DIY Satchel Tutorial

Every year, when it comes time to trick-or-treat, I run into a last-minute scramble for a container for the kids to collect candy in.  I love the tradition of the orange pumpkins, but they are awkward to carry, and take up a ton of space to store all year.  Plus, they don’t jive with the costume themes.  Either way, I needed to get something, and this year, I was thinking ahead.

I remembered seeing this cute bag tutorial.  It was my inspiration for the trick-or-treat bags I was going to make for my boys.  I stuck with a versatile print that will coordinate with future costumes as well.  It’s like an 18th century satchel.


To start, I bought 1¼ yards of a fabric to be used as the outside, and the same amount of another to be used for the lining.

I cut my main pieces to 10”x30” for the outer part, and 10”x29” for the lining.  This made a finished bag of 10”x12” with a 6” flap.  I used my remnants to make a strap that was 3.5” by the length I had left, which was 45”.

I put my two fabrics together, rights sides facing, and lined up the selvages.  This is the line I trust as far as straightness.  I lined up my rulers to trim off the perpendicular side.


I then used that cut side to line up my rulers to trim off the selvage.


Next, I cut my big pieces for the bag.


I trimmed 1” off the lining piece.


I used a little plate as my cutting guide to round the corners on the end without the shorter lining piece.


I sewed around three sides, leaving the squared end with the shorter lining piece open.


I notched the curved corners for smooth inner seams later.


I turned it right side out.


I pressed it, to be sure seams line up well later.


That extra inch of length of the outer fabric is to give a nice finished edge on the bag, so now it’s time to do that.  I folded it ½” and pressed it to hold it in place.


I folded it down a ½” again, and pressed it.


I sewed the fold down.


I folded the bag, lining side up, so there was a 6” flap.


I started at the bottom fold and sewed up one side, continuing onto the flap for a top-stitch, all the way around, sewing up the other side, until I returned to the folded bottom.


I turned it right side out, and pressed it to give it shape.


With my outer and lining fabrics facing, I cut my straps.


I sewed them around three sides and turned them right side out.  I pressed the seams, with the open end folded in.


I put the finished strap 3” into the bag along the side seam, and pinned it in place.


I sewed a box to secure it, only sewing up to the ½” foldover I created on the front.  I did this to both ends of the strap.


And it’s done!


This size is perfect for the satchel look.  If you want a big bag for a big candy haul, give it bigger dimensions.








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