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The Joy-Nicole Bag Tutorial

Each year, I sew new bags for my nieces and daughters for Christmas. Last year, with my Messenger Bag Tutorial, I started a tradition of designing a bag for them and sharing it in a tutorial here for all of you to use, too. I’m a little behind on Christmas sewing this year. (There was this wedding . . . and it took up just a tiny bit of my time . . . ) I wasn’t ready to give up on the bag or the tutorial, though, so I made some time for finishing up both over the last week.

The first two versions of this bag weren’t quite what I wanted, but I’m thrilled with this final version! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it, too. This one is Samantha’s–as soon as she saw it, she begged for it to be hers. I’m so happy with the piping around the flap. It gives the bag a great finished look. If you’ve never worked with piping before (or if you have without great results) don’t fret–I’ve included my suggestions for perfect piping in the tutorial.

My nieces were here for the wedding, so I had the opportunity to have them visit my sewing studio and share with me their fabric preferences. My oldest niece, Tristen, asked for a bag made with her school colors: green and orange. I had my doubts about how those two colors would work together, but I love the result. I can’t wait to hear what her friends at school have to say about it!

Allie loves polka dots. She showed me a fabric in my stash that she really liked, but there wasn’t enough of it to work with for a bag. These polka dotted fabrics jumped out at me at the fabric store, though, and then I found the button that looks like it was made just for this bag. (The button is just decorative–there’s a magnetic snap under the flap.)

Finally, this is Kristen’s bag. When Kristen walked into my sewing studio, she saw this Michael Miller Dino Dudes and immediately said, “I want the dinosaurs!” I can honestly say that it never would have occurred to me to sew up a handbag with this fabric, but I think it might be my favorite of the bunch. Seriously? How often do you see someone walking around with a dinosaur purse? It’s definitely one of a kind!

I really like how each of the bags that I made this year showcase so much personality. Ready to sew up one or two in your favorite fabrics? You can find the pdf tutorial complete with pattern pieces right here: Joy-Nicole Bag Tutorial. If you use the tutorial, I’d love to see your bag!

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