Make a Bag Using a Border Print

Lazies, Fussy cutting, or cutting to feature a particular part of the fabric, is handy for creating balance and symmetry when working with repeats. The green fabric on the Claire Handbag below is a fussy cut of a border print, or an elaborate stripe, from the Hushabye line by Tula Pink for Moda.

A centered stripe fabric, or border print,
makes up the symmetrical green fabrics.

Where To Start
Below is the striped fabric I used for this Claire. The stripe wasn’t wide enough to use just one for the cover, but the stripes are close enough that I can use most of two stripes and the space between them.

I lined up the center of the green with a line on my cutting mat. Then I simply measure for half of the cover in each direction and cut.

A wide stripe or border print can be fun.

I’ve overlaid the photo with a graphic showing the center and the overall cut size. The angled lines represent the center panel that will be swapped from the front to the back of the bag.

Find the center then cut the cover piece.

The Final Result
With the front and back views side by side, you can see where the center of the striped fabric offers a little variety on the back and the fabric is symmetrical because we centered the piece.

hushabye-1 hushabye-25
Front and back views of the same bag.

Here’s a view of the inside of this Claire Handbag.


Critters and Cuties
Are you a fan of Tula Pink’s designs? I am. I love Jen’s critters and cuties which are composed of, and nearly hidden amongst, her elaborate scrolling designs. The border print hides a dandy owl shown below. The pink ‘V’ is the beak. The lining features a bunny and you probably saw the butterfly on the pink fabric.


Fat Quarter Giveaway
Compliments of Moda Fabrics, leave a fabulous, Lazy comment on today’s blog post and one lucky Lazy commenter will be drawn to win a set of the fat quarters of the Hushabye collection used to make the Claire in this blog post. You have until Tuesday June 30, 2009 at midnight to post a comment and be entered for the giveaway.


Leave a Lazy Comment

234 Responses to “Make a Bag Using a Border Print”

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  1. Carol Baum — June 30, 2009 @ 2:04 pm

    I love the border print Claire. I have some really cute cat fabric that I am going to try and see how it works out. Fat quarters would look great with it!

  2. Bonita — June 30, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

    Thank you so much for this lesson. I am going to pull out a few border prints that I have and use them for this bag. It’s time to jump out of my box and into Claire !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Susan — June 30, 2009 @ 2:34 pm

    I love reading your blog — it’s so full of inspiration. Your tips are helpful and the bags are all so tempting. Several are on my list of “I want to make this” .
    Thanks sew much for the inspiration and information about this beautiful fabric. I’ll be on the lookout for more fabric with hidden motifs… and have a new appreciation for border prints thanks to you.
    I see I’m not the only one with a sister who likes/collects owls. I haven’t seen the Claire pattern here yet but I hope to find it soon so I can make one for myself and my sis. Please choose me to receive the FQ bundle from Moda!

  4. Patricia — June 30, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

    I too love all of your patterns Joan and I have learned so much!

  5. Jane — June 30, 2009 @ 3:41 pm

    I am waiting for Claire so I can make her. Thanks for the tutorial on using a border fabric.

  6. Helene — June 30, 2009 @ 4:13 pm

    I have so many Lazy Girl purses and bags that I could open a store. However Claire is the best yet. I am adding several to may personnel collection. What is next in store for us to enjoy. ? Helene

  7. Alice — June 30, 2009 @ 5:19 pm

    I love the color combinations that you come up with. Some of us aren’t creative like you so this gives us good ideas. I’m thinking if I use borders as a part, other sections should work with it as well…even if I wouldn’t have thought to use it in the first place. Thanks for all you share with us!

  8. Carmen — June 30, 2009 @ 5:28 pm

    Thanks for the info. It will be very helpful to me in the future. There are a lot of great wide stripes & borders out there.

  9. nikki moshier — June 30, 2009 @ 5:30 pm

    Thanks for pointing out the owl. I don’t think I would have seen it, lol.

  10. Lisa Barabe — June 30, 2009 @ 7:55 pm

    Thanks for the great tips! I plan to make several.

  11. Marcy — June 30, 2009 @ 10:07 pm

    I just love the Tula Pink line. I live in a small community and therefore disadvantaged when it comes to getting the new fabrics that are out there. Love the Lazy Girl Designs and the simplicity of the bags. I like the colour variations to the bags especially when I can’t make up my mind which fabric to use.

  12. eileen — June 30, 2009 @ 10:11 pm

    Love this bag! My girls will love it, too.

  13. JCurtis — June 30, 2009 @ 10:24 pm

    Love your ideas…. always so inspiring!!

  14. Kathy — June 30, 2009 @ 10:27 pm

    Hi, I just love your purse. I have never heard of Lazy Girl patterns but will be googling them asap I am finished here. I have to make a retirement gift for a friend of mine whose last day of teaching is today. The purse would be so cute to make and fill with quilting notions for her, especially with all those pockets on the inside – perfect for a retirement gift.

    We lost our quilting store here in Brandon,Mb and it has left us with no choice but to travel about an hour to the closest quilt store called Kick-Ass Country Store – actually a great store with super service in Plumas, MB. – worth checking out!


