Pattern Hack: Tips for Sewing Commuter Bag in Cotton

We've created this blog post to share some tips and alternate instructions for making the Commuter Bag out of cotton. You can sew the pattern as is, but these instructions will help add some stability, resulting in a professional, functional bag! This blog post was inspired by our Limited Edition Commuter Kit, featuring Frida Kahlo fabrics in celebration of Cinco de Mayo!

The pattern was originally designed so the entire bag would be sewn out of cork fabric or faux leather, but we thought it would be fun to make one out of cotton! Since cork fabric and faux leather are thicker, and behave differently than cotton, we have some suggestions for preparing your fabrics and tips for construction, so that your final project is sturdy and functional. 

Now, let's jump into the Commuter Pattern Hack instructions for using cotton!

  • Page 1 CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS: See cutting layout below for 42" wide cotton fabric. The Base could be cut out of your Contrast fabric instead for a more sturdy, durable base.

  • Page 1 CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS: Cut the same amount and dimensions as each Main Fabric piece from a lightweight woven interfacing such as Bosal Fashion Fuse. After cutting, fuse to the WS of each Main Fabric piece, according to the manufacturer's instructions. 
  • Page 1 CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS: Substitute Sew-In Foam for Fleece Batting. Leave foam as a whole piece - do not subcut.
  • Page 1 ATTACH (FOAM) BATTING TO COORDINATING PIECES: Follow steps 1 and 2, considering the following tips below:
    • Apply basting spray to one side of your foam to help prevent your fabric from shifting. 
    • Position the Main Fabric Main Panels, Side Panels and Contrast Base over the Foam, evenly spaced, not overlapping pieces.
    • After sewing, trim foam close to stitching, but not through it.
  • Page 4 ASSEMBLE LINING: Step 1
    • Leave 6" unsewn, centered on one side seam. This unsewn area will be used for turning the bag right side out (RSO) later on. 
  • Page 5 ASSEMBLE THE BAG: Step 1
    • Do not leave 6" unsewn. 
  • Page 5 ASSEMBLE THE BAG: Step 2
    • Turn bag RSO by pushing the Exterior and Lining through the SIDE UNSEWN edge of the Lining. Topstitch or hand sew the turning opening closed.
    • Turning the bag RSO through a hole in the lining will result in a more even top edge.

    Want to make this bag? We've put together a kit that has EVERYTHING you need to make the Commuter bag. 

    Shop the Kit Here!

    Be sure to share pictures of your completed Commuter Bag featuring cotton with #sallietomato, #hollyandtanager, and #commuterbag. We'd love to see your bag!


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