Little Betty Bag :: Free Pattern And Tutorial

by Destri on October 5, 2012

Little Betty Bag Tutorial

I am so excited with how this little bag turned out!  I have made five now, each time being able to prefect the pattern a little more, and it’s finally ready to release for your sewing pleasure.  The style is a cross body, which is a personal favorite of mine.  It allows for you to put it on and forget it.  Especially handy at the grocery store, or any where else I need free hands to chase little ones.  It fits all the essentials perfectly, making it a great “purse for your purse”  – for a quick grab and go, when you don’t want to take your larger bag.

Little Betty Bag Pattern and Tutorial

It’s fun to sew, and the possibilities for variation are endless.  Plus with less than two fat quarters required or just a few scrap pieces of your favorite fabric it’s super inexpensive to make. I have written up a very detailed tutorial with a photo for almost every step so that even the novice sewer can turn out a great finished product.  You will find it, along with the free PDF download of the pattern pieces after the jump!

The Little Betty Bag Tutorial and Pattern

Cross Body Bag Tutorial

There are many variations that can be made to this bag, but I will let you use your imagination for those, and just go over the steps for the bag I made. After you make one, you will think of all sorts of possibilities. I will give a couple variations on the strap if you prefer not to use chain.  Let’s get started!

Save on ink when printing!  Like I said, this is a very detailed tutorial, with a lot of images. You can read through it and print out only the steps and photos you need using the print button at the bottom of the post. Simply click on the photos and text you don’t need and it will prompt you to delete.

If you are new to sewing I have a Sewing Tips Directory that might come in handy.   Read through the tutorial before beginning, and if you have any questions leave them in the comments where I can help you out!

Fabric requirements:

A half a yard total is more than enough to make the bag body.  If you want a different color for the lining two fat quarters work great. Or just dig through your scrap bucket :)

A heavier fabric works best, like a canvas, twill, or anything that has a sturdy weight.  If you are using lighter weight like quilters cotton, you can iron on an interfacing to the fabric before cutting.

Supplies:

  • all your sewing stuff
  • chain for strap – I like to use chain found in the jewelry making supplies at my craft store – they are more comfortable
  • D-rings or something similar.  I actually used a little buckle clasp I found in the button section and it was perfect. You want the d ring to be 1/2 inch or smaller.
  • a little scrap of bias tape if you have it
  • hot iron

Preparing the Pattern and Fabric Cuts:

Click here to download Free Little Betty Bag PDF Pattern pieces – click on file then download and print.

Print out the pattern at 100% with no scaling, letter format. I provided a 1 inch box on one of the pieces so that you can check it is printing properly. Cut out the pieces and pin to the respective fabric.

You will cut as follows:

  • 1 front yoke from main fabric
  • 1 bag body from main fabric
  • 1 flap piece from main fabric
  • 1 front panel piece from main fabric
  • 2 bag body from lining
  • 1 flap piece from lining

Bag Assembly:

We are going to start with the straps, so they are ready to go.

I used bias tape with the sides sewn for the little straps to connect the D-rings to the bag. You can make your own using scrap from the fabric. You will want two 1/2 inch by  3 inch pieces long (or width to match the ring). The buckle pieces I found in the button section at Hancock’s Fabric were smaller so I used 1/4 inch bias tape.

If you are using a chain strap, you can just skip the next steps for the fabric strap.

If you are making a fabric strap, you will want a 2 x 48 inch strip. You can piece two pieces together to get that length, or simply make it shorter if you like.

Fold over a half an inch towards the center on each side and press like shown in the first image, and then in half again and press like in the second.

You’ll have one 1/2 inch by 48 long strip when your done,  now just sew up the side and set aside.

Next up the front yoke.  With a hot iron and the steam on, press the outer edges over a full 1/4 inch.  I find it easier to start with the curved tips, working the rounded edges with my fingers.  Hold and press for a few seconds when you have them just right. Let cool and then fold over the sides and press. Then sew a basting stitch on the inside edge like shown. Set aside.

Now take the large front panel piece, sew a basting stitch (largest stitch on machine normally) across the top. Pull on the bobbin thread to gather.

Take the back outer panel of the bag to use as a guide – lay your gathered piece on top and adjust gathering to match.  These two pieces will form the outer bag.  You can see how I focused on putting the gathers towards the center and left an inch on the ends that were not.

