Popular Bag Making Shapes

When it comes to bag making, there are several popular shapes that are repeated over and over. Once you've sewn the shape in its simplest form, it's easy to customize it by "painting" it with different creative ideas just as you would a blank canvas.

The style I see most frequently is a boxed corner bag. With this style, the top of the bag is often wider than the bottom but not necessarily. The three styles in this post started with the exact same size rectangle, only the shaping differs and you can see how that impacts the size. This is the style we are typically thinking of when we think tote bag.



The side panel is another popular option. The main body of the bag may or may not have a bottom seam and the distance from the top around the bottom and back to the top is equal to the outer edge of the side panel. It is the shape of the panel that gives the bag its dimensions. The bottom can be rounded or squared off and the panel can be equal in width from top to bottom or vary. It's another design opportunity.



A full panel extends from side to side around the bottom of the bag and can also vary in width. Although bags are usually sewn with the seams to the inside, it is quite common with this style for the seams to be sewn to the outside and finished with bias tape.



Flat bags are not as common as the other three styles yet they provide an excellent creative shape. The body can be cut out in one long rectangle that is folded in half and seamed down the sides with the seams either toward the outside or the inside. This shape is often used for a small cross body bag, just big enough for a phone, keys, and a bit of ID. They are a surface for playing with scrap fabrics. Have you sewn any of these shapes? Which is your favourite and why? Each of us has a preference for a particular shape of bag as well as the features it offers like interior and exterior pockets and closures. If you're like me, you've settled for different options when you couldn't find what you wanted but as soon as possible have returned to "your" bag and that's the great thing about sewing our own bags - we can have exactly what we want... and more. I am grateful for variety. P.S. I have changed the comment setting so you do NOT need to be a site member in order to comment. That's just annoying and I didn't realize that was the default setting. Hopefully, there won't be a spam issue. THANKS. P.P.S If you use A4 paper size and would be willing to test print a pattern for me, please email me at myrna@myrnagiesbrecht.com. The free tote bag pattern is ready except for a second test sew and making sure it prints out correctly on A4. P.P.P.S - Check out this link on YouTube for a small trunk show and introduction to me.