Embroidery Library

Betty's Handy Folding Bag


When Betty sent in this unique handy folding bag, we thought it was so clever we had to share it with you! This convenient bag rolls up so you can take it shopping or carry it with you wherever you go.

Read below for these free project instructions.

Supplies Needed:

**Muslin or lightweight canvas (pre-washed)

**1/2 yard of trim fabric for pockets

**Medium weight cutaway stabilizer

**Lightweight fusible interfacing

**Temporary spray adhesive

**Thread and needle for some hand sewing

**Matching button

Designs used: 

Any Day Spent Sewing - Lg

This design is available in the following design packs:  

A All About M.E. Design Pack - Lg
A All About M.E. Design Pack - Sm


Using muslin or lightweight canvas, cut two pieces 15 1/2 inches high by 18 inches wide for your bag, two pieces of fabric 7 inches high by 8 inches wide for the pocket, and two bag handles 3 inches high by 20 inches wide.

Cut trim for the pocket top 4 inches high by 7 inches wide, then cut a pocket flap 7 inches high by 7 inches wide. Cut pieces of fusible interfacing to the same sizes as the pocket trim and flap.

Create a paper template of the design you've chose by printing it at full size using embroidery software. If you don't have embroidery software, you can cut a piece of paper the shape and dimensions of the design to help with placement and centering.

Position the template on the pocket. Spray a piece of medium weight cutaway stabilizer with temporary adhesive and smooth the fabric on top. Hoop the fabric and stabilizer together. Embroider the design.

When the designs have finished, trim away the excess stabilizer on the backside of the embroidery.


Lay the interfacing on top of the pocket trim and flap pieces, with the fusible side of the interfacing facing the wrong side of the fabric. Press the interfacing with an iron (refer to the interfacing instructions for heat settings, etc.).

Fold the flap in half and cut corners to a rounded shape (similar to a pocket flap shape). Sew the flap to the front pocket bottom and lining. Fold the pocket trim in half, press in place, pin and sew to the top of the pocket front. Sew to the top of the lining section, leaving a 3 inch gap in the center for turning.


Fold the pocket with the right sides facing and pin in place. Sew 1/4 inch seam along both straight edges and around the flap.


Turn the pocket to right sides through the opening left at the trim edge. Press and hand stitch the opening closed. Top stitch around the bottom flap. Make a button hole at the center edge of the pocket to the size of your chosen button.

Pin pocket to the front side of the bag, positioning the center of the pocket with the center of the bag front. Stitch the pocket to the front of the bag down the sides and across the bottom along each existing seam on the pocket - this is called "stitching in the ditch." Sew a button in the center of the pocket, about 4 1/2 inches down from the top edge.


Place back and front bag pieces together with the right sides facing. Pin in place and sew a 1/4 inch seam down each side and across the bottom. Zigzag the seam allowance and press. Measure and mark 2 inches down each side of the side seams and sew a narrow pintuck almost to the bottom of the bag. Turn bag wrong side out and pinch the corners together by aligning the side and bottom seams. Then, measure and mark in 1 inch from each corner and draw a line perpendicular to the seam at that mark. Pin in place and sew a seam along each line. Trim off the corners about 1/2 inch out from the seam you just sewed.


Press bag handles in half, long ways and sew a 1/4 inch seam. Turn handles right side out and press. Top stitch along each side of the handles. Place handles at the center mark between the side seam and the center front of the bag.


Fold and press the top edge of the bag in 1/4 inch and then another inch. Pin the handles in place under the top seam and stitch all the way around the bag. Top stitch around the top edge of the bag, securing the handles as you go.


Your bag is now complete! Fold  the bag by turning the bag front side down. Fold each side towards the middle of the back of the bag. Fold the bottom up leaving the pocket flap down and fold the handles down. Proceed to roll the bag up and secure flap with the button on the pocket.


Click here for a printable version of these project instructions.

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Products used in this Project:

A All About M.E. Design Pack $21.89 - $28.37

Available in 2 Sizes:

5.87" x 9.42" | 4.86" x 6.87"

Any Day Spent Sewing $5.99

Available in 2 Sizes:

5.87" x 6.30" | 4.86" x 5.21"