11 Aug 2014

DIY patchwork make-up bag

As I've opted to do my own make-up for the wedding (hopefully a decision I won't regret) I've been perusing A LOT of make-up tutorials. Aside from wearing eye-liner, I'm v.much in the dark about such matters. Upon wacthing a number of said youtube tutorials it became aparent that my eye liner and long-dried-up mascara were not going to cut it so, I went to one of the make-up ladies in House of Fraser on Oxford Street and she v.kindly did me up. Obviously she put waaaaaay too much on me and I felt incerdibly self conscious on the journey home, but she did teach me a few tricks and reccomended a couple of products that I really liked.

In possession of a lot more make-up bits and bobs than my modest, but lovely little make-up bag could hold I decided to make myself a bigger one. Behold!

I have a entire bag of fabric scraps so I raided it for this. Overall I'm pretty pleased with it but I did struggle with trying to figure out how to attach the linning. After about three attempts I got the hang of it but it has bunched up somewhat at either end of the zip. Also, I think I should've used a more jazzy linning than plain cream. Ho hum.

I thought I'd have a go at doing this as a DIY but forgot to take pictures of some steps so I doubt this'll be very useful to a complete sewing beginner. Saying that though, it's fairly straightforward to make and would've taken me about an hour and a half if I hadn't been fannying around with the linnings.

The size of your zip really dictates the width of your bag and the length is determined by how many strips of fabric you've got to play with. I used a 22cm zip (although the actual zip is 20cm long) and opted for 13 strips (no superstitions here) varying in width (anywhere between 4cm and 6cm) mostly because I prefer the uneven look but you could make yours equal. This made a 20cm (ish) square bag.

1. Stitch your strips together, right sides facing, along the long edges. Press the seams flat to reduce bulk.

2. Cut a piece of backing fabric and wadding slightly bigger than your completed patchwork.
3. Make a sandwich with the backing at the bottom, wadding in the middle and the patchwork on top. Pin the layers together starting from the centre, smoothing the fabric out as you go.
4. Quilt it! I just did a random zig-zag pattern but you could do a traditional diamond pattern or whatever you fancy! Don't quilt right to the edges as you'll need to trim them after quilting to make all the layers the same size and you don't want to cut into the stitching.

5. Pin your zip to the two long raw edges of your quilted patchwork with right sides together. Stitch in place using the zipper foot on your sewing machine. This should turn your quilted patchwork into a tube.

6. Turn your bag inside out with the back of your zip and backing fabric facing outwards. Make sure you open the zip before pinning and stitching the raw edges of each side together. Turn right side out and you've got your bag.
7. If you'd like to make the linnings cut two rectangles to the size of your bag. Stitch them along the two short edges and one long edge - remember to leave a small gap (6cm) in one corner to turn the bag through at the end.
8. Insert the patchwork bag (zip open), right side facing out, into the linning, wrong side facing out. So the right side of the patchwork and the right side of the linning should be facing.
9. Pin the raw edge of the linning all the way around the zip opening. Stitch in place having removed the bed of the machine. (This bit is tricky, even with a zipper foot, I actually had to hand stitch the linning to the bag at each ends of the zip as it was too bulky under the machine.)

10. Turn the bag through the opening you left in the linnings. Slip stitch the gap closed and ta da! you're done :)

Hope that made sense! Let me know if you have a go at making it, I'd love to see.


  1. Ah it looks fantastic, I'm super impressed with your DIY skillz lady! x

  2. It looks lovely Annie. I love the idea of making make up bags but i seem to have so many empty ones i never do! :)

    1. Thanks Chloe! Yeah, I know what you mean. On this occasion though none of them were big enough! It really is quite a beast of a bag :)


Ta v.much :)

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