Sunday, September 30, 2012

Coco Recipe - Needlework Bag!

My first project on my new sewing machine - a great little bag to hold a needlework project! Actually this is the second I've done. I love and use the first one so much that I wanted to make more - and share the pattern!

The finished dimensions are 10" x 11". The bag has a simple drawstring with a cordlock. And on the inside a big zipper pocket. This is so handy - I keep everything associated with a project inside the pocket: stitch counter, point covers, cable holders, covered nippers, extra needles, mechanical pencil, and a copy of the project pattern!  

And a lot fits in this size bag! Here is an infinity scarf (so named because I will be until infinity knitting on it...) on a 29" dbl point needle. It's nice to put it all in the bag when I'm not working on it - no more floppy needles and ball of yarn getting mixed up.

I can just throw my projects in my big straw tote along with my quilting project. If I'm going somewhere and want to take my knitting, I can just grab a bag - everything I need is already inside!

 If you'd like to make one, a how-to follows - read on (caution, lots of pics...)
Ciao! Coco


Needlework Bag
Shell fabric        2 -  11" x 13"
Lining fabric     1 -  11" x 13"
                               1 -  11" x 14"
Pocket lining     1 -  11" x 13"  
Scrap fabric       1 -  2" x 6"      
12" nylon zipper
42" x 1/16" cord     E.g., braided or gimp cord. 
.84" or similar cordlock 
 All seams are 1/2"

Construct the Pocket

Cut the large lining piece (11" x 14") into two segments, 4.5" x 11" and 9.5" x 11". Fold the top edge of each segment 1/2" to the inside. Press.

Trim the zipper to 11" in length - remove 1/2" from each end of the zipper.
Cut a 2" long piece from the 2" x 6" scrap, creating a 2" x 2" square.
Fold the square in half and align it over one end of the zipper with the folded edge facing in. Baste.

Repeat for the opposite end of the zipper. This prevents your yarn being snagged on the metal ends of the zipper.

Change to your zipper foot and ind insert the zipper between the two pocket segments, using the folded edge of each segment.
Pin the pocket lining to the wrong side of the pocket. Baste the side and bottom edges.
Stitch across the width of lining about 1/2" above the zipper.
Trim away extra fabric above the stitching line.

Check the size of the completed pocket piece. Trim to 11" x 13" if needed.

Assemble the bag lining
Pin the two lining pieces right sides together.
Sew the sides and bottom of the lining, leaving a 3" opening in the bottom for turning the bag later!
Trim the seams.
Turn right side out and press to shrink and set the threads.

Assemble the bag shell

Pin the shell pieces right sides together.
Refering to the photo below, mark a 1/2"opening near the top of one side. This will form the opening for the drawstring casing.

Sew the sides and bottom of the shell.

Stitch again close to the first stitching line. Angle the stitching across the bottoms corners as shown.

Trim the seams (check back with the photo above as well!).
Turn right side out and press to shrink and set the threads.

Assemble the bag

Turn the lining wrong side out and insert the shell into the lining, right sides together.
Pin the top edges of the lining and shell together. Stitch.
Trim the seam.

Turn the entire bag to the right side through the opening in the bottom of the lining.
Carefully pull out corners and sides to neaten. Then close the opening - machine stitching is fine, as it will not show.

Create the drawstring casing
Push the lining into the shell and align all the seams.
Press to shrink and set threads.

Topstitch 3/4" from the top edge of the assembled bag. Then topstitch again 1/2" below first line of stitching.

Insert your cord through the opening you left in one shell side seam...and add a cordlock,


Of course, you can use any craft cord, a made or purchased drawstring, or twill tape, instead of the cord and cordlock combo I've used. But a cordlock really is nice. I order mine from Etsy - a bunch of shops sell them in different sizes, shapes, and colors!
Hope you enjoy! Coco  


  1. Great idea! I will be making me some of these. BTW, love your blog.

    1. Hi Beverly and thank you! love my bags, know you will, too! you'll get hooked :-)


I love it that you came by...and thank you for your comments! Coco