Gift Inspiration Day Seven: Mail Sack Bag

I’m a cheapskate.  I’ll happily admit it.   Last year, I came upon a $12 pattern that has become the perfect bag for me.  It’s comfortable, easy to make, holds everything that I need to have with me, and cute!  What a combination, eh?  Now that I’ve found the perfect bag, I always imagine how many yards of fabric I could buy for the same price of a premade bag when I come upon them in stores.  And…the best part of all….no one has a bag exactly like mine.

main photo mail sack

Introducing the “Mail Sack” by Pink Chalk Studios.  The pattern includes directions for two sizes.  The mini (my favorite) is 12″ x 12,” and the large is 16″ x 16.”  The strap is adjustable depending on the wearer’s height and preference.  The color possibilities are endless.  For our store samples, we chose fabric from our Art Gallery collection.    The mini includes one interior pocket that is divided into two smaller pockets.  The large bag includes an interior pocket with zipper.  (Disclaimer:  zippers are not my friend, so our store sample might be missing the zipper.  Whoops!)

PicMonkey Collage

When I make the bag, I always add something extra.  The pattern tells you to cut out (2) “base” pieces on the fold.  Each of these are sewn to the (2) “yoke” pieces, creating the front and back of the bag with just two prints. When choosing my fabric, I buy 1/8 yard of a third coordinating print.  For the mini, I cut a strip from the third fabric that is 3″ wide.  I then place the “base” pattern piece on the fold of the 3″ strip and cut (2) the width of the “base” pattern piece.  I fold the strips in half the long way with wrong sides together, press and edgestitch at 1/8″ on the fold.  They are now 1.5″ x the width of the base piece.  Lay the base piece right side up, line up the raw edge of your 1.5″ wide piece with the top raw edge of the base piece.  Follow the directions to sew the “yoke” to the “base.”  Press the seam towards the yoke and edge stitch 1/8″ along the yoke where it meets the third coordinating strip.  For the large bag, I cut the strip 4″ wide.  If this isn’t clear, leave a comment and I’ll work up a short tutorial and add it to this post.

One last comment on the pattern.  It states, “If you select a quilting cotton for the bag exterior, consider backing those pieces with interfacing also.  You’ll need to double the interfacing yardage.”  I do recommend applying interfacing to the bag exterior.  I used Pellon Stacey Shape-Flex for the first time on the store samples, and it has become my favorite light-weight interfacing.

PicMonkey Collage 2

Here are a couple of the bags I’ve made with this pattern over the past year or two.  The top two do not have the extra third fabric.  I did add a tag to the top left example.  It’s also very easy to make a fabric flower, sew a pin to the back, and attach it to the bag as an extra little touch.  The bag I kept for myself is the one at the bottom left, made with one of my favorite collections, Comma by Zen Chic for Moda.

The Mail Sack pattern is available in the store or online.

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