Several weeks ago, I saw a tutorial for an absolutely adorable garment bag designed to hang on a door knob. I considered making it, but for my uses, it wasn’t quite right. I wanted something a little bigger that could close all the way, instead of most of the way. So I came up with this super cute bag that is working quite nicely, and I’m presenting you with the tutorial!
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of it all, I want to say that this project is *mostly* done by machine, but there are a few sections that are done by hand to prevent damage to your sewing machine or yourself. These sections are where several seams come together making a pretty thick part, but I will let you know when you are at those parts. Also, remember to wash and dry your fabric in the way you will be doing so from here after, and iron your fabric before you cut or sew your pieces.
Step 1: Cut all pieces
Body: 10×12″ with rounded corners. I used a small dish as a guide for the rounded corners. Cut 4.
Bands: 3.5×10″ Cut 2.
Hanger: 1.25×12″ Cut 1.
Inner dust flap: 9.5×12″
Step 2: Finger press both bands along center, both long and short ways, so you should have a cross. One only one of the bands, make two 1/2″ button holes on one of the halves, 3/4″ from the vertical center line, 1/4″ from the horizontal center line.
Step 3: Take the four body pieces and divide into pairs. Take one of the pairs (this will be the exterior of the bag). On the first outer piece, attatch the band piece with the button holes by pinning them right sides together, with the half of the band that has the button holes being closest to the body piece. Sew with a 1/4″ seam along the top edge only. Do the same for the other outer piece and other band piece. Press seams up towards the band so they lie flat. At this point you will still have a horizontal center line running across the bands. That’s fine. Don’t fold them down yet. Pin both outer pieces, right sides together, and sew together with a 1/4″ seam along sides and bottom only. Leave the top edge open. Turn right side in, and you should have something vaguely bag shaped. If it looks ok, turn it back inside out and leave it that way for the time being.
Step 4: Take the other pair of body pieces. This will be the inside of the bag. Pin right sides together and sew along sides and bottom only, leaving the top edge open, with a 1/4″ seam. Turn right side in.
Step 5: Pin dust flap pieces, right sides together, and sew with a 1/4″ seam around all sides, leaving a few inches open. Use the opening to turn right side in, press, and topstitch all the way around.
Step 6: Center dust flap over top of inner bag, 3/4″ from the top. The dust flap will be slightly more narrow than the bag part itself. Being very careful to sew through only one side of the bag, sew dust flap on along the top edge of the flap. Turn bag inside out, so dust flap is on the inside.
Step 7: Press top edge of band down 1/4″ towards what will be the inside of the bag. Fold band down so previous horizontal finger press is creased again and press. The 1/4″ pressed section should meet the seam where the band and body were stitched together. Unfold center seam again and turn bag rightside in.
Step 8: Leaving bag inner bag inside out and outer bag rightside in, tuck inner bag into outer bag. Line up the inner and outer body top edges. Note: you are linning up the BODY edges, not the BAND edges. Fold band over again towards the inside. The edges of both outer and inner bags should now be inside the band. Pin in place. When you look down into the bag, you should see the right side of the inner bag.
Before you sew this part, you need to know that along the side seams of the bags and bands there is a convergence of a lot of seams and pieces of fabric. It will probably feel pretty hard to your fingers. My advice to you is that when you sew here, stop machine sewing before you get to the side seams and sew that part by hand. It’s better to take a few minutes to hand sew this part than risk a broken needle flying at you or damage to your machine.
All that being said, sew along band edge closest to body. This will attach the inner and outer bag pieces and close the band.
Step 9: Take hanger piece and fold it in half the longest way. Press. Open back up and fold the long edges to meet the center fold. Press. Keeping the long edges at the center, refold along the long center line. Press again if necessary. Sew down the middle longways, closing the strip. Do the same for the drawstring piece.
Now, for the short ends, I did something a little unorthadox. My sewing machine, for whatever reason, doesn’t like doing narrow edges. In fact, it eats them. So, I just did a zig-zag stitch a little bit away from the ends to keep it from ravelling.
Step 10: Attach hanger piece, by hand because of the number of layers of fabric. Do this by crossing the ends of the hanger piece and sewing along the edge closest to the top of the bag to secure.
Step 11: Put a safety pin on one short side of the drawstring. Use this to thread it in one button hole, through the band, and out the other side. Knot the end of the drawstring.
Done! Here is a photo of the finished bag and a photo of the dust flap hanging out.
I really hope all that was clear. If it wasn’t feel free to ask questions!
Kristina is a stay-at-home mom of two boys. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and spends her down time sewing, baking, doing crafts with her children, and experimenting with recipes with her husband.