Episode 704


Box Bag by Stacy Schlyer

Make a versatile bag that's great for carrying cosmetics and toiletries. Easily change the fabric and interfacing to transform the bag into a shower caddy or men's shaving kit.


Fat quarter or 1/2 yard of fabric each of exterior fabric & lining

1/2 yard of fusible interfacing (weight depends on desired look; see "Choose Your Own Adventure" below)

14"-long zipper

Matching all-purpose thread

Removable fabric marker

Point turner or chopstick

Rotary cutting system (optional)

serger (optional)

Choose Your Own Adventure

Choose an exterior and lining fabric suitable for the desired bag use. Choose coordinating cottons to make a cosmetic bag (A). a

Purchase laminated cotton and nylon to stitch a waterproof shower caddy (B).


Or use leather and cotton to create a men's shaving kit (C).


Support the bag by adding interfacing. Use lightweight interfacing to produce a bag that easily collapses for travel. Use a heavyweight interfacing to form a firm bag that holds its boxy shapeChoose fusible or nonfusible interfacing based on the fabric choice. Consult the manufacturer's instructions for appropriate fabric recommendations.

Cut It

From the exterior fabric, cut one 12"x16" rectangle and one 8"x10" rectangle.

From the lining fabric, cut one 12"x16" rectangle.

From the interfacing, cut one 12"x16" rectangle. Fuse the interfacing to the lining rectangle wrong side, following the manufacturer's instructions; set aside.

Sew It

Fold the small exterior rectangle in half lengthwise with wrong sides together; press. Unfold, and then fold the long raw edges toward the wrong side to meet at the foldline; press. Refold the strip along the center foldline. Topstitch both long edges. Set aside the strap.

On a flat work surface, place the large exterior rectangle right side up. Position the zipper right side down, aligning the zipper-tape edge with one rectangle short edge. Place the lining rectangle wrong side up over the exterior rectangle, sandwiching the zipper (1).


Pin, and then stitch the short edge using a zipper foot and 1/4" seam allowance.

Turn the fabrics right side out; press, and then topstitch 1/8" from the zipper seam (2).


Repeat to stitch the opposite zipper tape to the remaining exterior and lining short edges (3).


Turn the bag right side out, centering the zipper and aligning the exterior and lining raw edges. Orient the zipper stop at the lower-edge center; press flat.

Measure 1 1/4" up from the bag lower edge and 1" from one folded edge at each corner; mark. Cut away each rectangle (4).


Unzip the zipper halfway. Turn the bag wrong side out. Stitch across each short edge, and then trim of the excess zipper tape (5).


Serge- or zigzag-finish the seams.

To box the lower-bag corners, align the seam with one bag-side foldline. Stitch across the raw edge (6). Serge- or zigzag-finish the seam. Repeat to stitch the opposite corner.


Align the upper-bag foldline with the seam. Insert one strap end through the opening; stitch across the raw edge, and then serge-or zigzag-finish. Repeat to stitch the opposite strap end into the remaining corner.

Turn the bag right side out. Using a point turner or dull chopstick end, poke out the corners; press.

Case Logic

pencil case

Change the bag dimensions to create a cute pencil case. Make several to give as back-to-school gifts!

From the exterior fabric, lining and interfacing, cut one 8"x12" rectangle each. Eliminate the handle.

Follow the instructions above to stitch the bag, eliminating the handle.

Products used in this episode:


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