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Ever since I got an iPad, I have been searching for just the right tote bag for it. I looked at tons of pre-made bags that were either very elaborate and expensive or super simple with no personality. I knew that I wanted something sturdy but simple, fun but functional. I decided my best option to get exactly what I wanted was to make a bag myself. After looking at several sewing patterns for bags, I determined that what I wanted would be simple enough to make without a pattern. I decided on a simple messenger style with a wide comfortable padded strap and an open top that I could quickly and easily slip my iPad into. I wanted a few pockets inside for accessories and bit of extra room for my wireless keyboard and anything else I might need to tote along with me for the day.
To begin, I lay your iPad (or other device) on your fabric to measure what size you want your finished bag to be. I planned to work with the folded edge of the fabric as my bag’s bottom so I laid my iPad on the fabric with the fold with the fold along the bottom. For my bag, I added 2” for seam allowances and extra bag size on each side of the iPad. You can easily adjust the measurements to create a larger or smaller bag to best match your device size and needs.
Cut two pieces of fabric and one piece of fusible fleece or batting to the determined size. Set the fleece or batting piece aside. Apply fusible interfacing to the wrong side of each fabric. I wanted my fabric fairly stiff on my bag so I used a heavy craft weight interfacing.
If you want a pocket inside your bag, cut a piece of fabric the size of the pocket you desire, adding 1” to each side. (My pocket piece measured 12” wide by 9 1/2” tall.) Apply fusible interfacing to the backside of the pocket fabric. Create a 1” fold on each side of the pocket piece, pressing and pinning it to the back side. My finished pocket size was 10” wide by 7 1/2” tall.)
Top stitch along the top edge of the pocket piece 1/8” – 1/4” from the top edge.
Fold the bag lining in half, laying it on your table so that the fold is at the bottom. Place the pocket piece in the center of the lining, making sure that the sewn top edge of the pocket is at the. Unfold the lining and pin the pocket in place.
Sew the pocket to the lining along the side and bottom edges of the pocket about 1/8” to 1/4” from the edge of the pocket piece.
If you would like to add dividers to the pocket, use a chalk pencil and ruler to mark straight sewing lines from the top of the pocket to the bottom. You can vary the width of the lines to create pockets to meet your needs.
Layer your fabric on your work surface so that your outer bag fabric is facing printed side down on your work table. Place the fleece or batting on top of the wrong side of the outer bag fabric. Place the liner fabric on top of the fleece or batting printed side up.
Pin the three layers together. Sew the pieces together by sewing 1/8” from the edge on all four sides.
Sew folded bias tape over the two short sides of the assembled bag body. These two sides will be the top edges to the bag.
To create straps, determine what width you want your straps to be (mine were 2” wide) and how long you want your straps to be (mine was 64” long). Cut two fabric, two interfacing, and one fleece or batting pieces to match your desired measurements. In my example, I had to piece two cuts of fabric together to create each of the strap pieces. I place the seam of each at the center of my strap pieces. Adhere the interfacing to the strap pieces.
Layer the strap pieces like you did the pieces to the body of the bag. Pin the pieces together and sew 1/8” from the edge on all four sides.
Pin the strap to the body of the bag. The body of the bag fits around the ends of each strap like a letter U. Make sure that the center point on the bag’s body in the fold matches the center of each strap bottom. After pinning, sew the bag and strap together, 1/8” - 1/4” from the edge.
Sew folded bias tape over the remaining raw edges of the assembled bag.
Fabric (fabric shown Sweetwater Home Town collection) yardage varies depending on number of prints used
Therm O Web Heat n Bond Fusible Fleece, 1 yard
Therm O Web Heat n Bond Fusible Interfacing, Craft Extra Firm, 1 yard
Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Tape (2 packages)
Iron and ironing board