Take the front yoke and pin to the center of the gathered panel. This is where you’ll make sure the gathers are within the yoke, and the ends are flat.  Hold up to the outer back panel again, just to make sure it still matches in length.

Sew a basting stitch across the top.

Your piece should look like this, with all the gathers under the yoke.

Now press the gathers with a hot iron.  Again you want the gathers to fall within the yoke.

After you press the gathers pin the sides to hold them within the yoke. You can see in the picture how my gathers reach right to the edge of the yoke. Sew with a slightly longer stitch length than usual (perfect for topstitching) starting at the top on one side. Sew down to the point and stop, cut threads – move to the other side and sew again to tip. Make sure to give a little backstitch.

Now pick out the basting stitch on the yoke.  There’s your front panel!

Now we’ll add the magnetic closure to the front panel.  You want the female part centered on the bottom tip of the yoke, but not to close to the edges. Just line it up, mark your lines, then snip the holes cutting through all the layers.  Hold the magnet there again and double check you have it right.

Push the prongs though, add the washer, and then press the prongs down.

Now take the front and back outer panels and pin with the right sides together.  I like to start by pinning the top and bottom, making sure it’s centered.

Then work around the edges, working the corners and pinning as you go. The front panel will have a little more pucker from the gathers, but you want that.  Just line up the edges to the back panel and it will look great when sewn.

After lining up the corners and sides, you might have a little corner peeking up like shown in the picture. Just cut it off.

Now sew around the perimeter leaving the top open.  Make sure to check your stitch length and that it is at a regular setting.  Then snip out little notches around the corners like shown. Turn out and press, getting the corners nice and round.

Take the two body lining pieces and sew right sides together leaving the top open, and a 3 inch opening along the bottom.  notch out corners like above, turn out and press.

Take the two flap pieces and sew with the right sides together leaving the top open.  Notch out corners, and cut the corner at the point.

Turn out and press, working those corners nice and round, and the point crisp.  You can topstitch (how to get a great looking topstitch) around the outer edge if you like.

 

Now lets add the magnetic part.  Lay the flap (lining side up) on top of the yoke of the outer bag.  You will want the flap edges  overlapping the yoke a smidgen (1/4 inch or less).  Hold the male part over the top to mark where you will want the magnet to go. Measure twice – cut once!

Use a small piece of fabric for reinforcement, cutting slits and adding below the washer.

Now take the flap, center it on the back of the outer body matching the top edges – right sides together like shown.  Pin the side pieces with rings attached to the side seams of the outer bag piece. Pay attention to how much of the bias on the ring you leave to be shown when sewn up – I left about a half inch.

Now just sew the flap and side pieces in place with a basting stitch.

Leaving the right side out, place the outer body of the bag inside the lining so that the right sides are together like shown in the picture. Line up the top edges, and sew around the entire top edge.

Now pull the outer body of the bag through the hole you left on the bottom of the lining.  Press the edges in on the hole to match the seam.

Then stitch the opening closed.  Fold the lining inside the bag outer body.

This is how it should look, and now all you have to do is add the strap. You can add a topstitch around the top of the bag opening if you want too.

 

To add the fabric strap, just loop around the D-rings and sew in place.  For the chain strap, make the chain 48 inches long, using needle nose pliers to open the links of necessary.  Close the end links around the D-ring with the pliers.

**If you have no hardware, or don’t care to use it – you can just sew the fabric straps onto the bag.  When you sew the top of the bag’s outer piece and lining before turning out, leave a small opening at the side seams to add the straps after turning out.

And you’re finished! Here is a good picture to show you the size – it holds my card sleeve, sunglasses, iphone, and lip gloss perfectly.

Perfect for a night out, quick trip to the store, or even to keep in your larger purse to grab out when you don’t want to lug around all the weight.

Again, use the print button below to delete images and text you don’t need and save on ink.  You can also make the print larger if needed!

Any questions? I’m here to help, just leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them there.

Thanks so much, and I can’t wait to see the pictures coming in on your finished Little Betty Bags!

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria October 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm

ADORABLE, and I think I may even be able to do this with my novice sewing skills, going to go look through my scrap box……

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Destri October 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I may hold you to it :) Thanks Maria!

