These Bags Look Good With Cotton and Linen, Too!

Lisa Stewart

I am not a bonafide bag maker in that I don't have a stash of bag making supplies like hardware, vinyl or cork fabric, or lots of zippers. (I have a feeling that will be changing!) After my experience with The Penelope Bag (my first attempt sewing vinyl), I have been a little leery of my abilities in making something I would be happy to share. Patricia suggested that I work my way through at least some of the patterns as I assist in the editing before publication, so it gives another set of knowledgeable eyes on the final product. She was correct!

I have had a particular fabric in my stash for years that was down to scraps, but I love it and can't part with it. I also loved pairing it with linen. Neither fabric was typical to the style of the cosmetic bag. And I only had a metal 7" inch zipper. But my fingers were itching to make something on the day I decided to give The Cici Too Cosmetic Bag a try.

First up, I decided I wanted to fussy-cut my fabric. There were several motifs that I liked, but the fact that I was working with scraps added a challenge. I cut out the exterior pattern piece carefully so that I could place the cutout over various areas to see what would fit, choosing two different motifs for each side. In doing this, I remembered to allow for the seam allowance and the overlay.

As you see, one side could have been moved down slightly, but I am still pleased with the arrangement. I then marked the inside corners as a guide for my pattern piece. 

The second modification was the overlay. The linen was going to be folded so the raw edges would be enclosed in the seams and to add thickness for the bag to stand up. This was a midweight linen and combined with the SF101 added plenty of structure.I modified the overlay pattern by drawing straight across the pattern piece, eliminating the curves.

I then cut the linen on the fold for a doubled overlay.

The last item was the short zipper. Because this was my first attempt at inserting a zipper in a bag, I wasn't sure where I could modify to allow for the 1" shorter zipper. Now that the bag is finished, I realize that the zipper tabs could be increased to allow for the difference. Note in the pictures that I have a 1/4" or so gap at the ends, where the pattern only intends about 1/8". As my blue lining matches the eggs perfectly on the exterior, I do not mind. 

I was pleased with how my bag turned out. The bottom seams didn't match up as well as Patricia's bags, but they are evenly off on each side. ;o) I should have finished the cut edges of the linen before putting the overlay together by zigzag stitching. I realized this AFTER I had the corners boxed and stitched and was concerned if I removed the stitching to even up the seam that my fabric would fray too much. Fray Check probably would've helped, too. The overlay side seams matched beautifully. I basted them together before stitching the sides. Sorry I didn't get a picture of the sides. 

I ended up having a great time working through the pattern. I took my time and learned a lot. I practiced top stitching scraps of linen. I took the topstitching out at the zipper 3 times. And I didn't get frustrated once - I just enjoyed the process. 

And I keep my little bag sitting out so I can see the fabric that I am so strangely attracted to. It sits with feathers and rocks that I've collected, but whenever we actually get to go on a trip, it will be going with me - maybe for more collecting!

Don't be afraid to try modifications on the patterns in order to use supplies that you have on hand or more to your style. I am so pleased that I gave it a try and am eager to start another project. 

Have you made modifications to Kaya Papaya Design patterns? We'd love to hear and see what you've done. Comment below, post on our Facebook page or join the Facebook Pattern Group

Whether you are a beginner or an expert bag maker, we'd love to have you join our Facebook Pattern Group. Ask questions, give guidance and encouragement, share your makes. Patricia is always quick to answer questions, and loves your feedback. 

Please feel free to comment, but be aware that Shopify doesn't offer a way for us to respond. If you have any questions, please PM through Facebook, or email us at We'd love to hear from you!


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