Great tute and your photos are just fine and dandy! I'll be coming back here the next time I want to make a cute bag!

  9. Thanks so much Linda. I was looking for your tut and you did a great job with the pictures too. I need a zipper and then I'm ready to go.

  10. Oh, thanks so much for that tutorial. What a great little bag. I especially love the pictures, great help for things like this.

  11. Great tutorial Linda. I don't often make bags but will remember this one.

  12. Very nice tutorial. It is anything but Blah Blah Blah!

  13. Thanks for the tutorial. I really like the pink version.

  14. Love the bag Linda I might try a couple for gifts . Thanks
    Giving will come quickly especially when you are as busy as you are. Our thanksgiving is this Monday , I think we are having it here but plans keep changing. Thanks for the lovely tutorial.

  15. Thanks for the tutorial. And I like your new blog background. Norma

  16. Great tutorial Linda. Thanks ever so much


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