Handmade bags: Make Your Own Handbag


Noodlehead's Carkai handbag
Noodlehead’s fantastic Carkai bag.

I’ve become super excited about bags as accessories.

I know I’m really late getting on this train. I was put off by the way bags used as status symbols. That stuff is crazy! I can’t think of any justification for spending a lot on a bag. Conspicuous consumption makes me sick. This put me off spending any money on them, at all.

But they don’t have to be designer, expensive or even store bought. They are a great way to add a punch of pattern or colour to an outfit. And best of all, those fantastic, patterned, quilting fabrics that aren’t great for dressmaking, are perfect for bags!

I finally upped my tote bag game and now I’m looking to elevate my handbags.

I’ve been living in a fantasy of my life, where I never have much to carry. Okay, that works when I’m on my morning walks, but not the rest of the time. I usually need a tote and a handbag.


bags and totes at

So, my new strategy for bags, is to find or make some good quality, large totes, (mostly in solid colours with great textures) and then make myself some patterned handbags to wear with them. There are so many good patterns out there. I don’t need to re-invent the wheel with this one.

I have only just dipped my toe into the many great bag pattern designs that are available. I’m sure I’ll discover more that I love, in the next few weeks.
I’m already keen to make this free pattern for the Trail bag from Noodlehead. It’s simple, only requires easy to find and attach hardware, but it has everything I might need and is a great way to show off  patterned fabrics.
Trail Hanbag by Noodlehead

Noodlehead has another free pattern called the Carkai Gatherer Crossbody. This one looks so great and she says it’s a quick make. I might need a variety of these in different fabrics.

Noodlehead's Carkai handbag pattern
I love the simple leather closure! I’ll have to go hunting for some leather scraps.
I think her Campfire messenger bag looks good too. Especially if I can get my laptop in it.
Noodlehead Campfire bag
I make switching between bags easy, by storing everything in pouches that I can transfer between bags. I have a bunch of these around the house but I’ll probably make some more. I need some specific sizes. Noodlehead has a tutorial for zippered pouches too.
Noodlehead zippered pouches.
Noodlehead zippered pouches

The zipper pull makes them more rugged than ones with a plain set-in zipper and these ones are shaped to stay open. Larger versions would be great for my knitting.

Bag sewing seems like it would be a great relief at the moment, as I’m having a lot of fitting dissatisfaction with my garments.

One thought on “Handmade bags: Make Your Own Handbag

  1. You’re right the he status bag trend is freaky. You might want to check out the book “Handbag Designer 101” by Emily Blumethal. It’s a great resource. I’m making bags from thrifted leather jackets as well as prints. Look forward to seeing your creations 🙂

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