Clamshell Bag FREE sewing pattern

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This is the Clamshell Bag FREE zipper bag sewing pattern from the designer Sew Can She, a sewing blogger with so many awesome bag sewing patterns for us all to enjoy. This little bag is such a cutie and the pattern is versatile with a couple of options for how you can sew it and use it.

The designer describes her Clamshell Bag as just right for holding supplies, cosmetics, or small things when you travel. It’s a lovely zipper bag with a curved top that you can use at home for your bits and pieces, makeup, toiletries etc. But if you add the optional exterior pockets and handles the pattern also makes a darling handbag. It makes a great little purse to hang over your arm and we just love the shape.

Thanks to the layers of quilting cotton and foam stabilizer quilted together this little bag is nice and sturdy. The designer worked out the size so that it’s just right for fat quarters! All you have to do is grab two fat quarters – one for the exterior and one for the inside.

Clamshell Bag FREE sewing pattern

The designer also included piping around the main seam. However, if you like, you can leave off the piping. The designer shows you the easiest way to sew it on and she shows you how much personality piping can give a bag. And don’t forget how piping helps to hide any waviness in your seam. If you like there are special piping feet for most sewing machines, but the designer has never bothered to order one, she just uses a zipper foot!

Sizing info:
When you make your own Clamshell Bag it will measure approximately 9 1/2″ wide by 5 1/2″ tall (not including any handles).

Clamshell Bag FREE sewing pattern

Sew Can She is an awesome designer who produces many bag projects and sewing technique posts for free. The zipper on this bag is one of the easiest you’ll sew using the same insertion technique that she teaches in her free Designer Zipper Bag video course. She recommends using a wide handbag zipper (YKK size 4.5 or a piece of zipper by the yard).

Sew Can She has designed two versions of the Clamshell Bag. The fancy version of the clamshell bag takes a little longer to sew, but it’s totally fun. There are small exterior pockets on both sides and easy to find hardware to give it some bling. The handles are the same handles that she put on one of her Speedy Patchwork Totes. Since the handles clip on, you can leave them off anytime you want, or use them on another bag.

To make the plain Clamshell Bag you will need:-

  • One fat quarter of quilting cotton for the exterior (or 1/2 yard if buying yardage),
  • One fat quarter of quilting cotton for the interior (or 1/2 yard if buying yardage),
  • One 18’’ by 21 1/2’’ piece of foam stabilizer, quilt batting, or fusible fleece (The designer used Soft and Stable),
  • One zipper 15’’ or longer (The designer used a piece of zipper by the Yard)
  • 1/2 a package (1 1/4 yards) of Wrights Maxi Piping,
  • 1/4 yard of fabric for making bias binding (FQ is fine),
  • Small scraps of fabric for the pull tabs at the ends of the zipper,
  • A fabric pen or marker,
  • A Creative Grids Corner Ruler or the designer’s 3’’ radius curve template,
  • Basic sewing supplies.

To make the fancy Clamshell Bag, you will also need:-

  • 1/4 yard fabric for the straps and handles,
  • 1/2 yard medium weight fusible interfacing for the straps and handles (The designer used Pellon SF101),
  • Four D-rings with a 1’’ opening,
  • Four swivel snap clips with a 1’’ opening.

The blog post below includes everything you need including a free template in the materials list, and is totally free to read, print, and sew! You can however pay an optional $2 to download an optimised PDF version of the instructions if you want to print and keep them.

Click here for the FREE pattern and tutorial 

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