You don't need color to stand out. Make a scrappy bag using black-and-white prints, dots, and stripes. Tear fabric strips to create texture on this quick-to-assemble bag.


Inspired by "Bare Necessities" from designer Jeanne Pryor
Project maker: Judy Sams Sohn

Scraps of assorted black-and-white prints, stripes, and dots (bag)
8x17" rectangle muslin (foundation)
6x16" rectangle black-and-white floral (lining)
1 yard 1/4"-wide, twisted cord: black (strap)

Finished bag: 6x7-1/2"

Quantities are for 100% cotton fabrics. Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Tear or cut fabrics (tearing the strips adds more texture to their edges).

From assorted black-and-white prints, stripes, and dots, tear:

Enough 8"-long strips in widths ranging from 1/2" to 1" to cover foundation {C}Download this Project

Assemble Outer Bag

1. Referring to Diagram 1, align a 1"-wide strip with left-hand short edge of muslin 8x17" rectangle; sew together, stitching 1/4" from aligned edges. Repeat to add a second 1"-wide strip to right-hand short edge.

2. Place a strip of desired width so it slightly overlaps unsewn edge of first strip (Diagram 2); pin in place. Stitch 1/8" to 1/4" from overlapped edge.

3. Repeat Step 2 until muslin rectangle is covered with strips to make bag top (Diagram 3).

4. Referring to photo on page 1 and Diagram 4, sew narrower, shorter strips randomly to bag top, trimming lengths as desired and stitching down center of each new strip.

5. Trim bag top to measure 6-1/2x17".

6. With right side inside, fold bag top in half to measure 6-1/2x8-1/2" (Diagram 5). Sew together along long edges. Turn and press under remaining raw edges 1" to make outer bag. Turn right side out.

Add Lining and Strap and Finish Bag

1. With right side inside, fold black-and-white floral 6x16" rectangle in half to measure 6x8" (Diagram 6). Sew together along long edges. Turn and press under raw edges 1/2" to make bag lining.

2. Fray 1" of twisted cord end to separate strands. Sew cord strands to inside of outer bag at one side seam with three or four rows of short machine stitches (Diagram 7). Trim ends. Repeat with remaining end of cord at opposite side seam.

3. With wrong sides together, insert bag lining into outer bag, matching seams. Hand-stitch top folded edge of lining to top of outer bag to complete bag.