Friday, January 21, 2011

Selvage Bag Tutorial

This is my first tutorial. . . so please, be kind. I tried to take pictures of everything, and my dear husband (Mr. HowDoYouDo) was so helpful.
 Tara over at Tinkerfrog taught the class where I made my prototype at the Mama Said Sew craft party in Fort Collins, CO last Friday night. 

What you will need:

*Duct tape
*Metal measuring tape you don't mind cutting up (the dollar store is a great place to pick one up)
*Lots and lots of different selvage edges

1.Cut one piece of muslin approximately 7 inches wide and 14 inches long. This is going to be the base fabric that you sew your selvages on to. 
(The size can be modified depending on how large you want your bag, the instructions following are assuming this starting size and will make approximately a 6 inch x 7 inch bag.)

2. Sew your selvages on to the muslin. Sew close to the uncut edge of the selvage. Sew each selvage on top of the one before close to the uncut edge (am I making any sense yet???).

3. After all your muslin is covered, use your quilting ruler (that is what this tool is called right?) and rotary blade and cut your block to 6 inches wide, making all sides straight and even.

4. Measure your block and cut in half to make two blocks.

5. Cut two pieces of muslin, 6 inches by 3 1/2 inches.

6. Sew the first piece of muslin to the top of one of the blocks, right sides together.
(Repeat with second block.)

7. Sew sides and bottom of your selvage blocks right sides together stopping just before the muslin.

8. Clip corners and seams and turn right side out.

9. With wrong sides together, sew both sides of muslin (trust me it will make sense eventually, maybe).

10. Fold muslin out and down twice creating a casing. 

11. Stitch casing (this was the hardest part trust me) leaving an opening large enough to insert measuring tape pieces.

12. Cut two pieces of measuring tape the width of the bag.

13. Cover measuring tape pieces with duct tape (so there are no sharp edges).

14. Insert measuring tape pieces into casing, one on each side of bag, with the curve of the tape facing out.

15. Hand stitch casing opening.

16. Fold casing down and into the bag. The pieces of tape will be curve out creating a closure in the bag. 

My favorite part is how the measuring tape creates a tight closure. It is such a cool idea. You just bend the tape to open the bag. It has a tighter closure than some of my bags with magnetic snaps! If your bag does not close tightly, it is because the tape is too short for the casing. That happened to me on my prototype, so I sewed some decorative buttons on the bag to make the casing shorter. Worked great.

Hopefully this made some kind of sense. It was a really fun project to make and a definite challenge making the tutorial. If anyone tries the project, let me know how it goes or if you have any questions.

And because most people are here just to see Lily Bear. . . here is the money shot:


  1. Selvage edge projects are so cool. Lily is really adorable....soooooo cute!!!


  2. Love Lily, she's so cute!!!! I love your tutorial, thank you for sharing, I'm amazed with the measuring tape you used!!!

  3. What a wicked idea to use a measuring tape for a closure. I'm going to make one to put my GPS in. Thanks for sharing. Your tutorial is fab! I will be following your blog.

  4. came over from Karen's blog - great tutorial and how clever to use the carpenters ruler.
    I have a selvage doll quilt project going on over at my blog -

  5. Darling, and so very practical! Love the measuring tape closure! Lily is just so yummy! Mmm, a fat little baby in cozy jammies...deeeelicious!

    Thanks for sharing!


  6. Hello, I Love this bag.I came from Karen's blog and I will definitely follow your blog.

  7. Awesome sweetie! The only problem is that now I am not going to want to send you all my selvages since I want to make one!

    I am going to finish my project tonight when Marcus is out, so I should have it posted tomorrow.

  8. This bag is wonderful. I already printed out the tutorial for easy reference. Love the use of metal tape measures.

  9. Neat bag. I'll have to start saving my selvages now.

  10. I love, love, love this project - the measuring tape idea, the tutorial, project and especially the babe! She is sooooo photogenic! Thank you! Got yourself a new follower here!

  11. Great tutorial! I love any use for duct tape!

  12. great Blog and a wonderful tutorial. Never knew you could use a measuring tape as a bag closure! and now I have to keep all the salvage edges too. I want to see you make that skirt!

  13. Heather the tutorial is great speaks to me the text challenged and Lily Bear is very photogenic! Loved seeing how to make use of my selvage collection and how to make snap closure so easily. Thank you and good luck with your foray into Blogging, your doing good gal!

  14. Oh so cute, I can't get enough of Lily Bear!
    And the tutorial was good too. Haha.

  15. Okay, so you're on to us, we really want to see that little darling of yours! She's such a sweetie pie!

  16. Oh my gosh... ha ha... I love it! I will have to stop throwing out my salvages! Thanks for the idea! :)

  17. That is Awesome! Now I know what to do with all those salvages! :) Absolutely love this bag.
    Such a sweetie pie you have there too! I am getting ready to try my first tute, hope I do as great a job as you did!
    You have another new follower!
    ~ CeLynn ~

  18. thanks for the tutorial.. been collecting my salvage for quite some time..need to turn it into something.. :D

  19. Thank you, I have been looking all over the web for instructions on these. Great tutorial.

  20. Very nice tutorial. Thank you for sharing your lovely project. I had not heard about using a measuring tape for a closure. Of course I have to try it now.

  21. I liked your way of doing the metal tape as no seam edges show like some other ways of doing it.

  22. Forgot to say something I wanted to add. I have made over 50 of these bags differently and have not found it necessary to cover all of the metal, just the ends. Have been using one small bag for my change for over 4 years and it has not shown any wear.


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