Matching Bags for Kids + Dolls

on July 23 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 31 Comments

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks!

Lori Burrow from Dolly Outfitters and the I Sew Cute shop specializes in designing and sewing doll clothing and patterns. Her doll-sized bag tutorial is perfect for 18 inch dolls. Inspired by popular designs, this bag tutorial for both kid and doll versions is scaled down and includes a lining. It is an easier sewing pattern with no zippers, buttons or snaps to install. The bags feature an optional cord casing. Templates for the bottom pieces are included in a free PDF tutorial that includes instructions for both versions.

Lori is also offering a giveaway of seven patterns in the I Sew Cute shop. Patterns include the Doll Carrier Backpack patterns for girls, Cross-Body Hipster patterns for girls, Cascading Skirt pattern for dolls, Smocked Top and Shorts patterns for dolls, and the Cami and PJ Shorts pattern for dolls. Comment below for your chance to win one of two sets of all seven patterns, and learn more about Lori’s current work in her introduction or on her blog.

Matching Kid + Doll Bag Tutorial

A girl can never have too many bags! This is such a fun bag both for girls and dolls. The girl’s-size bag is a purse size. The doll’s bag is a tote size for her. The doll has a proportionally-larger size because it makes it easier to sew the pockets on the sides and the bottom piece into place. Dolly can carry her dolls in the pockets too!

Materials Needed:

  • ½ – ¾ yd. denim, corduroy or printed home décor/canvas fabric
  • ¼ yd. cotton or self-lining fabric, if desired
  • 1 yard of 1/8” or ¼” piping cord (optional)
  • Thread to match fabric

Sewing Equipment/Tools Needed:

  • Sewing machine and cotton-weight, ball-point needle
  • Pins, Scissors, Iron and Ironing Board
  • Cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter for cutting pieces.

Doll Bag Cutting Instructions:
– Cut 1 oval piece of main fabric, template in PDF (Optional: Cut 1 bottom oval piece of lining.) – Bottom of Bag
– Cut 2 rectangles 8.5” wide X 6” tall. (Optional: Cut 2 of lining.) – Front and Back of Bag
– Cut 2 squares 5” X 5” – Pockets
– Cut 2 rectangles 2” X 10” of main fabric. – Bag Straps
– Cut 2 rectangles 2” X 8.5”. – Cord Casing
– Cut 16” of 1/8” or ¼” piping cord.

Girl’s Bag Cutting Instructions:
– Cut 1 oval piece of main fabric, template in PDF (Optional: Cut 1 bottom oval piece of lining.) – Bottom of Bag
– Cut 2 rectangles 10.5” wide X 8.5” tall. (Optional: Cut 2 of lining.) – Front and Back of Bag
– Cut 2 squares 7” X 7” – Pockets
– Cut 2 rectangles 3” X 21” of main fabric. – Bag Straps
– Cut 2 rectangles 2” X 10.5”. – Cord Casing
– Cut 20” of 1/8” or ¼” piping cord.

Mini Bag Sewing Instructions:
All seams are 3/8″ or 1cm unless stated otherwise

1. Sew the bag’s sides right sides together. Press the seams open. Repeat for lining. (set aside)

2. Press the sides of the pocket ¼” to the wrong sides twice to enclose the side seams.

3. Press the top of the pocket ¼” to the wrong side. Then, press again ½” to the wrong side. Pin into place.

4. Stitch the top of the pocket close to the fold. Note: Don’t stitch the sides of the pocket yet.

5. Line the middle of the pocket with the side seam of the bag piece. Pin into place at the bottom and then the sides up to the top. Note: It might help to slip the bag over your ruler to get it to lay flat and avoid pinning into the other side of the bag.

6. Stitch the sides and the bottom of the pocket to the bag 1/8” from the fold. Repeat for the pocket on the other side. (This is the trickiest part because of the small tube. It is easiest to turn it inside out and sew down the pocket, across the bottom, and then back up the other side. Just keep the part you are working on as flat as possible and sew slowly.)

7. Mark the centers of the bag and the bottom pieces. Pin and stitch the bag to the bottom. Repeat for the lining. Note: It’s OK if there is a little puckering of the bag fabric while sewing to the bottom. That will create the slightly gathered look of the slouch bag.

8. Place the lining inside the bag with wrong sides together and line up the raw edges at the top. Baste together as 1 unit.

9. Sew the short edges of the cord casing pieces with right sides together. Press the seams open. (The selvage of the denim fabric was used in this picture for the trim on the front of the bag.)

10. Tape the ends of the cord together to complete a circle. Overlap them just barely.

11. Sandwich the cord in the center of the cord casing with all raw edges meeting. Pin the raw edges together and push the cord toward the fold.

12. With a zipper foot or welting foot, sew around the entire unit as close to the cord as possible. (A welting foot was used in this example. If using a zipper foot, you’ll need to place the foot just to the left of the cording and move the needle position all the way to the right.)