  15. Sandy Stephens — June 30, 2009 @ 11:18 pm

    I think this Claire bag is going to be the biggest hit ever!! I LOVE the colors of her on this page! The greens, pinks and browns just compliment each other very well. Keep up the GREAT work on purses! EVERYONE should have at LEAST 1 Lazy Girl bag, I think I have almost ALL the lazy girl bag patterns and have made most of them!! LOVE your BAGS!!

  16. Lori — June 30, 2009 @ 11:39 pm

    I taught myself how to sew with books and DVD’s. I have been looking for free patterns
    on the internet until I am good enough to buy the tissue paper patterns. I have been making handbags and totes and loving every minute of it. I want to thank you for the very good tips you have and I fell in love with the bag. The colors are fabulous and I can’t wait to make it.
    Thank You so much, STAY HEALTHY, Lori

  17. Cheryl Greenleaf — June 30, 2009 @ 11:54 pm

    Well I learn something new and fun every day. Tula Pink’s designs are wonderful! It doesn’t hurt that a darling owl is one of her hidden surprises (I collect owls).

    Claire looks great sporting these delightful fabrics. Even though I have all the Lazy Girl bag patterns, including Claire, I have not had the confidence to cut the fabric to make one. I’m hoping that I can muster up the courage to make one this summer.

    Thank you for all your “lazy” patterns, they are the only ones I feel confident enough to try. I’ve made a bunch of Love Totes, a sewing machine cover and wonder wallets so far.

  18. Cindy Keery — July 1, 2009 @ 2:22 am

    I love this bag! And I love those fabrics. So nice!

  19. Jeannie — July 1, 2009 @ 3:59 am

    I adore your Claire so very much. I’d love to make her one day soon. Thanks so much for all your tips.

  20. kathy — July 1, 2009 @ 6:21 am

    Joan, I just finished my first purse which was the Miranda bag. It turned out beautifully, gave it to my daughter for her birthday and she just flipped. I couldn’t believe how simple it was to follow your directions. Thank you so much.

  21. Julie — July 1, 2009 @ 9:52 am

    Such an adorable Claire, I really love all the fabrics you’ve use to showcase her.

  22. Jane Bexton — July 1, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

    Wonderful combination of design and fabric. It’s like they were made for each other.

  23. Carolyn — July 1, 2009 @ 5:20 pm

    I love border prints but always wonder how best to use them. Thank you for leading the way, once again, for this lazygirl. I’m now even more excited about the Claire handbag than before. I just picked up the pattern my local shop ordered for me. Look forward to grabbing a great border print from my stash and putting it to work. Thanks for pointing out the various critters in the fabric you used. Somehow I missed them altogether as I was too mesmerized by the finished product. You and the other lazies continue to provide great ideas and beautiful photos. Thank you all!

  24. stacy — July 1, 2009 @ 10:17 pm

    I love the border print idea!

  25. Alice Troxel — July 1, 2009 @ 11:49 pm

    I love that fabric, and love Claire. I can hardly wait to make one.

  26. Alice P. — July 3, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

    This is simply gorgeous and I hope to be able to make some of the beautiful projects I’ve seen on here. I am having the time of my crafting life viewing the archives. This is an awesome site and I would like to thank you for all your hard work to have something for people like myself to get inspiration for projects to make. I will be making my first Claire in the very near future. The color combinations are awe inspiring and I’m glad you are sharing with us. Best Wishes, Alice

  27. Fran — July 6, 2009 @ 6:39 pm

    love the designs! and would love to win!

  28. Sue — July 7, 2009 @ 1:12 am

    Beautiful bag! I love the Lazy Girl patterns, and can’t wait to make my Claire! Sue

  29. Sandie Hedrick — July 12, 2009 @ 1:10 am

    Dear Joan,
    I received my package in the mail today, of the things I won. WOW!!!!!!! I thought all I was getting was the fabric to make the purse. Was I ever surprised to find 32 fat quarters, plus the pattern, plus the Bag-E-Bottom (which I didn’t even know about). Can’t wait to get started on it! If I get it made before the Illinois State Fair, I’m going to enter it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
    Sandie Hedrick

  30. Grama Chris — July 13, 2009 @ 4:17 pm

    I never thought that making bags would be so much fun! I have made about 25 of them & just gave them away to friends. They are so so easy 10 yr old can do it. Keep up with fun, fast easy patterns in the future. I have even made med & lrg sizes from the same pattern & they come out great.

    Grama Chris

  31. JoAnne Kelchner — July 18, 2009 @ 10:13 am

    I have been making leather handbags [ upholstery weight leather] for 30 yrs., mostly 1-of-a-kind custom work. NOW I discover it weighs a lot less and is a new pleasure to sew with pretty fabrics, and it is easier on the hands. Your designs are delightful and my friends and family are enjoying their gifts that are NOT leather [ which doesn’t do well in the washer].
    Thanks for my newfound fun.

  32. Jan Hashberger — July 28, 2009 @ 4:25 am

    I would never have thought to look for critters in the fabric. Now I feel like I will need to be searching all these prints to see if any critters are hiding out. What a great bag. I have a stack of Lazy Girl patterns waiting to be made and know of just what stripe fabric to use. Thanks for the ideas and help.

  33. Marva — August 1, 2009 @ 6:01 am

    I like your bag..they are so cute. I make bags also. I’ll have to post one when I find the pictures. Have a great Day

  34. Lori — August 28, 2009 @ 11:54 pm

    Just found this blog. Lovely!