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Companion Carpet Bag

Posted on: August 14th, 2017 by Lorna McMahon
To start off with…..
Let me just say that I am so pleased and proud and happy with my new purse. I mean, just looking at that cute chipmunk does it for me. And as expected, I learned a lot from this first bag making experience.

This bag was my first attempt at making a purse. And other than quilts, of course, I have only made one two other items that were not quilts. I made a quilted jacket for my birthday and then one for my mother’s birthday back in 2014.


You can see some in process pics in this post. For this purse, I purchased the Companion Carpet Bag pdf from Sewing Patterns by Mrs.H on Etsy. According to the pattern, I also ordered fabric and doodads and stabilizer and handles.
The pattern is well explained. And you can print the first half of the pattern that includes photos or you can print the second half of the pattern for a text only version. I did not realize that was the case. I printed the entire 24 pages and only realized when I was almost finished making the bag, that the last half of the pattern was the text only version. Oh well….
The pattern calls for a yard of the outer fabric and a yard of the inner fabric. This is enough to make two of these smaller bags. Easily. This bag is a a Small – 12″W x 8″H x 6″D. But the pattern also provides instructions for a Large – 16″W x 10″H x 6″D.
This was also my first time sewing in an inset zipper for the inner pocket. I wish now that I would have chosen a single fabric for the entire lining instead of bits of this and that. The lining ended up being slightly larger than I would have liked and is a wee bit frumpy at the bottom.
I ordered all my fabric from Bobby Lou’s Fabric Factory and am so pleased with the Tula Pink Chipper chipmunk. Even though I am not a big fan of purple. I wanted to keep the lining fabric light and had ordered Woodland Critters in White. But when I seen how little fabric is needed for the lining…. I couldn’t cut into it. Now I wish I would have. But if I don’t use it for a quilt, there just may be another opportunity to use it in a bag.
Woodland Critters in White
Here you can see that I added feet to the bottom of the bag. I was kind of disappointed that they sink in so far due to the fact that the stabilizer is so cushy. The pattern also calls for a rectangle of “plastic bag base” or “plastic grid canvas”. This provides a stiffness for the bottom of the bag and keeps it from drooping. I did not have anything like that, so I cut up an old rotary cutting mat and drilled holes for where the feet go through. But I regretted that decision when it came time to turn the bag inside right when finished. That base material was way to stiff, making the birthing process so incredibly life like. Next time I am heading to the dollar store to see if I can get a stiff plastic place mat to cut up instead.


The pattern suggests using piping along the top edge of the outside pocket. I did not. I have never made nor do I own any store bought piping. So I just sewed the lining and outside pocket pieces together. I am really pleased to have managed to get the fabric on the pocket and main face of the bag to match up so well. And if I make this bag again, I would like to press the lining back a little more so it does not show as much along the top.



I got all of the hardware from Janelle at Emmaline Bags and am really pleased with the Barrel Hinge and other doodads I purchased. Especially that “made for me” badge. I LOVE the Barrel Hinge. It is spring loaded so the bag stays closed. But also easily pops open when you pull gently on the handles. She did not have any handbag handles in stock, so I did an Etsy in search for genuine leather purse handles which I found at Purse Making Supply. They are Olive in colour.

What are my overall thoughts? I was dreading the starting of making a bag because I had never done it before. But now that I have had the experience, I would make another. And look forward to sharing more purse and bag making finishes with you again!




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28 Responses

  1. Nancy J says:

    This is a winner by a mile or two or more!!! Fantastic.

  2. Wow, congratulations on so many \”firsts\” with this bag, Lorna. I think it turned out really well and I bet you could make all the changes you noted easily on a second one.

  3. Patti says:

    Great \”first bag\”, Lorna! Here's a tip- I buy plastic cutting boards at the dollar store or Walmart. Usually you can get a pack of 3 and I'll use it for templates for something I want to make in multiples. I bet it would work for you as well! Love your quilts and now I love your bag adventure!

  4. A great finish and a beautiful looking bag. I loved reading all your highlights, especially the 'birthing process' made me grin haha

  5. Beautiful Bag making, Lorna! Yes, love the 'badge' on the front and the cute, cute squirrel in this fabric. What a lovely purse!

  6. Very stylish! Great finish!

  7. Just me says:

    I'm so impressed with your first bag and look forward to seeing others that you make

  8. it looks good – I have tried a couple patterns for bags and find that I like them for a little bit then they got tossed in the cupboard I think I will stick with quilts, I don't make other things well

  9. Kate says:

    Now that you have made one bag, it can quickly become an obsession. Bags are gun quick projects and you have something useful when you are done. You bag is lovely, and well done. Check out Blue Calla Patterns, a Canadian designer from Southern Ontario. Her Clematis bag has been made thousands of times by makers all over the world, and the pattern is free!

  10. Lorna, this bag is so pretty, really. I am not a purple lady but I would carry this. I love the chippie. The inside is not frumpy, and I love light insides in a bag. Who decided black was a perfect color for inside a purse? I can't find a thing. It is good to stretch yourself, I know there are moments you want to bail but I am so happy to see the result. Birthing process indeed. I should share that analogy with my daughter that is due in two weeks.First baby. \”Lizzie, it is just like turning a handmade purse right side out!, cake!!\”

  11. Jen Shaffer says:

    This. Is. Adorable!

  12. Your carpet bag turned out gorgeous! I didn't use piping on my pocket either, but instead I sewed binding like a quilt over the raw edge of the pocket and lining. Just an idea for next time.

  13. You did a fantastic job! Well done!

  14. MoeWest says:

    Your bag sewing results are wonderful! I buy a package of flexible cutting boards at Wal-Mart to use for bag bottoms. This package has multiple colours of boards in it (4 or 5?) meant to be used for different foods. Be warned, bag making can be addictive!

  15. mangozz says:

    What a beautiful bag! You did an awesome job! I would never attempt anything so involved.

  16. Congrats! It's beautiful. You did a great job. Now go somewhere with your new bag to show it off. LOL

  17. Just WOW on so many levels. The extra pennies spent for nice doo-dads seems so worth it. It is every bit as perfect as your quilts. All of the pretty details and that goofy chippy are so wonderful. I am not a purse carrier, but this bag is giving me the \”I want one\” feeling. You have a big blue ribbon in my opinion. Love!

  18. Ioleen says:

    ❤️ your bag. This could be the start of something. 👍👍

  19. KathleenD says:

    Simply gorgeous! You did an outstanding job on your new purse! Thanks for sharing your pros & cons with us.

  20. DuAnne says:

    Nice job Lorna! It's a beautiful bag and I love the fabric too!

  21. This bag is great and that squirrel is too cute! I'm going to check out the fabric shop you used for future projects.

  22. BJ says:

    Great tips on your process, thanks! I've been contemplating putting feet on my next bag and your thoughts are so appreciated. Love the bag – you did a great job!

  23. KaHolly says:

    Lorna, your pocketbook came out magnificently! You should be very, VERY proud of yourself!

  24. Sewmom18 says:

    Your bag looks great. For in the bottom you can also use the light weight cutting boards. I have gotten them 4 in a pack at the dollar store.

  25. Patty says:

    Your bag looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing all about your experience!

  26. I love your bag. The fabrics are adorable. I also just finished the last block on your Jolly Christmas QAL. I loved every block. Thanks you so much for giving us such a great present. Beth

  27. chrisknits says:

    Love it! Must go get that pattern.

  28. Paige says:

    Lorna, amazing job! Very professional and love all the details!