Beginner Sewing tutorial: Reversible Paperboy Bag

Today I want to share a project that my daughter Lila designed. She wanted to make a reversible bag with a rounded bottom. When it was done it reminded me of the bag paperboys used to carry to deliver papers on their bikes. We went shopping for fabric and had the bag made in an afternoon.


You will need: 1/2 yard for the outside of the bag, 1/2 yard for the inside and 1/4 yard for a strap. I used 45″ wide cotton. As you can see the project rang up to about $5, not bad eh?


This is a no waste project (although you might need to trim your fabric a bit if the person who cut it at the store was sloppy.) Step 1: Press 1″ down on each finished edge of the fabric. Fold the fabric in half right sides together (matching up the pressed edge) and press. Trim one of the bottom corners off at an angle and use the scrap as a template the trim the other side.  Sew up the sides with a 1″ seam allowance. Repeat for other 1/2 yard of fabric.


Step 2.  Trim the seams to 1/2″. This will make the bag lass bulky.


Now you have two bags, here they are shown right-side out.


Hold them together and see if one is a bit smaller, if so, take the smaller one and turn it inside out and place it inside the other bag lining them up at the seams. Pin the bags together. You should be able to see the right sides of both fabrics with no raw edges.


Step 3. Make the strap! Follow the instructions in the photos for pressing, then stitch down the edges.


Step 4. Pin the strap to the bag by sandwiching it in between the two bag layers. If you want a shorter strap you can sink it in there farther or trim it first. This will give us an elegant invisible join!


Step 5. Stitch along the edge of the bag being as neat as you can. You will have your bag and strap sewn together in one pass!


There you have it, a finished reversible bag with no waste. You can start off with different size fabric and make any side bag this way. My daughter was so pleased with the results!


Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

7 Responses

  1. First of all, What a Sweet Pea!! She is a little doll. Of course, thanks for the sewing tutorial. You did a great job of explaing it to me. I forwarded it onto my sewing buddies. You are “sew” teriffic! You rock!


  2. Hi Lindsay, What a simple way to make a bag and spend an afternoon with such an adorable smaller version of yourself. Your daughter is lovely. Your design is a perfect first sewing project. Tie a festive knot in the handle, too, so whoever uses the bag will have a handle the perfect length for them. All of the girls at school are going to want one, too. Next Saturday may be a make-a-bag-at-Lindsay’s-house Saturday. Thank you for posting. Annette “:O)


  3. What a sweet bag and an even sweeter little girl! I love the patterns of the fabric!


  4. Very nice bag. Definitely somthing to try. Thanks for the tutorial. Johanne L.


  5. I really like the bag. It would be perfect for the little travel pillow/backrest I take with me when I go out (I have fibromyalgia and it makes a great difference in how long I last sitting at dinner or a show.) I was wondering if you have ever made/ done a tutorial for a drawstring back pack? I have one that is not exactly the right weight and it’s not very attractive. I have it in mind to copy the basic design and make one. I tried searching your website but didn’t find anything. As usual, thanks for the tute! 🙂


  6. Cute Bag and a Darling young lady! She did a great job and models it well.


  7. great tote .. such a fine tutorial for us! Thank you..
    such a pretty girl!



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