Change up handbags to suit any occasion! We have bags for travel, totes for shopping, and handbags for special events. I’m often asked how to create bags. To share innovative tips and handbag sewing upgrades, I’ve devoted a two-part Sewing With Nancy series that you can watch online. We’ll take one pattern and modify it five ways!

Handbag #1: Cinched Tote

Kicking off this second episode of Nancy’s Favorite Handbag Sewing Techniques is the cinched tote. Made with double-quilted fabric, a continuous or infinity strap weaves in and out of the grommets providing flexibility and expandability at the same time. It’s easy to make and enjoyable to carry.

Did you know that you can create piping with a serger? You’ll learn this sewing tidbit when you watch the show or follow along in the Nancy’s Favorite Handbag Sewing Techniques book from Nancy’s Notions.

How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With NancyWhen you unleash the cinch, you’ll find loads of room. I’ll show you how to modify your handbag pattern or template, to add grommets, and to make infinity straps, using Create-A-Strap. It’s rather magical!

How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With Nancy

 Handbag #2: Yoga Tote

With a few modifications, turn your handbag into a handy Yoga Tote with adjustable infinity straps. Not into Yoga? Use it for a picnic tote with convenient storage for a blanket. Or, make another option for going to the beach and easily store lofty towels. Regardless, it’s a handy carryall with many possibilities.


How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With Nancy

Learn how to add tabs made with Fuse ‘n Bind to the tote or bag to make it a carryall for mats, blankets, and towels.

Handbag sewing tips Nancy Zieman Sewing With Nancy

Handbag #3: Monogrammed Faux-Leather Bag

Simple details—that’s what I like in handbags. Adding a monogram provides an elegant statement without adding clutter. Stitch the embroidered accent on faux leather, faux ostrich fabric to be exact, and master two new sewing skills while creating one trendy handbag.

How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With NancyEmbroidery tips on vinyl include:

  • Using a 75 Universal needle
  • Backing fabric with lightweight fusible interfacing
  • Hooping the stabilizer, not the fabric

How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With Nancy

Handbag #4: Ribbon-Accent Bag

If you watched the first episode of this series, you’ve already seen this handbag. With this design I detail how to add the inside support and construction of a handbag from the bottom up! (You’ll have to tune in to see the details!)

How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With NancyHandbag #5: Market Tote

This handbag or tote incorporates the most requested upgrade—a customized recessed zipper. (I know you can’t see it from this angle, remember the closure is recessed!) Regardless of your pattern, I’ll show you how to add a zipper. If you’re using the Trace ‘n Create Bag Florida Tote Template, you’ll find the patterns printed in the book.

The sewing features of this bag are also shown in the first Sewing With Nancy episode of Nancy’s Favorite Handbag Sewing Techniques.

How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With Nancy


Watch Nancy’s Favorite Handbag Sewing Techniques on Sewing With Nancy online.

For a chance to win a Florida Bag Template  from Clover, please leave a comment sharing what bag style you will be making for spring.

Trace 'n Create Florida Bag Template by Nancy Zieman and Clover USA

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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