The kids have been putting their sewing machine to good use making felt bags! This easy sewing project for kids produces a fun, functional messenger bag – and you only have to sew two seams!
Simple Felt Bag Sewing Tutorial
I included a print-out with dimensions (not drawn to scale, so pay close attention to the numbers) at the end of this post. Here are some photos to guide you! The main portion of the bag is all once piece, and the shoulder strap doubles as the side of the bag. So long as you use a non-fraying material like felt, you don’t need to worry about finishing seams.
I discovered Clover Wonder Clips last fall when Amazon suggested them to me as something else I might want to buy. I took the bait, and I’m glad I did. They have transformed my sewing! They hold pieces of fabric together much more securely as pins, and you won’t accidentally sew over one! It’s also nice that you don’t have to worry about them getting lost on the rug and someone stepping on them. They are wonderful for keeping children’s sewing projects in place!
Helping Beginning Sewers Make This Bag
I pinned the bag together completely first, and then sat with the kids as they sewed the seams to help them keep everything lined up. You will notice that my sketch for this project shows square corners; that’s just because that is easier to draw on a computer (I need to work on my graphic design skills). I recommend rounding the corners so that your kids can conquer their fear of sewing rounded edges at an early age AND so that you can keep the project to two simple seams.
As you can see, six-year-old johnny had no trouble sewing this project, although I was too focused on watching him sew to get the picture in focus… The key to getting kids to sew projects like this successfully is to teach them to sew slowly at the beginning, and to ALWAYS take their foot off the pedal immediately if they have a problem.
People tend to focus on sewing for girls, but it’s an important life skill for boys as well. My son really enjoys sewing – if you think about it, a sewing machine is a power tool – and the lines of this bag keep it gender neutral.
Emma had a different design in mind for her bag – she wanted a flap over the top and a front pocket. I have included the dimensions for her bag on my printout (see below). Just stitch the pocket onto the main bag before stitching the sides on.
Felt Bag Template Printable
The bags are named for their designers, but Johnny, Lily, and Anna are all modeling bags made using the “Lily’s Bag” dimensions. I did shorten the shoulder strap for two-year-old Anna to thirty inches.
it’s really cool to see all four of my kids take pride in using something that they helped to make! What do you think they should make next? Do you have a tutorial request?