Karen Meyers of Karen Meyers Vintage and the Karen Meyers Wool Shop shows you how to make these lovely Vintage Doily Flower Bags. The look is perfect for spring, and a fun way to incorporate something old into something new!

Take a look at all of Karen’s pretty bags at Karen Meyers Vintage and the Karen Meyers Wool Shop, and let us know in the comments if you make a doily bag!

Doily Flower Bag
Gather your tools and supplies.


  • 1 Yard Denim, or other medium weight fabric such as cotton duck or canvas
  • 1 Vintage Doily, measuring approx 10 – 12 inches across
  • 1 14″ Square of Contrasting Fabric
  • 2 Yards Rick Rack
  • 30″ Lining Fabric, I used a vintage sheet but any lightweight cotton works well
  • 4 5/8″ – 1″ Size Vintage Buttons for Adjustable Strap
  • 1 Vintage Button for Doily Accent
  • Small Scrap of Velvet, or other fabric suitable for fabric leaves
  • Thread


  • Sewing Machine
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Seam Ripper
  • Kitchen Plate, or other round object to trace a circle
  • Tailor’s Chalk
  • Hand Sewing Needle

    From the denim cut out:
    – 1 piece 17 “ wide x 34” long for the body of the bag
    – 1 piece 5” wide x 30” long and 1 piece 5” wide x 15″ long for the straps
    – 2 pieces 16” wide x 3″ long for the bag facings

    From the lining fabric cut out:
    – 1 piece 16” wide x 29” long
    – 2 pieces 11” x 11” for the pockets

    From the contrast fabric cut out:
    – 1 piece 14” x 14” ( just make sure it is slightly bigger than the doily you will be using)

    From the velvet scrap cut out:
    – 2 leaves approximately 5” long and 2 1/2 “ wide. I like mine to be slightly different sizes so I cut 2 out and then trim one down so it is a little bit smaller.

    Let’s get started! First we are going to embellish the denim with our doily and then construct the bag.

    1. Find a round object that is slightly smaller than the doily. Look in your kitchen cupboards first. I found a plate that worked perfectly but if you don’t have a plate the right size look for buckets, baskets or jars in your house until you find something the right size.

    2. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise (you will have a 17″ x 17″ square), and mark the center of the square. Place the plate in the center and trace around the plate using tailor’s chalk. Be sure to unfold the bag before proceeding with the next step.

    3. Pin your rick rack around the circle placing the center of the rick rack on the chalk line.

    4. When you come around full circle, overlap one bump on the rick rack.

    5. Stitch all the way around the circle in the center of the rick rack.

    6. Cut out the circle.

    7. Clip to the stitching line in between each rick rack bump.

    8. Flip the raw edge of the circle to the wrong side of the bag and press so you have a nice clean finish on the circle and half of the rick rack showing.

    9. Check out your nice looking circle trimmed in rick rack! It’s ready to add the doily now.

    10. Center your doily and the contrast fabric into the cut out hole and pin all the layers in place.

    11. Stitch carefully close to the edge all around the circle.

    12. Flip the bag over and trim away the excess contrast fabric from the back. You may also be
    trimming away a bit of doily and that is OK.

    13. Take your leaves and position them where you want them on the bag. I like to play with them a bit to see where I like them best. After you find the perfect spot, pin them on.

    14. Stitch around the edges of each leaf using a medium width zig zag stitch (on my machine I
    chose a width of 3 and a length of .5) and then stitch the veins of the leaves. I like to freehand this stitch, but if you prefer you can draw the veins on your leaves using tailor’s chalk or a disappearing marker and then stitch using a straight stitch going forwards and backwards up and down each vein.

    15. Pick out a nice contrasting button and stitch it to the center point of the doily. This is important as it holds the doily in place so doesn’t droop away from the bag.

    OK! The flower is on and you are ready to construct the bag. Let’s do it!

