Sling Bag Tutorial

Learn how to make the cutest sling bag with the easiest instructions by Crazy Little Projects!

This sling bag is so fun to make and very easy with no pattern necessary! It has beautiful pleats in the front and back, a padded strap, and even a pocket. It is large too, so you can carry everything you need.

Sling Bag Tutorial
by Crazy Little Projects

I didn’t have a pattern, just pictures of similar bags and I figured I could pull it off, but I was a little nervous. It worked out great though and was really pretty easy.

Here’s What You Need:

1 yard main fabric
1 yard accent/inner fabric
1/4 yard lining (optional)

Check out The Ribbon Retreat’s fabric for a wonderful selection of coordinating fabrics.

Here’s How to Make It:

Start out by laying out your fabric and cutting basically a half circle with these dimensions: 23″ across the top, 14.5″ from the top to the bottom of the circle. Cut 2 of these.

Cut a half circle.

Now, to make the pleats in the bag you will start at the center of the bag and make one pleat that is about 2 inches. Pull the fabric under and pin it on either side:

Then, working out from there do two more pleats on each side each about another 2 inches apart or so. Make sure that the pleats match up on both sides so that your bag is even:

Here’s what it should look like from the bottom:

And here is what each individual pleat looks like up close:

Mine measured 13″ across the top once I had all the pleats in.

Once you have them all pinned in place, run a stitch along the top to secure your pleats. Then remove your pins:

Do that to both sides of the bag making sure that your two sides of the bag come out even.

Then, match up both sides of the bag with right sides together and sew around the outside leaving only the top open:

Now, using your accent fabric, cut a strip that is 4″ wide and at least 30″ long.

Pin it around the inside lip of your bag with right sides touching.

Pin all the way around until the fabric goes all the way around the top of the bag. When you have a full circle, trim off your excess and sew it together:

Then sew around the top opening. It should look like this when you are done:

Now, lay your outer bag on your inner fabric. You are going to use this as your pattern for your inside.

Cut around the bag to form your inner bag. Cut 2 pieces.

It should look like this:

I wanted a pocket on the inside of the bag, so I made that next.

Cut out a piece of your outer fabric that is 9.5″ by 7.5.” Then fold it in half, right sides together and stitch around it leaving a small opening to turn it.

Turn it and press it flat.

Place it where you want it on the inner fabric and sew it in place:

Now, with right sides together, sew around the outside of your inner fabric.

Now, turn the outside of your bag right side out and place your inner part down inside of it.

Now to make the strap. Cut 2 pieces of your accent 3″ by 33.”
(My photo shows a 4″ wide strap, but I felt like it was too wide.)

For the strap I wanted to line it so it would hold up better. You can use lining. I used felt. Either one works. The felt makes it a little bulky but also helps it stay sturdy.

With right sides of the fabric in and the lining on the outside (on just one side of the strap) sew down the long side of the strap. Do this on both sides:

Turn it right side out. Top stitch on each long side of the strap:

We’re almost done! Stick your strap down in between your inner bag and outer bag pieces on the far edges of your bag. Stick it way down in there so it will be nice and secure. Pin it in place.

Next, fold down the inner and outer fabric on the top of the bag (towards each other) to create your top hem and press them. Stitch all the way around the bag. I did it twice-once with about a 1/2″ hem and once right at the very edge of the bag:

Last I top stitched where the outer bag fabric meets the accent fabric:

And that’s it! Now you’ve got a great bag to carry all sorts of treasures. If your bag is at all like mine, it will be a dungeon that will hide all the things you are looking for.

If you like this and want to see more visit me at Crazy Little Projects or on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. Or try the RSS Feed.

Thank you Amber!

I love everything Amber creates. This is an awesome bag that comes together so easily! Please visit her blog or other pages and see what else she creates. She has fun recipes, crafts for kids, and so much more!

And as always, check out our wonderful fabric selection! We have new fabrics that come in weekly, so check out our new stuff as well as our clearance section for great deals!

If you have a fun blog and wonderful tutorials, we would love to have you on The Ribbon Retreat as a contributor! Check out our Project Submission Page for more details and to apply.

Have a great day! ~ Shirley, The Ribbon Retreat Blog Editor

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  1. Posted July 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I love this bag and the material is gorgeous! Looks so easy:)

  2. Posted July 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I love this bag! I am going to try and make it as a gift for a friend. Thanks!

  3. Nikki
    Posted July 11, 2012 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    LOVE this tutorial!!! I made one this evening! It was super easy to navigate through, I can’t wait to make more! Thanks for sharing!!! 🙂

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted July 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      You’re so welcome Nikki! I bet it turned out SO cute! Thanks for your comment. Have a great day! – Shirley 🙂

  4. Lucia
    Posted July 14, 2012 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    Love this! I will be trying it and give it to my sis as a gift, I’m sure she’ll love it. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

  5. sussy
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Excelente tutorial.

  6. Vanessa
    Posted September 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I love this tutorial, I’m working on it but the only thing I dont understand is how do you install the liner??

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted September 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      After you’ve made your inner and outer pieces, you will put the inner piece inside the outer piece, wrong sides together. Then you’ll add your straps and fold the edges of the top of the inner and outer pieces to make the hem. Most bags you will sew and then turn right side out, but with this one you skip that step by folding the edges in and then just sewing. Have you made the liner yet? – Shirley 🙂

  7. Vanessa
    Posted September 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Oh ok. yes I’m on that step now 😀 finally, thank you for clearing it up, I think I understand it. lol I sandwich the strap inbetween the liner and the outer bag then fold the tops inward and sew?

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Yep! You’ve got it! Let me know how it goes. 🙂

  8. ms lin
    Posted November 24, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    do u have a printable pattern i love the bag.
    ms. lin

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted November 24, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Hi Ms. Lin, we don’t have a pattern, but the dimensions for the fabric should be helpful. Even if you are a little off, you will love the look of your bag. Good luck! – Shirley 🙂

  9. Shae
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Wow this bag is so good I love it 😀 it looks good and it’s looks easy to make thanks for posting it up

  10. Angela Britton
    Posted December 24, 2013 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Oh my goodness this is too darn cute!! My girls would love them definitely putting this on my list if projects!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Posted December 24, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Hi Angela! Thank you so so much! You are adorable and amazing! I would love to see a picture when you are done with this super fun bag. You can send it to me at I love seeing our reader’s projects! Wahooooo! Thank you again Angela!

  11. Posted January 25, 2016 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    very helpful tutorial..would love to have it with a zip..

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted January 26, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Hi Agnes! Thank you so much for your comment! I am so glad you love this fun tutorial. I also love bags with zippers! I am sure you could alter this bag to put a zipper in it and it would look amazing! Have a great day and thank you again! Michelle 🙂

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