NOTE: Measurements account for 1/2inch  sewing allowance around the sides and bottom seams
– Two pieces of 16×12&1/2 inch denim- new or upcycled (new will be stiffer than upcycled)
– Two 3×25 inch strips of denim for the handles
– Two pieces of 6×12&1/2 inch of your choice for the lining, cotton or satin
– One 2×3 inch piece of card stock for the bow template
– 43 to 48 2×3 inch rectangles of denim for the bows
– 1 yard of coordinating blue satin ribbon
– Fray Check
– Sewing machine and sewing supplies
– Glue gun and glue sticks
– Magnetic snap (optional)
– Extra material for inside pocket
– Medium weight interfacing (optional)

How-to steps:

  • Round the edges of your card stock for the bow template
  • Use the bow template to cut the pieces needed for the bows and apply fray check on the edges
  • Make an accordion with 4 fold “peaks” on the side that will be up
  • With a matching thread, secure the fold by threading through the folds twice
  • Secure with a knot
  • Cut the pieces of matching ribbon for the center of the bows (1.5″ long)
  • Put a dab of hot glue on the back of the bow tucks
  • Put the end of the ribbon on the hot glue let it cool for a couple of minutes
  • Put another dab of hot glue on the end of the ribbon and fold over
  • You will need roughly the same number of light and dark bows
  • You will save time by stitching all the bows then applying the ribbons in batch of 6-8 bows
Make the bag shell – I didn’t make a detailed tutorial for this part as there are a number of very good existing ones around the blogosphere. There is a very detailed one HERE.
  • Cut the fabric pieces for the outside shell and the lining
  • Sew the outer shell and the lining for a basic bag.
  •  Tuck in the top corners of the outer shell as shown on the picture below i.e. 2″ wide x 3″ tall
  • Pin the sides and bottom of the shell
  • Optional step : add one or 2 inside pockets to the lining
  •  Add a pin a the corner of your tuck
  • Top stitch the fold all the way around
  • Once top stitched, the outer shell should look as shown below
  • Optional step : fuse the interfacing to the outer shell
  • Pin the lining and outer shell right sides together along the top of the bag lining up the side seam
  •  Don’t forget you will need a hole in the bottom of the lining to turn the bag right side out
  • Stitch along the bag opening with a 3/4″ seam allowance and turn the bag right side out
  • Optional – Place a magnetic snap for the bag’s closure using the 3/4″ fold of denim as support
  • Close the opening in the lining of the bag
  • Cut and fold the straps for the bag  as shown – first in half, then fold the edges in like for bias tape
  • Tuck the short edges in
  • Top stitch all sides of each strap
  • Pin the straps about 1 1/2″ from the top corners
  • Stitch the handles on the bag
  • Layout the bows evenly on the front side of the bag alternating dark and light ones
  • For the layout below you need 43 bows (21 light and 22 dark) 5 across by 9 high (minus 2 at the top corners)
  • You will need more 5 bows for a tighter layout
  • Put a dab of hot glue on each side of the center ribbon
  • Secure all bows to the bag’s outer shell
All done – Good news, it cost under $20 even with new denim and interfacing