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Dita October 5, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Really beautiful!
Thank you for the instruction, I’m sharing this to my twitter followers :)

Dita

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Destri October 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Thank you so much Dita, I appreciate it!

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Chris October 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm

This is just darling, Destri. I attended a conference last weekend in Vegas, and didn’t even think about needing an evening bag. Next time, I’ll make one of these!

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Charlotte October 6, 2012 at 3:29 am

So cute, and the fabric is a lovely choice for it. I want one. Guess i’ll have to get some fabric from the market! It’s £1.20 a metre so i’ll have to make some for gifts too!

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Suzanne October 6, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Destri-
This is so adorable I love it so much, I wish I could have a little girl again! But someday I may have grandkids so I’ll have to get crafty then :)

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Carmen October 10, 2012 at 8:33 am

Could you send me the link to the pattern pieces for the Little Betty Bag? It won’t download for me. Thank you! Carmen

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JOY October 10, 2012 at 11:02 am

Beautiful job. Your tut makes it look so easy but yet the purse doesn’t look simple. Pinning this to share. Found your link via “How About Orange.”

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Saffron Craig fabrics October 14, 2012 at 11:01 pm

This is one of the sweetest, funkiest purses I have seen, thanks for sharing the pattern and writing such a great tutorial.

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Alyssa October 15, 2012 at 12:53 am

This bag is adorable ! I’ve been looking for one like this for so long. I’m probably the least crafty person, although I wish I could do stuff like this. Could you posssibly sell me one ?

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Saffron Craig fabrics October 15, 2012 at 2:09 am

Using this pattern I just created a funky clutch. This pattern is just what I have been looking for. I would say it is a 100% successful pattern. Thanks so much for creating it.

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Gill November 29, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Thank you so much for posting this super cute bag tutorial! I’ve been looking for a long time to find a free pattern for this type of bag! Thank you!

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Suvi December 9, 2012 at 10:34 am

Hello! This pattern is so lovely that I am about to make already the third bag from it. The best Christmas present idea for a long time. I tried it with different fabric and twice made it without the pattern (did not print out properly, now it does) so I made a square bag out of it (kind of messenger bag).

THANK YOU!

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Hailey December 15, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Thank you for your post so cute bag .^^

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Sandhya December 18, 2012 at 10:54 pm

A detailed tutorial for a lovely clutch/purse.

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Megan Whiteley December 22, 2012 at 1:20 am

Love it!! I needed a little evening purse so made one using this pattern. Really pleased with how it has turned out. Such a good tutorial with all the pictures! Thank you!

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Sherry Brown January 8, 2013 at 10:31 am

I love this little bag. I am just starting out making bags and this is a favorite! I have made 2 already. How can I send you the pictures of them?
Thank you for the pattern.

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Destri January 9, 2013 at 6:07 am

Oooo, I love getting pics!! Just send them to destri @ themotherhuddle .com (with no spaces).
So glad you like the pattern!

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Viera January 20, 2013 at 9:11 am

Thank you very much for this perfect pattern and tutorial. I just finished my first bag and it looks great.

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Connie January 25, 2013 at 11:03 am

This is EXACTLY what I need as an accessory for a play I’m in next week. Thank you so much for creating and sharing…

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blueheaven January 31, 2013 at 10:03 pm

I really love your bag but also really hate google docs. How the heck do I download a pattern without “joining”????

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Intan Zulhilmi February 11, 2013 at 2:05 am

Hai, my name is intan and i’m from Malaysia. Thank you very much for this perfect pattern and tutorial. I just finished my first bag and it looks great. Please feel free to visit my blog http://intanzhandmadeshop.blogspot.com/2013/02/little-betty-bag.html

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Destri February 14, 2013 at 11:33 am

Oh my, it is beautiful!! Do you mind if I share? Great photography too! Do you plan on selling them? I have had a lot of requests, just no time :)

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Intan Zulhilmi February 15, 2013 at 12:19 am

Yes! Sure, why not. Please share it and i feel very happy. I’ve plan to make it as my ready stock item. I hope it will come true as soon as possibble. Wish me luck! :)

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Laura Nygaard February 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I am just getting ready to make one! How much chain did you use for the strap? Want to go that route and need to know how much to get.

