This summer I was invited to a "Favorite Things" party. I wasn't lucky enough to come home with a snappy bag, but the seed was planted and they have become my go-to sewing project ever since.
I love that they're quick, useful and I can use up some scraps to make them. The tape measure inside snaps itself straight, making for a self-closing bag. No more loose change, toys or chapstick floating around your purse!
Let's get started:
Cut two pieces of fabric, identical sizes. A good starting point is 7" x 14". I've done bigger and smaller, too.
Stack them, right sides together.
Stitch around the outside edge, leaving an unsewn opening, about 1.5". Before turning the bag right-side out, clip those corners to help those corners turn to a nice point.
Fold inside edge (of short end) over tape measure to measure width.
My tape measure was 1.5". Pin edge down, and mark opposite edge the same.
Sew both edges to create a channel for tape measure.
Fold bag in half, wrong sides together. Stitch just ONE length of bag closed. (I chose to stitch the side with my turning opening first, to make sure I caught that.)
After sewing the first side, measure the length of tape measure needed, accounting for seam allowance. Bend tape to length and crease. The easiest way to cut to length is to snap the tape in half with a pair of pliers (second time raiding the tool box for this project!).
Cut two lengths.
Round off the edges of the tape measure (with a pair of BAD scissors, not your sewing scissors!!) and cover the sharp edges with tape. Electrical tape works really well, but I'd raided the tool box too many times and we were out. Packing tape works well, too. You just want to cover those edges so they don't cut through your fabric. Trim off your extra tape to keep bulk down.
Slide tape measure into channels, making sure the concave side (the one with the numbers) is facing the lining, or inside, of your bag.
Push the tape as far away from opening, pin and sew closed.
Pinch off bottom corners to square them off, making the bottom of the bag boxy. You will have a pointy triangle. Mark both corners and sew across.
After sewing both corners, clip the excess fabric.
You can zig-zag stitch that raw edge, but I've never had a problem leaving it as is.
Turn the bag right-side out (working the tape measure can be a little tricky, but just make it bend for you as you flip it out), push out corners and enjoy!