Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Grandview Bag (formerly known as the Anthro Bag) Tutorial Part 1

Part 1 of the tutorial is here! I'm doing it in two parts because the first part in particular requires LOTS of photos to show you the pleating. I am really excited to share this with you guys, becuase I am 100% positive that you guys can make it better than me. Seriously. You all are going to get to the end of this tutorial with your gorgeous, finished bag and say "That's it? Huh. That wasn't hard at all". PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE upload photos of your creations to the flickr group! Also, I feel like I should mention that I would love for you to make as many of these bags for yourself as you want, but if you want to sell them, contact me first.

So let's get started.

3/4 yard of outer fabric
1/2 yard lining fabric
1/2 yard of canvas or 1.25 yards of fusible interfacing 
Thread that coordinates with your outer fabric
Magnetic snap (optional)
Pattern piece (Just match up the pages so the triangles on either side form a diamond. One page will overlap the other.)

First, we're going to cut our pattern piece, and then our fabric. You'll need:
From outer fabric:
two body pieces
5 2.5x45 inch strips of fabric (these are just 2.5 inches selvedge to selvedge) NOTE:If you are not using a serger to finish the strips for the front of the bag, cut 2 2.5 inch strips (handle), and 3 3.5 inch strips for the front embellishments.

From lining fabric:
two body pieces
If you want pockets inside, cut those too

2-4 body pieces of fusible or sew-in interfacing (If using fusible, I would use two layers of a medium weight fusible. I'm using canvas that I sew in, so I'm only using 1 layer)

Ok, now that we have all our materials together, let's get started. First, let's get the strap out of the way. Place two strips of your outer fabric right sides together, and stitch down both long sides. Turn the strap right-side out (use a safety pin as a bodkin to help) and press. Topstitch along both sides of your strap about 1/8 inch from the edge. Set aside.

Next, let's work on the body of the bag. Start by attaching your interfacing to your OUTER bag pieces, either by fusing according to manufacturer directions, or sewing it in.

Now for the fun part! Pleats and ruffles! First, you need to finish the edges of the remaining fabric strips. How you finish them is up to you entirely. On my original bag, I used my serger and a basic 3-thread overlock stitch. On this bag, I'm using my rolled hem function on my serger to finish the edges on the strips.

Don't have a serger? THAT IS TOTALLY OK. I remember reading tutorials before I had mine, and when I would get to the part where they would tell me to serge, I would be all bitter and "blah blah blah, look at you with your fancy machine". So, my point is, no need to be bitter like me. You can finish the edges by pressing the edges under 1/4 inch twice and topstitching, so the raw edge is encased. The edges of your pleats will be bulkier to sew through, but I think it is probably still manageable.

Once you've finished the edges of your strips, we'll attach them to the bag.

You want to take one of your strips and pin it about 5/8 of an inch from the top center of your bag.


See what I did here? It's wrong. Dont do it. Pin the strip down with the RIGHT side facing the right side of your bag, not the wrong side like I did here. This was easily remedied by just turning that edge under and pinning. 

Fold the strip back on itself and being your pleats. 


Because we want the pleats to curve, the TOP of your pleats will be deeper than the bottom of your pleats. As you go, pin the pleats to THEMSELVES, but not directly to the bag. Later, we are going to flip this pleat upside-down and stitch it from underneath.




Continue pleating and pinning until you've completed your curve and your strip is again perpendicular to the top of your bag.  

Now, we are going to flip our pleat UP and away from our bag, and pin the end of the pleated strip to the bag RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER.


Ok, you're almost done with the top pleat! We just need to stitch it down. First, stitch across the top underside of the pleat.



When you flip it down, it should look something like this:


Ok, now cut your excess strip off a few inches from your stitching line. We're going to tuck the extra strip under the pleats as a little bit of padding and texture.


Now top stitch the pleat down along the edge where you finished the strip.


And you should have something that looks like this:


YAY! Phew, are you still with me?

Ok, now grab the rest of the strip that you just used for the top pleat. Crank the stitch length and tension on your machine all the way up to the maximum setting, and sew right down the middle of your strip, being sure to leave long thread tails on the ends. 


