Lily’s Bag – Felt Handbag

At the moment I am writing from remote Northern Territory in the Central Australian Desert. I working out here in an Aboriginal community and feel very privileged to be here.

Before I left to come here, the thought of leaving my sewing machine in Melbourne for 4 weeks was all too much… so I cut out some patterns, grabbed my sewing kit and lugged it all on the plane to where I am now – 1000s of kilometers from home!

When I got here a friend gave me this awesome book to read… The Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing published in 1977. I couldn’t have asked for a better read! There’s even a photo of my Ye Ole Elna sewing machine inside. I look forward, one day to making some clothes again and there are heaps of handy tips and hints… yeah! I feel like such a sewing nerd!

Speaking of handy things, I wanted to share this pattern for what I call “Lily’s Bag”. I made it for my 3 year old niece Lily-ann and she loved it. She called it her “love heart bag”. I based the pattern on an old leather handbag I had as a kid but used felt instead.

Lily’s Bag © Pretty Wak 2012

So here are the instructions if you are feeling crafty. These are my home made patterns so they are not exactly perfect… they’re Pretty Wak!! But the good thing is that this bag is made of felt which easy to adjust and trim if you need to!!

LILY’S BAG by Pretty WAK
Please note that this pattern is for non-commercial personal use only.

What you need:
• Your Pretty Wak pattern (provided here) printed and photocopied to the scale you would like. You can photocopy it to whatever size you like – big or small.
• Felt (2 different colours) – I got mine from Spotlight on the role and it was a furnishings fabric but you can also buy it in the craft department. The amount will depend on how big you are making your bag.
• One snap closure button (also available at Spotlight in packs of 6).
• Your sewing machine and appropriate cotton (or you could even hand stitch for a lovely hand made finish).

Pattern for Lily’s Bag by Pretty WAK 2012.

Download the PDF here: lilys_bag_by_pretty_wak_2012

Now you’re ready:
• Cut out all four pieces PLUS a handle (I cut the handle after I have sewn the rest of the bag so I can test how long and wide I would like it to be).
• I like to do a bit of a test by pinning all the pieces together so I know where to position each piece. Transfer the circle & line marks from the pattern so you know where to place the snap button.
• Sew the FRONT UNDERSIDE to the GUSSET (stitch 0.5 – 1cm in from the edge of felt). If the GUSSETT overhangs a little bit just cut it off!
• Draw & then cut out your shape from the INSIDE FLAP making sure to leave room for the snap lock closure (I used a simple love heart design but you can be creative here). Stitch around your shape.
• Pin the INSIDE FLAP to the inside of the FRONT FLAP ready to sew.
• Sew the GUSSET onto the BACK piece making sure it is positioned correctly and even on both sides (the ends of the GUSSET should go to the marked line on the pattern). Continue sewing around the edges of the FRONT FLAP/ INSIDE FLAP.
• The main body of the bag is done & now you can cut out your handle, to the size you need, if you haven’t already. Stitch around the edges and attach to each end of the GUSSETT (I like to sew handles on with a square and a “X”).
• Attach your snap closure button as per packet instructions.

Hope your inspired to get crafty. This is a very easy pattern and the beauty is that you can whip it up in no time. Please comment and send a photo through if you end up making this bag! Email: for enquiries.


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