Accessories Sewing · Bag Making · Dog Under My Desk · Modern Sewing · Stashbust 2019 · Stashbusting

Completed: Plaid Cross-Body Bag

The week before I was due to move in August, I got the unreasonable idea into my head that I needed a new purse. While I wasn’t ready to toss out my old purse, I wanted to have something a bit more professional for any meetings I would need to attend for the upcoming school semester. This is true, but what is unreasonable is that I planned to sew it!

However, I managed to finish it, and I was glad for the deadline because I think I would have dawdled over certain aspects otherwise. This forced me to make a decision and just “sew for it”.

Photo by author.

I’d had the lining fabric in my stash for over a decade, and probably the exterior fabric as well. I had poor fabric shopping habits when I first started sewing, and had only bought a yard of the plaid fabric. What did I think I was going to do with only a yard of it? Plus with it being a synthetic, I think it has best found its home as a bag rather than a garment next to my skin. The fabric has some of my favorite colors, so it has the added bonus of being worn much more than a single garment.

Time Frame: 1 week
Dog Under My Desk‘s 2 Zip Hipster
Plaid synthetic suiting weight twill(bought at JoAnn’s many years ago), synthetic lining from stash.
From JoAnn’sthread (some also from stash), fusible woven interfacing SF101 by Pellon; hardware and fusible non-woven interfacing from stash, zippers from Wal-Mart and JoAnn’s.
Cost: ~$10
Needle/Stitch Length: 16 universal, 3-3.5. For topstitching – 5 stitch length, 5 tension.

Photo by author.


  • I serged all my pieces because my fabrics were very fray-prone and this made a good visual for the small seam allowance line.
Photo by author.


  • I had to re-cut the small zip-pocket top, but that was the only piece where I messed up cutting the plaid to match.
  • I really struggled to get the right tension with the top-stitch thread, especially when I had top-stitch thread in the bobbin as well.
  • I like that the designer includes notes on which way directionally patterned fabric should go when assembling, as the pieces are squares and rectangles and therefore tricky to remember up and down.
  • My machine struggled to do top-stitching in thicker areas, although it was less thick than the last one I made on my Babylock Denim Pro.
  • The instructions about trimming the bottoms on page 6, Step W and then about sewing and trimming just the lining on page 7, Step B are contradictory.
Photo by author.
Photo by author.
  • Some of my pieces were not quite square, which made some of the sewing tricky.
  • I’m not really sure why the outside back piece is supposed to get both fusible and a sew-in interfacing.
  • Unfortunately, the exterior fabric pills a lot where the bag rests on my hip.
Photo by author.

I am quite pleased with my matching of the plaid! The only place I did not entirely make it work was the bias cut seam on the strap, but it isn’t readily noticeable.

Photo by author.

This bag has become a staple, as it is the second one I’ve sewn (I made the last one in 2014), but sewing through the thicker bits is extremely frustrating and aggravates the tension on my machine. If I had an industrial machine it would probably help a lot. The pattern calls just for quilting cotton which gets reinforced with fusible stabilizer, but in my experience that would wear out very quickly as a bag so I’ve always chosen more sturdy fabrics. I’d like to note that it is a good size for a small iPad or small agenda, and can even carry a smaller water bottle easily.

One thought on “Completed: Plaid Cross-Body Bag

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