You'll end up with one long glorious ruffle. We're going to pin it to the bag, starting at the top left edge and working around to the right. You want the edge to get caught in the seam when you sew the lining in, so start pinning right at the top.

There are pins in there, I promise.

Once you're done pinning, sew right along your gathering stitch, and then trim off your extra ruffle. It should look like this:


YAY! The hardest part is done.

Looking for Part 2 of the tutorial? Click here!


  1. You're awesome, and I am super excited that you are sharing this tutorial. I already called my MIL and gushed to how cute this was (I think she was a little alarmed that I was going crazy for a bag!)

    Can't wait for part 2!

  2. So excited to do the bag....I will say I am still a little jealous of your serger:)Thank you taking the time to do this!

  3. i seriously love this bag! so beautiful! you are amazing for sharing a tutorial! i'm on the look out for some gold velveteen to make my self one! i already have the perfect material for the lining pick out:)
    i had to share on my blog! i've linked your etsy and blog! thanks again! jesica

  4. I was at the fabric store today, and I saw some mustard colored velveteen on the cutting table from someone who was there before me. So I automatically assumed that they saw this tutorial and are making this bag. I can't wait to try it myself!

  5. Fun! Can't wait to see the rest!

  6. Ah, love this! Someone posted your bag on the Anthropologie forum on Rav, and I am going to make this over Christmas break (mom has a serger, now to figure out how to use it...)

    Your boys are adorable, by the way, especially the pic of your youngest! He's such a cute little chunk! :)


  7. I'm so excited that you guys are planning on using this tutorial, and can't wait to see your bags!

    Rachel, the person who posted it on Ravelry is the adorable mother of one of my best friends. :) Don't be intimidated by the serger - just thread it correctly and you'll be fine!

  8. Found you over at Sew much Ado. What a fabulous bag! Looking forward to part 2!

  9. This is such a fabulous bag!!! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  10. This is such an awesome bag. I fell in love with it when i saw it in the bag contest..and now u have a tutorial for it!!!!! i cant believe it!!! thank you soooo much

  11. Oh my. I CANNOT believe how awesome this is! This is the tutorial of my dreams, jokes about snarky non-serger owners included (that's me!). No more drooling over bags at Anthro- I'm making my own! Scratch that, I'll still drool, but this totally rocks and I thank you for sharing!

  12. This might be enough to make me finally learn a different stitch on my serger. Fab bag lady!

  13. That is so cute! What type of fabric would you reccomend? I haven't sewn much, but I might just have to give this a try :)

  14. I just wanted you to know that I made this bag! It was amazingly easy! Thank you! I posted it on my blog and linked back to this post!

  15. that purse looks amazing!! If you have time come link up @ Ladybug Blessings Handmade Tuesdays next week!

  16. thank you so much for this lovely tutorial!! i love love love it! i think i need to make 2! black for my sister and purple for myself : P

  17. This is an awesome bag, but I was wondering what size is it? It looks small in the photos but I printed out the pattern and it's suddenly huge! Thank you, and I'm planning on making it this weekend.

  18. Thank you so much for this!! I am making three of these bags for Christmas presents. They are beautiful!

  19. I love this bag! Thanks for the great tutorial! I made one and linked to you here

  20. Wow, how did you find my post on the bags?! You have awesome super powers. Thanks for this great obviously saved me this Christmas as I sat around wondering what I was going to make for those girls. You have serious talent.

  21. fook it im gana make this bag ive been umming and ahhhing for weeks i just need to find some mustard colored velveteen cause it looks so awesome like that...tho im going to make mine bigger and maybe zippered and with a devider inside...hope it doesnt ruin it. ill upload when im done(hoping a weeks time. thanks again

  22. I made one and it's fabulous! Thanks for the tutorial! ~Stephanie

  23. Love this I sooooo need to follow step by step how to make it.

  24. Thanks for such a fantastic tutorial for such a gorgeous bag! I just finished one and linked back to you at my blog:
    It's already getting all sorts of compliments :)

  25. I just finished making this; thank you for the tutorial!

  26. I love this bag! is there anyway you could post a couple pictures of the process of putting the bag together? I'm new to sewing and I don't want to mess it up.
    Thank you!

  27. Are there pattern pieces for the bag itself? I love it.

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