Making reversible bag

Reversible bag

Bag dimensions in approximate:

  • from top of straps to bottom of bag: 50 cm / 20 inches
  • height: 28 cm / 11 inches
  • width: 40 cm / 16 inches

Fabric needed:

I don’t know because I used leftover fabric for my bag. You can print the pattern and place it on your fabric to make an approximation. It is only one piece of pattern.

Fort similar bag, you can check Charlie bag by Burdastyle ($1.99). It is a bit bigger and has squared bottom.

Please go to the bottom of this post to download the PDF pattern and tutorial.

Disclaimer: You may use the finished products for both personal and commercial use (craft shops or markets only – no mass production). Please do not pass off the pattern and tutorial as your own. Thank you!

The Tutorial

1. Here is 4 pieces of fabrics after being cut. We’re gonna refer them as set A and set B. If you want pockets, sew them before going to the next step.
Making reversible bag

2. Sew the bottom and sides of each set. My bag has a rounded bottom and a dart, Charlie bag has straight edges.

If you use my pattern, sew the darts before sewing the bottom and sides of bag. My apology for not showing how to sew the darts, please do a google search if you don’t know.
Making reversible bag

3. Put set B in set A, right sides together, and sew around the straps. Stop stitching about 20 cm before the tops of the straps. If your machine has reverse stitch, use it on each end of stitchings to secure it.
Making reversible bag

4. Clip rounded corners.
Making reversible bag

5. Turn the right sides out through one of the straps. It will be a bit difficult at first and you’re gonna wonder if you’re doing it right, but just keep doing it. You will feel a thug and after that the bag will turn right sides out smoothly.
Making reversible bag Making reversible bag

Pull out each of the remaining straps.
Making reversible bag

6. Look! You almost have a bag!
Making reversible bag

7. Sew the straps of each set together. I often sew the straps absent-mindedly and then found out that I’ve attached them wrong! So please make sure that you sew each strap to the strap beside it, NOT the strap that is in front of it.
Making reversible bag Making reversible bag

8. Press the seams open. Fold seam allowances on straps and press. Also press edges of bag to make it easier for topstitching.
Making reversible bag Making reversible bag

9. Match the tops seams together and pin all open edges of straps. You can also use fusible tapes to make sure it is neat. But I will use pins here.
Making reversible bag

10. Topstitch all edges of bag. I use different colour thread for the bobbin.
Making reversible bag A reversible bag!

A reversible bag!
A reversible bag! A reversible bag!

Thank you for reading and I hope this post is useful for you!

Click to download:




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  • I’ve seen so many different ways of doing the straps, but yours is the clearest! Thanks so much!

  • Deena

    Thank you so much for your generosity!
    Your bag is gorgeous and I’m looking forward to making one (or two) tonight.

  • Love the pattern! Tried it out today. In fact, it was more or less my first sewing project! I didn’t make it to be reversible, but attached two elastic pockets outside and one pocket inside. Definitely going to blog about the tutorial!

  • Neat! That’s similar to how I made my reversible Charlie Bags too – When I got to the handles, though, I hadn’t left a gap, so when they got to be right side out, I sewed the handle ends together and then pushed the seam allowance to one side and zig-zagged it to the handle on what I considered the “inside”. It’s not fancy, but was simple to do and has held up well. Yours is a much more elegant solution.

  • Robin Gadient


    I love your pattern and tutorial, and super appreciate your generosity.
    I wonder f you would give me a little more of your time.
    I cannot seem to print the pdf in Acrobat with the right dimensions. It’s something about the fit page vs. the actual size. Can you tell me how I should have the reader set or direct me to some instructions? It’s driving me crazy. I keep printing out patterns that are slightly off.

    * pulls hair out in frustration*

    Thanks, Robin

    • verypurpleperson

      Hi Robin,
      the pattern is supposed to be printed on A4 paper in actual size scale.
      In reader, you can go to the print window and look under ‘Page Handling’, then on ‘Page Scaling’, choose ‘none’.

      But I may suggest not too worry too much about the dimensions. As this is a bag pattern, missing a few mm would not affect the shape. Hope it helps! 🙂

  • Tini

    I use the same technique for my charlie bag and most of my handbags too…The instruction on Burdastyle baffles me, just can’t seem to figure it out 🙂 Love your website…

  • I LOVE this bag!! I have to make one – thanks so much for sharing :D!!

  • Sara R.

    I cannot get the download to work…it keeps telling me that the file does begin with “PDF”. Help? I adore this bag!

    • verypurpleperson

      Maybe your browser can not open PDF files. You can use right click and ‘Save link as’ to download the file to your computer. Hope it works!

  • Gorgeous bad!! I love how it’s reversible. May try that idea in sewing class one of these weeks… Thanks for the step by step pics!

  • Novita, thank you for this tutorial! You are such an inspiration!
    I am quite novice in sewing but I have the will to try and learn by myself. I made the bag today and I was quite proud of myself… When it was done, I realized there was something wrong in my bag… Oh, no! the straps!… Ok, not big deal: I’ll hang it from my arm, and tomorrow I make another one!
    Thank you for your beautiful blog and all the wonderful things you share with us. I wish I had 1/8 of your talent!

    • verypurpleperson

      I made the mistake with the straps all the time too, Marga!
      But I’m happy to know that you’ve tried the pattern, I hope that was fun! Thank you!

    • Karin

      Good to know I’m not the only one 😉 Finished mine yesterdayevening and discovered this morning that I attached the straps wrong….
      Oh well, time to make another one.

      • verypurpleperson

        Oh no! Maybe I should add a warning or something in the tutorial. It seems that a lot of people has made the same mistake 😀

  • Great tutorial! This will be my next project! I love that it’s reversible!

  • aww, that fabric is so adorable! im so jealous — you always seem to be able to acquire fun and bold prints that looks great!

  • maria

    This is great with pics! please more of these!!

  • Great tute, Novita and love the fabric you used:)

  • Love the bag and the fabrics!!! I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  • Nice bag but I love your dress more 🙂 Saw someone already commented on it and that you haven’t made it yourself… lovely anyway! Love your blog to! 🙂

  • Juliet

    thank you so much!!! you’re the best, novita. it was really nice of you to answer my request.
    your bag is gorgeous.
    thank you, again!

    • verypurpleperson

      You’re welcome, Juliet!
      I hope the tutorial is useful for you. Please tell me if there’s something not clear 🙂

  • Ooh reversible! What a great idea. Thanks so much for sharing this, I’ll be linking.

  • I love all your stuff. I made a link to my blog from this tutorial. Hope you dont mind.

  • Ai

    this is great project for me who is still novice in the sewing world.

    tks for sharing your creativity novita.

  • you are sooo inspiring. everything you make looks delicate and well crafted…love your updates!

  • Rianne

    lovely fabric novita, im in need of a bag for my flight with my daughter next week, i think i will try this too …love your dress, did you also make it!??

    • verypurpleperson

      Thank you! The fabric of the dress is vintage YSL jersey from my mother, she has all kinds of fabrics! But I didn’t sew the dress, a friend of mine did it for me as a present 🙂

  • carla

    I love it!! thank you for posting the step by step tutorial, I’ll try to make one soon. I love the shape and your fabrics too 🙂

  • Olelé

    I love the round shape at the bottom, and I love the brown and orange fabric, great for the spring! Thanks for this tutorial, it’s clear and helpful.

  • aime

    thanks, novita! this tutorial is really helpful! i has just started sewing, and this looks like a nice beginner’s project. thank you so much. 🙂