Hello Everyone! Today I want to share a tutorial for making a vinyl project bag. These bags are not just for cross-stitch projects, but can be used for embroidery, applique, English Paper Piecing or holding your finished quilt blocks. You can read more about the origin of the bag here and with links to YouTube tutorials with similar bags. I added quilting, accent fabric and binding. What can I say, I’m a quilter, the more fabric the merrier!
If you have no interest in making your own bag, but would like to have one for holding your project, I’ve made four and have added them to my Esty shop.
These are just a trial to see if they sell. If they do, I may add 4-5 every two to three weeks. They are a great way to use some of my fabric stash.
Now for the tutorial. My bag measures 13 1/2″ x 13 1/2″, but you can make it any size you need.
Vinyl Project Bag Tutorial
Edited to add binding information (Sorry I left that out)
Fabric Requirements for 13 1/2″ x 13 1/2″ bag.
- Vinyl – 1/2 yd
- Front/Back fabric – 1/2 yd or 2 fat quarters
- Accent fabric – 15″ x 15″ fabric piece
- Binding fabric – 1/4 yard
- Batting – 15″ x 15 ” piece
- Fusible Interfacing – 15″ x 15″ piece
- Zipper – 16″ or longer. I like to use the zippers found in quilt shops because they have a little wider zipper tape than the ones found at Jo-Anne’s or Hobby Lobby.
** It would be helpful to use clips (such as Clover Clips) to hold bag pieces in place.
Cut Fabric (for 13 1/2″ x 13 1/2″ bag):
- Front – 14 1/2″ x 14 1/2″
- Back – 14 1/2″ x 14 1/2″
- Fusible Interfacing – 14 1/2″ x 14 1/2″
- Batting – 14 1/2″ x 14 1/2″
- Accent fabric – cut (3) 4″ x 14″ strips
- Binding – (2) 2 1/2″ x WOF (or 64″ x 2 1/2″)
- Vinyl – 13 1/2″ x 10 1/2″
Step 1: Cut front and back one 1″ larger than bag size, for my bag, 14 1/2″ x 14 1/2″. Fuse interfacing to wrong side (WS) of back fabric.
Step 2: Lay back right side (RS) down, interfacing side up. Then lay batting on top of back, then lay front fabric on top of batting, RS up.
Step 3: Quilt as desired. There needs to be just enough quilting to hold the layers together. Think about using one of your decorative machine stitches as your quilting.
Step 4: Trim quilted piece to desired size, 13 1/2″ x 13 1/2″ for my bag.
Step 5: Fold each accent piece in half wrong sides together (WST) and press.
Step 6: On one accent piece, fold each raw edge under 1/4″ towards WS and press.
Step 7: Lay the zipper RS up on a table with the zipper tab to the left. Place one accent piece on top edge of zipper tape and accent piece with 1/4″ folds on bottom of zipper tape. The folded edges should be next to the zipper as shown above.
Use the lines on the zipper tape for guides to place the accent fabric. Pin the accent fabric in place on the zipper tape.
Step 8: Using a zipper foot if necessary, edge stitch the folded edge on the zipper tape for both the top and bottom.
Step 9: Place the zipper unit at the top edge of front unit and last accent piece along bottom edge with raw edge of accent piece on the bottom. Clip in place to hold. Measure from 1″ above the bottom of the zipper unit to the bottom edge of front.
Step 10: Cut vinyl to width of front and height from Step 9 measurement. For my bag, cut vinyl to 13 1/2″ x 10 1/2″.
Step 11: Place vinyl on top of the front, lining up both the bottom and side edges. Center the accent piece on top of vinyl. The accent piece will be slightly wider than front and vinyl. Clip bottom of vinyl and accent piece together. Remove from front and pin in place on top of the accent piece for extra security.
Step 12: Edge stitch along folded edge of accent piece and vinyl only. Leave raw edge unsewn.
