Sew fabric strips to a muslin foundation to create a simple, yet stylish bag. Fabrics are from the Persia collection by P&B Textiles.
Floral Strips Bag
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Inspired by Strip Ease from designer Bari J. Ackerman

Quilt tester: Mary Pepper

  • 3/8 yard blue stripe (bag front and back)
  • 1/2 yard muslin (bag front and back foundations)
  • 18x21" piece (fat quarter) each turquoise print and dark blue print (bag front and back)
  • 1/4 yard blue print (handles)
  • 1/3 yard green floral (inside pocket)
  • 2--18x21" pieces (fat quarters) assorted light green prints (lining)
  • 1/2 yard fusible fleece

Finished tote: 12x12"

Quantities are for 42"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics.

Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" for patterns. To make templates, trace each pattern onto a large sheet of folded paper, cut out on drawn lines, and unfold. Cut blue stripe rectangles lengthwise (parallel to selvages), centered over desired stripe.

From blue stripe, cut:

  • 2--5x12-1/2" rectangles

From muslin, cut:

  • 2 of Pattern A

From each turquoise print and dark blue print, cut:

  • 4--2-1/2x12-1/2" strips

From blue print, cut:

  • 2--3-1/2x20-1/2" strips

From green floral, cut:

  • 2 of Pattern B

From each light green print, cut:

  • 1 of Pattern A

From fusible fleece, cut:

  • 2 of Pattern A
  • 2--3-1/2x20-1/2" strips

Assemble Bag Front and Back

1. Place blue stripe 5x12-1/2" rectangle right side up on a muslin A piece, matching centers.

2. Place a turquoise print 2-1/2x12-1/2" strip facedown on blue stripe rectangle, matching right-hand raw edges. Stitch in place (Diagram 1).


3. Press turquoise print strip open. Matching right-hand edges, sew a dark blue print 2-1/2x12-1/2" strip to turquoise print strip (Diagram 2). Press open as before.


4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to add turquoise and dark blue print 2-1/2x12-1/2" strips to left-hand edge of center blue stripe rectangle.

5. Sew a scant 1/4" from curved edges of muslin A piece (Diagram 3). Trim pieced strips even with muslin A edges.


6. Fuse a fleece A piece to wrong side of muslin A piece to make bag front.

7. Repeat steps 1–6 to make bag back.

Prepare Handles

1. Fuse a fleece 3-1/2x20-1/2" strip to wrong side of each blue print 3-1/2x20-1/2" strip.

2. With right sides together, sew together long raw edges of a Step 1 strip (Diagram 4). Turn right side out and press, centering seam on underside. Sew five rows of stitching 1/4" apart to make a handle.


3. Repeat Step 2 to make a second handle.

Prepare Lining

1. Sew together green floral B pieces along pair of straight edges. Press seam in one direction, then press green floral pieces with wrong sides together. Topstitch 1/8" from straight edge seam to make pocket unit.

2. Aligning rounded edges, position pocket unit on right side of a light green print A piece. Join edges with a scant 1/4" seam. Draw a centerline and stitch to create two pockets (Diagram 5), reinforcing at upper edge with a small stitched triangle.


3. With right sides together, sew together Step 2 unit and remaining light green print A piece, leaving upper edge open and a 4" opening at lower edge for turning, to make bag lining.

Assemble Bag

1. Referring to Diagram 6, position handle raw ends on right side of bag front 3" on each side of center. Baste in place. Repeat to add handle to bag back.


2. Sew bag front and back together, leaving upper edge open, to make bag body. Turn right side out.

3. With right sides together, slip bag body into lining, matching side seams (Diagram 7). Sew together upper edges of bag body and lining.


4. Turn bag right side out through lining opening. Machine-stitch opening closed.

5. Insert lining into bag body. Press bag upper edge and topstitch 1/8" from upper edge to complete bag.