Handbags—many of us are obsessed with them. We have bags for travel, totes for shopping, and handbags for special occasions. It’s no wonder that I’m asked sewing questions each week on 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.

Handbag #1: Cinched Tote

Kicking off this second episode 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 the serger? You’ll learn that sewing tidbit when you watch the show or follow along in the book.

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 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 already saw this handbag. With this design I detailed how to add the inside support and construction of a handbag from the bottom up! (You 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 make one. 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. Click on the blue link to watch online.

How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With Nancy

Watch Nancy’s Favorite Handbag Sewing Techniques online.

To watch Sewing With Nancy on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, download the app.

 New Book and DVD

Nancy Zieman's Favorite Handbag Sewing Techniques BookHandy Florida Tote Template Set!

This is the pattern that I used to create all five bags. I prefer templates as the shape and size never changes.

Trace 'n Create Florida Tote Template by Nancy Zieman

Don’t forget to enter my Fall Table Runner Challenge—$1000 in total prizes!

Nancy Zieman's Fall Table Runner Challenge 2015 Badge

Click here to see how to enter. Make sure you are subscribed to my enews mailing list so you won’t miss a thing. Sign up here.

Bye for now,

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