DIY Crossbody Bag

Hi Creative Mamas! This is another great shoulder bag to add to the collection of tote patterns and tutorials on the blog.

Today I want to share with you a super easy way to make a DIY crossbody bag using eco printed fabric.

If you enjoy eco printed bags make sure to check out the drawstring bag tutorial as well as the DIY purse tutorial.

How do you make a simple crossbody bag?

You can use any printed fabric you like or you can also use plain solid colors and add some applique details to make it unique to you.

finished diy crossbody bag using yellow eco printed fabric

I am not using a pattern for this crossbody bag because all you need is a rectangle shape and you can make the rectangle any size you want.

So this tutorial will allow you to make a mini crossbody bag, a medium size crossbody bag or a large crossbody bag depending on the size of the rectangle that you wish to use.

You only need a good sewing machine , some fabric scraps and some beads 🙂

Crossbody bag Sewing Tutorial

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Materials & equipment

Step 1: Fabric scraps

The first thing you need to do is th choose your fabrics.

For this tutorial I am using eco printed fabric scraps of silk that was created when we were filming the video course Eco Printing on Fabric Course.

examples of eco printed silk using iron blankets

I sewed several eco printed fabric scraps left over from my eco print swatches and I made a rectangle that measured 17 inches by 10 inches (43 cm by 25 cm).

You will need 3 rectangle pieces:

  • The top layer of the bag (Eco printed fabric)
  • The lining for the top layer (calico fabric )
  • The back layer for the bag (I am using black corduroy)
different eco printed swatches of fabric sewn together

How do you make a simple crossbody bag?

Place the top layer piece over another rectangle of 100% cotton fabric (calico) to make it more substantial. This is optional, I used a lining piece because the eco printed fabric is a fine silk habotai.

Sew a fine zig zag stitch through both layers over the sewn seams to add some nice detail. This step will also attach the lining and the top layer of the crossbody bag together 🙂

2 pattern pieces of the crossbody bag

Pin the top and bottom rectangles together.

crossbody bag pieces pinned together ready to be sewn

Sew both side seams making sure the top and bottom edge remain open.

crossbody bag stitched together leaving the top opened

How to make a beaded fringe

This step is optional but it can add a nice elegant detail to the bag.

Grab your strip of beads and measure them to match the bottom of the rectangle.

adding a  beaded fringe to the crossbody bag

You will need to remove a few lines of beads to ensure that there is enough space for the sewing seam.

measuring a  beaded fringe to add to the crossbody bag

Pin the beads right sides touching the right side of the top layer of the bag.

pinning the beaded fringe to the bag

Sew in place.

sewing the beaded fringe to the bag

Once the beads are in pace sandwich them inside the bag and sew all the layers together.

At this stage the only side that remains open is the top edge of the bag.

How to sew a bound edge

I wanted to create an elegant sophisticated bag, so I am binding the raw edges inside the bag.

This will give a nice elegant look and it’s a nice finish when you are making a crossbody bag to sell.

Grab a roll of cotton or silk tape cut on the bias. You can buy the tape already cut or you can cut your own tape.

If you are cutting your own tape make sure that it measures 2 inches /5 cm.

binding tape on top of the bag which is inside out

Using the binding tape maker, feed the tape through the metal piece

cotton tape ready to be folded using the metal binding maker

The metal piece will roll the tape within itself and will create a folded binding tape.

making a folded binding tape with the binding maker

Using a hot iron, press the tape as you pull it away from the metal piece. This will ensure that the fold remains in place.

using the iron to press the fold on the binding tape

Unfold the tape and pin it to the side seam on the bag as shown in photo below.

You need to sew the tape around the bag and the right side of the binding tape needs to be touching the inside of the bag.

sewing the binding tape to the bag in order to enclose the raw edge.

Once you have sewn around the bag, roll the binding tape within itself (following the folded lines) and pin on the other side of the bag.

As you can see this will enclose the raw edge.

hand sewing the other side of the binding tape

Using a regular hemming stitch or an invisible stitch, sew the tape around the bag.

Feel free to use hand sewing stitches that you like or are comfortable with).

Use plenty of pins to make sure that you have a neat sewing line and that the raw edges is completely enclosed.

You can also sew this step using your sewing machine but I think hand sewing gives a nicer bag finish.

When you finish, turn the bag inside out and give it a nice press using a hot iron.

half finished crossbody bag

This is how it will look at this stage 🙂

Grab some more binding tape and let’s finish it off by binding around the top edge.

half finished and pressed crossbody bag

Place the tape around the bag’s top edge right sides together.

sewing the binding tape to the top edge of the bag

Sew around using a regular stitch.

Repeat the hand sewing step by folding the tape towards the inside of the bag and hand sewing it.

Fold the top piece of the bag down to create a flap.

Making the crossbody bag strap

Choose a cotton or a haberdashery tape.

Choose a vintage button and sew in the middle of the flap. This is just a detail.

adding a button , a flap and a strat to the purse

Sew the cotton tape by hand right where the flap folds in place.

sewing the strap to the purse

And just like that your crossbody bag is completed!!!

finished shoulder bag with eco printed fabric

It can be used on both sides! Depending on the clothes you are wearing you can use it on the plain side with the eco printed detail at the top.

finished shoulder bag with eco printed fabric

Or you can use it as a focus accessory with the black flap.

finished shoulder bag with eco printed fabric on the reverse side

I always like adding some detail and I love to add a silk scarf in a knot o most of my bags.

It’s a great way to carry a scarf in case I need it 🙂

What should be in a crossbody bag?

This bag is big enough to fit your purse, carry your essentials and even toys for the kids!

finished shoulder bag with eco printed fabric with a hand dyed silk scarf

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and that you make one for yourself or a gift for some special friends . Happy sewing !

How do you make a crossbody bag out of jeans?

If you like upcycling old jeans (or oversized jeans) you will super enjoy this DIY Denim bag as well as this Upcycled jeans tote bag.

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