Thanks,

Laura

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Destri February 21, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Hi Laura, about 46 to 48 inches was perfect for me. I have made a couple now with just a little wristlet strap, super cute! Let me know how it goes :)

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Bev March 4, 2013 at 5:10 am

Hi Destri

Thank you so much for sharing this pattern – I have just completed it and it is lovely – I intend to make lots more. The instructions are clear and the bag is very easy to make.
Bev, Perth, Australia

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Niki April 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm

So so so adorable! Can’t wait to make one. The chain option is too sweet.

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Alyssa June 2, 2013 at 12:16 am

Hi Destri, I was wondering if the pattern pieces include seam allowances? I’m looking forward to making this bag!
Thanks!

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Destri August 8, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Hi Alyssa,

They do!

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Linda June 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I just discovered your adorable bag pattern. It’s just what I was looking for to make for Christmas gifts. Thank you so much for sharing. I think it’s time to sign up and follow The Mother Huddle!

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Kay June 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm

I can’t wait to try this! What seam allowance do you use on the bag body?

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Duyen Nguyen July 11, 2013 at 5:32 am

Thank you for your tutorial. I will send a picture ofò my product when finished

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Catherine July 24, 2013 at 11:29 am

Thank you very much for this pattern and tutorial, very easy to follow – I made it for my son’s girlfriend to match his dickie bow for his debs. Gonna make loads more :)

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Megan August 9, 2013 at 7:41 pm

I just found the tutorial on Pinterest and fell in love! I finally got done with my bag – I modified it a tab to make a larger version and I LOVE it!

I blogged about it here with some pictures:
http://fromiowatola.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/big-betty-bag/

Thanks for the tutorial and pattern!

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Destri September 11, 2013 at 11:16 am

Megan, it turned out great! Love how you made it bigger too :) Thanks so much for letting me know!

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Linda August 19, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Love this little bag!! I wanted to know if I could post my completed bag on Craftsy giving you the recognition for the pattern & tutorial? Please let me know! Thank you! You have my e-mail address!

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Destri September 3, 2013 at 9:50 am

Yes! I would love to see it too! Thanks so much :)

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Amanda August 30, 2013 at 11:39 pm

This is a very cute pattern. I had trouble following the the directions though. (I did not try to make it yet, I just read through the directions.) I start having troubles after the ruffle part.
I reallt hope to make this bag though. I would love the following situation
“Wow, your bag is so cute, where did you get it?”
Ha ha! Nose in the air! :)

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Destri September 3, 2013 at 9:46 am

Hi Amanda,

I always find it easier to understand as I am sewing – then you have it front of you to work out. Always a good idea to go through the directions first too. Once you get started, let me know where your stuck and I will help you along!

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Amanda September 3, 2013 at 9:55 am

Sounds like a plan.

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sydel September 2, 2013 at 12:46 am

thanks for a beautifully detailed tutorial and pattern. about to go and make mine now.

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Rebecca Barclay February 16, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Hi, I just love this bag pattern, I made my first one in lovely cotton fabrics, but then experimented with silk covered lace, sequined and sparkled. They all turn out beautiful and look so glamourous. Can I send you pictures?

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CrankyBeach March 6, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Just finished my first experiment, and have a few suggestions.

1) Mark the top center of each piece, and the bottom center of each bag piece. That will enable you to match center points when sewing pieces together, especially the gathered parts.

2) Since I used lightweight fabric, I put 2 layers of featherweight interfacing between the flap and its lining, and I machine-basted a layer of leftover fleece to the wrong side of each lining piece, and then trimmed the fleece as close as I could to the basting before sewing the lining pieces together. And because of the bulk, when I sewed the lining pieces together, I used a seam allowance 1/8 inch larger than when I sewed the outside bag pieces together. The fleece is a bit bulky, but it makes the finished bag nicely padded.

3) When I sewed the flap and its lining together, I pinned it with the lining side down, and arranged it such that the lining edge stood about 1/8 inch proud from the main fabric edge. By doing this, once the piece was turned, it was easier to press the lining to the underside of the flap where it belongs.

4) My glasses case doesn’t QUITE fit into the bag along with my phone and billfold… so the next bag is going to be a little bit bigger.

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Cathy July 13, 2014 at 1:39 pm

I made mine with silver faux leather, silver chain and a rhinestone encrusted button on the front. Came out gorgeous! Thanks for the pattern!

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Destri July 16, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Oh! I would love to see pictures! motherhuddle at gmail dot com

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