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A New Season: A New Bag!

It’s a glorious sunny day today; spring is most definitely in the air and a new season can only mean one thing – A NEW BAG – Hooray!

This cute little granny bag is guaranteed to put a spring in your step this season and with Mother’s Day just round the corner it would make a lovely cheerful present – if you could bear to part with it!

We made ours out of cotton ticking with a calico lining and decorated it with a bunch of knitted daisies. We think the understated, industrial, simplicity of the ticking sets the flowers off beautifully. The natural bamboo handles are just perfect for this style of bag too.

We believe in salvaging, recycling and ‘making do’ here at The Mercerie, so we used fabric leftovers to make our bag!

So – here’s how to do it.

You will need:

Granny bag tutorial 1

  • A piece of cotton ticking fabric: 84 x 76cm
  • A piece of cotton or calico for the lining: 72 x 68cm
  • A pair of bamboo bag handles
  • Some knitted daisies for decorating.
  • Pins and a sewing needle.
  • A length of cord, ribbon or a narrow strip of fabric approx 85cm in length.
  • A large safety pin.
  • Tailors chalk
  • A tape measure

Step 1: Attaching the Lining

Sewing the casings

Seam allowances are all 1cm.

The lining fabric is cut slightly smaller than the ticking. The first thing to do is to sew down the side seams; that’s the 2 longest edges.

Position the lining on the ticking (right sides together) leaving 6cm of ticking at the top and bottom edges. (the lining measures 12 cms shorter than the ticking)


Step 2: Gathering the Sides

Gathering the sides

Press the seams flat with the seam allowance pointing towards the lining then turn through to the right side. Because the lining fabric is smaller than the ticking it will lay with a pucker in the middle.

Smooth the work out so that the ticking fabric turns over by 2cm at each side and press work flat.

Sew directly on top of this seam line, down both sides (2cms from the edge) to form a casing.

Take your length of cord or ribbon and thread through the casing (a safety pin might be useful to do this with)

Stitch one end to secure the cord/ribbon and gather up the sides as much as you can. Stitch to secure the end. Trim back the cord/ribbon.

Repeat this on the other side, making sure the sides measure the same length once gathered.

Gathering the Sides

Step 3: Attaching the Handles

This step is a little fiddly!

Attaching the Handles

Begin by turning over and pressing a small 1cm hem at the top and bottom.

Measure down 1 cm from the edge of the calico, and chalk a line across. (this marks where your hand sewing will be)

With the lining face up lay one handle close to the top edge and turn over the hem to meet the chalked line. Pin and sew this down with small stitch, such as a whip stitch.

Gradually work your way across the top edge, pinning and stitching as you go. You will need to keep gathering the fabric up onto the handle as you work. This does take some time to master – but it will look lovely and neat when it’s finished.

Repeat for the second handle.

Step 4: Decorate and Admire

Decorate and Admire!

You could decorate your bag in various ways but we love the fresh looking combination of pretty knitted daisies and blue cotton ticking.

And your done!

Now decide if you really want to give it away……

As a special Mother’s Day gesture we’re offering all subscribers to The Mercerie Post a whopping 25% discount off our Daisy Knitting Kits until the end of March – subscribe now to be sure you don’t miss the post!

Oh – and if you’ve enjoyed this little tutorial you might like to take a peek at this one too:


'I don't DO skirts!'

This post is a link in a circle of blogs called ‘Sisterhood Stories’ – please visit Karrie next and leave some love on the way 🙂

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