15 Jun

Suesse Sac Tutorial

You know you need another project on your list, right?! I’m having so much fun making “sweet” little bags like this:

Moulin Rouge Süße Sac

and this:

that I figured I needed to make my first blog tutorial so eveyone else can have a “Süße Sac” too. The pattern is based on a bag I saw in a Japanese craft book, but I have changed the size (theirs was too small, though mine is not large) and added patchwork, plus yo-yo embellishment, so I think I can share this without stepping on anyone’s toes.

The first thing you need to do is make a pattern. I drew mine on some tracing paper, but yours could be on newspaper or a brown paper bag, or whatever you have handy. The following dimensions make a bag with the same proportions as the ones in my pictures. I’m really liking this one where the handles are longer by increasing the entire height by 5″ (making the 12″ section now 17″ and the whole height of the pattern 25″).

Faux Marimekko Brown Süße Sac
Sac pattern

Choose a fabric or two for the interior of your bag and fold over at little more than 7″. Place your pattern piece on the fold and cut out one interior piece. You can make your second piece out of the same fabric, or out of a second, coordinating fabric in the same manner. You need to also cut one piece for the solid half of the exterior of you sac. (I used the same polka dot fabric for the interior and exterior of my Moulin Rouge Sac.)

Here’s two matching interior pieces and one coordinating exterior for the green bag (you probably want to iron yours, unlike me):

Fabric pieces for bag

Now you need to cut out 17 squares of coordinating fabrics for the patchwork side of the bag. They should be 4″ square, although the ones in the top second and third rows can be a little narrower.

squares for patchwork side of sac

Sew the squares together in rows using a 1/4″ seam allowance. You can sew right off the end of one pair and onto the next to save you and your machine the hassle of all those long thread ends from pulling out each finished pair and starting the next from scratch. (This is called chain piecing.)
Chain sewing

Press the seam allowances in each row in the same direction. Press each row in alternating directions.
press seams in alternate directions

Now sew the rows together. Butt the opposing seam allowances together and pin at an angle facing away from the direction you will sew. This will ensure that the corners of your squares will line up nicely and you can sew right up to the seam before you have to take the pin out.

Sewing across butted seams

Here’s what your squares should look like all sewn together and pressed:

finished patchwork

Place one of your interior pieces face down on the patchwork and pin in place. Use the solid piece of fabric as a pattern to cut the same shape out of the patchwork. Keep the pins in place and sew the two pieces together, only along the curved side, using a 1/4″ seam.
pairing patchwork with interior piece

Sew the other interior piece and the solid exterior piece together, also along the curved side.
pairs sewn together at handles

Notch the curves and then turn the pairs right sides out and press smooth.

Open up the pairs and place them right sides together, making sure to match interior fabric with interior fabric and exterior to exterior. Sew the side seams using a 1/4″ seam and pivoting as necessary when you get to the handle seams. You can butt the handle seams here as well to avoid bulk.
Sewing the side seams

Press side seams open. (Note the patchwork seams pressed in opposite directions.)

Pressing side seams open

Match the side seams on the exterior pieces so they are now in the center and right sides are together. If you would like to add fringe to the bottom of your bag, insert it now, with fringe facing inward. Sew the bottom of the bag with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Sewing bottom seam

Match the seams on the interior pieces and sew the bottom interior seam. Be sure to leave an opening a few inches long to turn the bag inside out through. (The arrow points to the completed exerior bottom seam and the circle shows the opening in the bag interior bottom seam.)

sewing interior bottom seam

Opening to turn bag through

Really, the whole purse can be pulled through a small opening (and yes, this is a different purse).

After you have pulled the purse through, hand sew the opening shut.
sew opening shut

Topstitch the bag around the handles and opening. I like to use a sewing machine foot especially made for topstitching, but careful sewing with a normal foot works well too.

Tie the handles together and your purse should look like this! You can stop now, or embellish your Süße Sac with yo-yo flowers. To make yo-yos, cut out circles twice the diameter of the size you want your finished yo-yos to be.
Sac and circles for yo-yos

Fold over about 1/8″ to 1/4″ at the edge of your fabric circle and sew down with a running stitch. This does not have to be perfect, just utilitarian. Fold and sew in one inch or so sections until you have sewn all the way around the circle.

Pull your thread tighly to gather the circle:

Tie your thread off when your yo-yo is sufficiently gathered. I always use a neutral or matching thread because inevitably a little does show. Smooth the yo-yo into a round “patty.”

Cute, huh? And easy. Now make a bunch more. Make a few extra to sew onto a T-shirt, or sew a bunch to make a doily or a bed-cover!

lots of yo-yos

Now Sew your yo-yos onto your bag. Add a few buttons too, if you’d like. I covered buttons with some of the fabrics I used in the bag for the Moulin Rouge Süße Sac. Beads would be pretty too.

Ta Da!

This one went to the “Mad Hatter” in exchange for one of her cute Candy purses (in her Mai archive). I can’t wait to see what I get! Now that she’s gotten her package, I can share this without spoiling her suprise 🙂