Carry your latest read in style with our Portable Book Bag Designed by Amanda Walker, this gorgeous printed bag should fit a standard paperback book, but don’t worry as we show you how to tailor the measurements to fit any type of book you wish to cover. This would be a perfect holiday make, as you can easily carry your book and glasses from the beach to the pool, or an excellent gift for the book worm in your life!
- Fabric: printed, plain; curtain interlining
- Matching ribbon, 3mm
- The book used for this project is 13cm x 19.5cm. To calculate the rectangle of fabric needed for your book size, add the front and back cover measurements together plus the spine, then add an extra 3cm for ease and another 2cm for seam allowance. This measurement becomes the circumference of the bag. To calculate the width, add the height of the book plus 3cm ease and 2cm for seam allowance.
Stitch a book bag
Once you’ve decided the size of the bag, cut a rectangle from the printed fabric, interlining and plain fabric that will be used as the lining. For the inside sleeves, cut two strips of printed fabric and two of the lining, 9cm wide and the width of the bag. The straps are made from two strips of printed fabric, two of the lining and two of the interfacing, 5cm x 33cm.
To make the handles, layer the fabrics in the following order: interfacing, printed fabric face up, lining face down. Pin together, then stitch the layers together along each long edge with a 1cm seam allowance. Trim the interlining seam allowance away as far as the stitching line. Turn the strips to the right side through one of the open ends. Tease out the seams, press flat and edgestitch along each long edge.
To make the inside sleeve strips, lay a printed fabric strip face down onto the lining, then stitch the two together along one of the long edges. Open out the strips and fold the lining back behind before pressing flat. Repeat on the remaining two strips.
Lay the printed rectangle face up on top of the interlining and pin together, then position the handles at either end of the rectangle on the shorter edges. The right side of the handles should face the right side of the printed rectangle. Bend the handles and match the raw ends to the raw edge of the rectangle. Centre the handle, leaving 6cm between the two ends, then loop a short length of ribbon through the carabiner and position this between the rectangle and the end of one of the handles.
Edgestitch the ends of the handles in place and repeat with the remaining handle on the opposite side of the rectangle. The loop and the carabiner will be sandwiched into one of these seams. Lay the inside sleeves at either end of the rectangle, right sides of the printed fabric facing and match all the raw edges together, with the handles sandwiched in between, and pin in place. Find the centre of one of the long edges of the rectangle and pin a 28cm length of ribbon to it.
Lay the remaining lining rectangle on top, matching all the edges together. Stitch through all the layers with a 1cm seam allowance leaving a gap of 5cm in the stitching line in one of the long edges. Trim the bulk from the corners and the seam allowance of the interlining, then turn to the right side through the gap. Tease out the seams and corners and press flat. Pin the gap closed, then edgestitch all the way around the edge of the rectangle, which will close the gap in the process. Thread a few beads onto the end of the ribbon and secure with a knot for the bookmark.
Make a glasses case
Cut two rectangles, one in the printed fabric and one in the lining, 17cm x 18.5cm. Lay the lining rectangle on top of the right side of the printed fabric and stitch the two together along one of the shorter edges. Open out the pieces and press the seam open. Cut a short length of ribbon and bend it into a loop. Position the loop on the printed fabric side to one end of the seam and pin in place.
Fold the pieces in half, matching the edges of the lining and the printed fabric together. Pin and stitch them together across the base, up the printed fabric and into the lining, then across the remaining edge. Leave a gap in the stitching line within the lining edges. Trim the bulk from the corners, then turn the case to the right side through the gap.
Pin the edges of the gap together and edgestitch the gap closed. Push the lining inside the printed case, tease out the corners and seams before pressing flat. The loop of the ribbon can now be clipped onto the carabiner.