Step 13. Place vinyl unit on front, lining up with the bottom and sides of front. Lay zipper unit on top of vinyl unit, lining up the raw edge with the top of the front and making sure the zipper tab extends off the left edge of the front. (See Step 11 picture)
Step 14: Place top edge of vinyl between the bottom, pressed edges of zipper unit. Re-adjust vinyl if needed to make sure bottom and sides of vinyl unit are still lined up with front and vinyl lays flat. Clip edges to hold in place. Zipper unit should slightly hang off each edge. Pin vinyl to zipper unit only.
Step 15: Edge stitch along 1/4″ pressed edge of zipper unit, making sure to catch back edge.
Step 16: Place vinyl/zipper unit on top of front, lining up vinyl on side edges and raw edges of accent pieces on top and bottom. Clip around all edges to hold the units together. Open zipper part way as shown.
Step 17: Sew 1/8″ around the edge of the entire bag.
Step 18: Trim all edges, cutting off excess zipper and accent fabric.
Step 19: Make binding. Sew binding to back of bag, using 1/4″ seam and mitered corners.
Step 20: Fold binding to front and clip all edges, mitering corners. Stitch edge of binding to front, keeping zipper open. *If binding needs to be pressed, press from back. Vinyl will melt!
Let me know if you have questions or problems with the directions. If you make this bag, please give me credit and link back to this post. Tag me on Instagram, @thequiltingnook, #thequiltingnook.
These are two smaller versions of the bag I made for my daughter. The construction is the same, you just need to adjust the sizes.
Thanks for stopping by!
These look pretty easy. Did you use a special needle to go through the layers and the vinyl?
No, just my regular sewing needle. Also note that I left out the fabric and cutting directions in the original post, but I’ve now updated it.
This is so cool, Brenda! I want to try to make. Your directions look very clear! Thank you so much. I really like the zippers from By Annie…like the larger head. Have a couple on hand to play with!! Thanks again, L
Thanks, Linda. I like those zippers, too.
Thank you for sharing this tutorial. I’ve been wanting to make some for myself and my friends but didn’t know where to start.
Do you have any restrictions about selling the final product? Besides giving you credit for the pattern, of course!
You’re welcome. I emailed you with about the bag.
What weight(?) or thickness of vinyl do you use? I really need to make a bunch of these for my cross stitch.
I think it’s an 8 gauge. I bought it from a fabric shop that was going out of business and it’s thicker than what I bought at Jo-Ann’s, the cheapest they had. I just looked on the Jo-Ann’s website and they have different gauges available and the 8 gauge is the same price as what I bought. Happy sewing and enjoy your new bags.
Pingback: Girl Scouts Camp Life – Handy First Aid Pouch + FREE Tutorial! – Riley Blake Designs
Thank you so much for using my tutorial. What a great use for the bags!
Thank you, great clear instructions, just what I needed.
Is there a way to print the directions. Not that writing them off is a problem. Using my printer saves me time. I’ve been looking for this type of project bag to make.
Thank you I’m happy I found yours. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you Linda! If you go to the Tutorials page at the top of post and select the Vinyl Project Bag Tutorial, it should open in Adobe Acrobat where you can select the print option and print it. Let me know if you have problems with that option.
thank you….I am very anxious to try as i want them for my projects for quilt retreat. Usually I use the plastic totes, but this will be much lighter and handier to tote along with me.
Thanks for trying my tutorial. I hope you get lots of use out of the bags.
Plan to give this class a try!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Wonderful tutorial! Best I’ve seen on project bags – I hope I’ll push myself to make one as I’m also hoping to get back (after 30 years) to some cross stitching. Thanks for the inspiration.
Thank you so much Chris. I hope you make a bag and you get some cross stitching in. There are so many new designs and not what it was 30 years ago.
This is a great bag. What size is the binding?
Thanks! I cut (2) 2 1/2″ x WOF strips. It takes about 64″ total.