    16. Fold the bag in half lengthwise, right sides together. Pin together and then stitch the side seams using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

    17. Box the bottom corners by lining the side seams up with the center bottom of the bag. Pin in place. Mark a 2” straight line across (1″ on either side of the seam).

    18. Stitch across this line, backstitching at the beginning and end.

    19. Trim off the triangle.

    20. Now your bag will look like this from the outside.

    21. To make the pleat at the top of the bag, start with tailor’s chalk and mark a line 1” from the side seam edge and 2 1/2” down from the top of the bag. Stitch directly on top of this line, backstitching at both ends.

    22. Clip to this stitching line 2″ down from the top of the bag and remove the original side seam stitching above the clip.

    23. Press open the inch wide seam and pin in place.

    24. Topstitch 1/4″ on either side of the seam and down 2″ to secure the pleat in place. The topstitched pleat will look like this from the outside when finished.

    25. Pin the rick rack around the top of the bag, overlapping one bump when you get all the way
    around the top. Stitch in the center of the rick rack all the way around.

    26. Prepare the straps. Fold the long and short strap pieces in half lengthwise. Using tailor’s chalk, mark your stitching line. Taper the strap from 2” wide to 1 1/2 “ wide.

    27. Draw a line on the angle at the narrow end.

    28. Now stitch directly on top of the lines drawn.

    29. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4 inch.

    30. Turn the straps right side out by using a knitting needle, chopstick or wooden spoon.
    Position whatever long, pointy object you can find on the closed end of the strap and pull the
    strap down while pushing the closed end into the strap. When you get about halfway and the
    closed end of the strap is coming out of the open end, you can remove the long pointy object
    and pull the rest of the strap through.

    31. Press the straps and topstitch close to the edges.

    32. Mark the position of your buttonholes on the long strap and mark the position of the buttons on the short strap.

    33. Stitch your buttonholes on by machine and stitch the buttons on by hand.

    34. Button the long strap on to the short strap.

    35. Pin the strap right sides together with the raw edges even with the top of the bag at the side seams. Stitch in place 1/4 inch from the edge.

    Let’s Make the Lining!

    36. Fold the pocket pieces in half lengthwise and stitch across the top using a 1/4“ seam allowance.

    37. Fold down the top of the pocket at the seam allowance and pin in place. Stitch down the
    sides of the pockets, back stitching at the top and bottom.

    38. Remove about 2″ of stitching from the top seam and turn the pocket right sides out.

    39. Press the pockets.

    40. Pin the pocket to the lining piece, centering it and pinning it 2″ down from the top. Using tailor’s chalk, mark a line in the center of the pocket.

    41. Pin the other pocket in the same position on the other end of the lining piece.

    42. Now stitch all around starting at the top right of the pocket, down the side, across the
    bottom halfway, now up to the top. Backstitch and then stitch down to the bottom, across to the left side and up to the top and backstitch again.

    43. Fold the lining piece in half lengthwise right sides together. Stitch the side seams using a 1/2” seam allowance and box the corners the same way you did for the outside bag piece.

    44. Stitch the two facing pieces together along the short ends using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

    45. Pin the facing piece to the lining piece matching the side seams and raw edges; stitch all
    around using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

    46. The finished lining piece will look like this.

    47. Turn the bag inside out and nest the lining into the bag with right sides together. Pin all around the top matching the side seams and the raw edges all around the top.

    48. Stitch on top of the previous stitching (the rick rack stitching line).

    49. Pull the lining out of the bag and using a seam ripper and remove about 6″ of stitching
    on one side of the lining. This is the hole you will use to pull the bag out of the lining and turn everything right side out.

    50. Reach in the opening and pull the bag out through the opening in the lining.

    51. Keep pulling until the lining is all the way out of the bag.

    52. Now tuck the lining back into the bag.

    53. Press the edge.

    54. Top stitch close to the edge.

    55. Pin the opening in the lining closed and stitch shut.

    Well done! Admire your beautiful new bag!