13. Flip up the top layer of the cord unit. Place the bag on the bottom layer face up and pin all the way around, matching the side seams. Baste the bag to this layer.

14. Press the strap pieces to the center and then in half again on the long edges. Stitch both sides of the straps 1/8” from the folds.

15. Fold the cord trim to the right side encasing the top of the bag.

16. Line the straps on the top with the edges of the pockets on each side. Pin to the inside of the bag.

17. Stitch ¼” below the cord stitching all the way around the top of the bag securing the straps. Stitch again ¼” from that seam. This will tack down the ends of the straps on the inside of the bag.

Now you can try it on, fill it with your things and conquer the town.

Ending Option #1:
Don’t want the look of the cord at the top?

1. When sewing the lining side seams. Leave an opening in the middle of one side about 2/3 the side of the bag.

2. After #7, make the straps in #14.

3. Baste the straps to the outside of the bag with raw edges together.

4. Turn the lining inside out and place the bag inside the lining with right sides together. Match the raw edges, and sew the bag and lining together.

5. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining. Press the opening edges to the wrong side of the lining. Stitch the opening of the lining shut and tuck into the bag.

Ending Option #2:
Don’t want to make lining?

1. Serge the bag side seams and bottom seam to finish them.

2. Or, bind the side seams with matching trim to finish them.

3. To finish the top, use the cording instructions or just fold the top to the inside ¼”, then ½”, and stitch the top close to the fold.

The bags to the right are not lined, the seams were serged and the cord casing finish was used. (The bags don’t stand on their own without the lining.)

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31 Responses to Matching Bags for Kids + Dolls

  1. Michelle says:

    Another pattern my granddaughter and I will enjoy trying. Thanks. Please enter me in the giveaway.

  2. Mary H. says:

    I’m going to make some bags from this pattern. (With four granddaughters how could I not?) And please enter me in your give-away. Thanks.

  3. MarjoryW says:

    What a great tutorial! And of course I would love to win.

  4. Sharlyn says:

    So cute! Thanks for this darling tute!

  5. barbara n says:

    I love sewing for both my nieces….and they love their American Girl dolls!

  6. Gina S. says:

    Wow, that is so cute! My grand daughter would love it!

  7. Susan says:

    So cute! I will have to make some of these up for my girls. Thanks for the great tute!

  8. Helen says:

    5 yr old granddaughter Addy would love to have Grandma make this matching purse set…as well as items from the other patterns.

  9. Erica says:

    This is really cute!!!

  10. Blue says:

    You have cute ideas! Love the matching totes! ;P

  11. krystina says:

    The denim one! SOOO Cute!

  12. Jessica T says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I’m looking forward to trying this one out.

  13. Linda L. says:

    What a great idea – so much simpler than matching an entire outfit.

  14. Theresa says:

    I’m always sewing for my niece’s 3 American Girl dolls. Some new patterns would be awesome.

  15. betty-anne says:

    Finally someone got really smart. What am I talking about – a tutorial with dark fabric and contrasting thread. Now that is how all tutorials should be. So much more helpful if you can see where the sewing goes. TKS

  16. Debra Myers says:

    So cute, my 5 year old loves her doll and loves to match

  17. Heidi G says:

    Just started sewing doll things for my little girl. My daughter loves packing and carrying around bags so this would be perfect!

  18. Elena says:

    My girls would love these patterns! How clever!

  19. Sheila says:

    I would love to be included in the patterns contest.

  20. Beth says:

    My daughter loves for her and her American Girl to be all matchy-matchy!

  21. susan arnold says:

    I make doll clothes for my granddaughters, and I can’t wait to try this bag for them.

  22. Carmen N says:

    I’ve saved this project because I know my daughter would go crazy over it!

  23. Sarah J. says:

    This is too cute! My 4 year old has already begun asking for a few things I’ve made her to have a doll sized version too. Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win some new cute patterns!

  24. Grandma G says:

    My granddaughter will LOVE those bags!

  25. Kathy Davis says:

    The doll bag is adorable. Thanks for the tutorial. I would love to make this for my granddaughter.

  26. kathyh says:

    What fun. I was looking for something to sew next for my great-nieces.
    Thank you.

  27. Anita says:

    I think my daughter would love these bags. She just loves her American girl dolls.

  28. Samina says:

    What a cute bag! I know of at least one little girl that would love me to sew one up for her. Thanks for the tutorial.

  29. Chris Comfort says:

    This is adorable. Can’t wait to sew this with my granddaughter. Thank you.

  30. Jess says:

    My friend’s daughter is approaching doll age, and I’m excited that I’ll be able to make doll clothes for her. 🙂 (I don’t have kids to make things for).

  31. Lana says:

    I love this pattern!

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