Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Anthropologie Bag Knock-Off

I was window shopping on the Anthropologie site a few days ago when I came across a handbag that caught my eye.

Image courtesy of http://www.anthropologie.com/
Anyone who knows me will laugh because I don't carry handbags, I have a little tiny coin purse that hangs from my car keys and that is all I carry. I travel light, what can I say. So for me to like a handbag is pretty rare but I was drawn to this one. I liked how soft/romantic this one looked. I liked how the handles of the bag were unique and I liked the lightness of the color/fabric. So I thought, why not try to make one and this is what I came up with, using all fabric from my stash. Yeah for stash busting!! This post will be long, so sorry, I tend to be long winded when I explain something, plus I forgot to take some pictures, oops.

Here is how I made this bag... I made this bag in two different sewing sessions and totally forgot to take pictures the second time I sat down to sew. Hopefully I will be able to walk you through without pictures. First off I cut out my fabric, not having I pattern, I looked at the bag and thought it looked a lot like a rectangle so that is where I started and here is what you will need to make a bag:

2 16 x 12 rectangles of outer fabric & stabilizer
2 16 x 12 rectangles of the liner fabric & stabilizer
(use a bowl to create rounded corners on two of the corners of the bag along one of the 16 inch sides of  both the outer fabric and liner fabric)
1 3 x 48 rectangle of outer fabric & stabilizer (outer side piece)
1 3 x 48 rectangle of liner fabric & stabilizer ( inner side piece)
2 4 x 8 rectangles of outer fabric (these will act as the hoops that hold the handles)
1 3 x 48 rectangle of contrasting fabric for handles & stabilizer
1 rectangle any size for pocket (optional)
10 3 x 12 rectangles of gauzy fabric

Once all of the pieces are cut out,  iron on the stabilizer to all the pieces indicated and lets get sewing. NOTE: all seams were done at 1/4 inch, unless indicated.

1. Pin the outer side piece around the curved edge of one of the large outer rectangles, leaving about 1 1/2 inches at the top of each side of the large rectangle, (your side rectangle may be too long and may need to be cut a little so that you have that gap at the top of each side of the bag, I had to cut mine, it is not a big deal) and sew. Once sewn, iron open your seam and turn right side out. This will become the front of your bag.

2. Now we need to make and attach the gauzy pieces to the front of the bag. To do this take two of your gauzy rectangles and make a cross with them.

3. Now pick up the piece that is underneath at both ends and pull up.

4. Grab the bottom piece with your other hand and pull, you will see that two loops or a knot are sort of formed.

5. Take this piece and pin it to the front piece of your bag starting at the bottom. Repeat this step 4 more times or until the front of your bag is covered. When full, sew along the edges of the front of the bag to secure the gauzy piece in place, making sure to leave the sides without the gauzy fabric.

6. When sewn and secure, cut the excess gauze from the bag, staying close to the line you just sewed. I then used a sewing needle and tacked the knotted middle piece to the bag just so they weren't floppy.

Here is where the pictures get sparse, so sorry.

7. Take the front piece you were just working on and flip the side pieces up, take you last large outer rectangle and pin, right sides together to the edge of the side piece which isn't already attached to the other large outer rectangle. Make sure that you are leaving that 1 1/2 inch gap at the top just like we did with the first large outer rectangle.

8. Iron open the seams and set the outer part of your bag aside.

9.  Create the lining of you bag just like we did the outer bag except skip the steps used to add the gauze detail to the front. Instead, you can add a pocket or pockets to your liner at this step if you want. To do this, I cut out a rectangle that was 4 x 8 1/2, folded it in half with right sides together and sewed along 3 sides. I clipped my corners and turned right sides out, ironing everything so it lays flat. Then fold over the open side 1/4 inch, iron and pin in place to the lining of the bag.  Top-stitch around three sides of the pocket so that you leave one side open to put stuff in.

10. Once liner is complete, set aside and let's make the loops for the handles to go through. First off create a finished edge on the 4 inch sides of the rectangle by folding over 1/4 inch on each side of the rectangle, iron and sew.

12. Repeat the last two steps so that you have two loops.

13. Now we need to join our bags together. Take you bag lining and turn it inside out if it isn't already. Then take your outer bag and turn it inside out and shove it into the bag lining. Make sure that all the seams line up and that everything is laying fairly flat.

14. Take one of your loops for the handles and sandwich it in between the bag liner and the outer bag along the side and up the 1 1/2 inch gaps you left at the top of the large rectangles, making sure that the raw edge of the loop matches up with the raw edges of the outer bag and bag liner, Pin into place.

15. Repeat step 14 on the other side of the bag.

16.  Sew along both sides just along where you sandwiched your loops.

17. Now for my favorite step, turning that bag right side out. You bag should be open along the top on both sides of the bag. Take your outer part of the bag and flip in right side out. Now flip your liner right side out and shove it inside of the outer bag. This should resemble the bag without handles. your sides should be sewn together and your tops left open.

18. Fold over the top of your outer bag an the top of your bag lining on both the front and the back and iron. Then top stitch around the whole top of the bag.

19. For the handles, you are going to fold  and iron your handle piece in half right sides together so that you have a rectangle that measures 1 1/2 x 48.

20. Sew along one 1 1/2 side and down the 48 inch side leaving one 1 1/2 side open for turning.

21. Turn your handle so that the right side is facing out and iron flat.

22. Insert your long handle rectangle through one of the loops on your bag and then through the other loop.

23. Decide how long you would like the handle to be and cut your handle to the according length.

24. With the two raw ends of your handles, fold the edges of one side into the loop so you create a finished edge...then insert your raw edge at the other end of the handle into this finished edge you just created and sew. You can then adjust your handle so the seam you just created is hidden inside of one of the loops.

So there you have it...if you have some knowledge of how to create a bag, this is a fairly easy bag to make. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. I know I may not have explained it well. I will get better at taking pictures, I promise. I just get so engrossed in what I am doing that I forget, oops.

All in all I like this bag and think it is a pretty good knock-off, I just wish I carried handbags so I could used it,  oh well, I guess I will have to find someone to give it to.


  1. I'm really impressed! I like your bag better than anthro's (and I'm not just saying that because it's the nice thing to say ;) I'm totally putting this in my "try and make some day" file. (visiting via Sugar Bee Crafts)

  2. I love it! I am totally liking re-makes of expensive brands! You did a great job!!

  3. Can't wait to show this to my daughter! She loves Anthropologie but not their prices :) Thanks for taking the time to share this at The DIY Home Sweet Home party!

  4. Emily - fabulous job - I love the 'braided front'. Thanks so much for linking to the Sunday Showcase - I greatly appreciate it. I have featured this today. Hope you are enjoying your week ~ Stephanie Lynn