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. jenny tribout — June 29, 2009 @ 7:14 am

    I have almost all the lazy girl patterns, and they are my all-time favorites to sew. The directions are simple and the results are spectacular. I always get a lot of compiments on my lazy girl bags I carry. Joan is very talented and kind to share so much with her lazy gal-pals…

  2. CarolH — June 29, 2009 @ 7:18 am

    Please enter me for the chance to win the Moda fabric. It would be sooo great to win!

    The Claire Handbag is the next project on my list. Thanks so much for showing how you cut the patterned fabric.

  3. Terri G — June 29, 2009 @ 7:22 am

    These are some of your cutest bags ever! Just got my pattern and can’t wait to make one up!
    Terri G

  4. Lin — June 29, 2009 @ 7:23 am

    Love the bag – never thought of using a stripe for an accent on the bag

  5. Erica — June 29, 2009 @ 7:26 am

    What a fun bag, but I am intrigued by the fabric with the “hidden” owl. My sister collects owls, this would be a fun fabric with which to make something for her.

  6. Judy Morin — June 29, 2009 @ 7:28 am

    The more variations I see, the more I want to make this bag. Would I be able to make multiple versions and donate to my church for sale at their annual Fall Festival?

  7. katie — June 29, 2009 @ 7:30 am

    I just love your fabric combinations! So cute! Please count me in for the give away!

  8. KayeBartolotti — June 29, 2009 @ 7:32 am

    I love the colors and the pattern in the Lazy Girl. I Love most all of the Moda fabrics Bag andalmost all the Lazy Girl designs

  9. Nancy Casso — June 29, 2009 @ 7:33 am

    I LOVE the idea !!! I have always been partial to borders.
    Can not wait to try this !!!!Thank you so much !!!

  10. Cathy Aquilina — June 29, 2009 @ 7:37 am

    I am always amazed by what you do!! I will have to pay more attention to my fabrics when I cut, I never would have thought to do this!! Thanks for all the handy tips and I really liked the post on pressing bags, great tips!

  11. stephanie anthony — June 29, 2009 @ 7:38 am

    Hi Joan, I loved this pattern from the moment it arrived…i can’t decide which fabric to use …so many choices! thanks for getting my creative sewing juices flowing again, your blog is just what i need to get going! stephanie

  12. Sherry — June 29, 2009 @ 7:39 am

    I like the diversity of the prints…yet they all compliment one another. Thanks for giving me an idea of what to do with a border print I’ve had in my stash for about 2 years – I picked it up in Germany and was waiting to find the *right* project to do it justice. This way I could enjoy it every day! :o)

  13. Sue — June 29, 2009 @ 7:44 am

    That is really cool, I have some big print pansy fabric that by doing this I could get a great look. Thanks for the great bag designs can’t wait to get “Clare” down here in Oz.

  14. Bonnie Kane — June 29, 2009 @ 7:47 am

    That border print!
    Those colours!
    I am in love!!

  15. Susan — June 29, 2009 @ 7:53 am

    Dear Joan,

    I look forward each week to your blog in my mailbox for interesting ideas. Thank you so much. I finally got my Claire pattern and now just have to decide which fabrics to use.


  16. Debbie — June 29, 2009 @ 7:55 am

    I have gotten the Claire pattern and have several issues going on in life but will be making this bag soon. Your ideas and blog are nothing short of inspirational. This showing us use of border prints is one of your best.

    Thank you so much and I hope your ideas keep flowing you sure make us Lazies look good.


  17. Anita — June 29, 2009 @ 7:55 am

    Hi Joan,

    I really enjoy the email about the Claire bag. I love that fabric and didn’t notice the owl before. I got my pattern the other day and can’t wait to make one. Thanks for all your interesting and very helpful emails.


  18. Jen — June 29, 2009 @ 7:57 am

    I just LOVE this bag! My pattern came in the mail over the weekend. Now I just have to decide what fabrics I’m going to use and get to making it. I can’t wait!

  19. Yvonne — June 29, 2009 @ 7:57 am

    Hi Joan, I love your use of border prints in the bag pattern, & that owl is soooo cute. I love the looks of them, but never know just how to use the larger prints in anything other than borders. I’ll have to give this one a try. Claire is one of my all time favorite patterns. Thanks, Yvonne.

  20. Gita — June 29, 2009 @ 8:05 am

    I love the Tula Pink fabric. It reminds me of finding the hidden pictures with my grandson. The designs and colors are so whimscal and charming. I can’t wait to make one. Gita

  21. Jennie Kerwood — June 29, 2009 @ 8:05 am

    Thanks for including a photo of the border fabric you used to make this version of the Claire bag. It’s a really neat piece of fabric! I would not have thought to use it the way you did, so it is fun to look at it through different eyes.

  22. MaryJo — June 29, 2009 @ 8:08 am

    I can’t wait to start this bag! I always make my mom a bag for her birthday, so this fits the bill!

  23. Cathy Bremer — June 29, 2009 @ 8:11 am

    Great idea! I have several fat quarter “left overs” from whole sets I have purchased and this will use them up. Now I can start in on my Christmas list that keeps on growing.

  24. Jodie Hanzelka — June 29, 2009 @ 8:13 am

    Thanks for showing how wonderful a border print can make this bag. I also loved finding out about the hidden animals. I was not familiar with this designer, so now I will start looking for her fabrics and secret designs.

  25. Lois B — June 29, 2009 @ 8:13 am

    Clever use of a striped fabric. I’m never sure what to do with them in a large quilt as it is so hard to get it symetrical. Using it in a purse would be do-able! Thanks for the idea.

  26. Lynn Osborne — June 29, 2009 @ 8:19 am

    I love these colors and would be thrilled to win! Thanks for the chance!

  27. Lori — June 29, 2009 @ 8:21 am

    Wow, I didn’t even notice the owl until you pointed it out. I love owls and I love how it was cleverly designed as part of the fabric print! Gorgeous bag.

  28. Carylynne Jacobs — June 29, 2009 @ 8:23 am

    This bag is awesome to begin with, and then to use these wonderful fabrics! Whats not to love? This collection is perfect for the Claire bag, and I can think of many more perfect uses. Like on a jacket or a vest, or a cute swishy apron. Way to go!

  29. Deb n NC — June 29, 2009 @ 8:26 am

    I love the Claire and Miranda bags! I checked my local shop for the patterns, but they’re not in yet. I bought paisleys for the bags…just waiting for the pattern to come in. Can’t wait. Thanks for all the posts and great pictures.

  30. Debbie Harmon — June 29, 2009 @ 8:29 am

    Claire is a wonderful pattern and I can’t wait to make her for myself. I just made my first Summer Day Bag and what a terrific bag it is! I get compliments on it wherever I go!

  31. Dee — June 29, 2009 @ 8:36 am

    Joan, thanks so much for sharing your hints for using a border motif. I LOVE border fabrics, but I’ve never been able to figure out the best way to incorporate them into a bag.

    This has opened all sorts of possibilities for me. ;->


    Dee in FL

  32. Rosemarie in MI — June 29, 2009 @ 8:40 am

    I love this idea. I just tried this with another pattern I am working on and then you feature the idea on your blog. Great minds and all that. LOL

    Rosemarie in MI

  33. Grace Egeler — June 29, 2009 @ 8:40 am

    Hi! I just love this bag and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Owl pattern in this fabric. It is so hard to get, it’s always sold out when I get to the store. I love the way you used coordinating fabrics in this pattern also. Thanks for posting this with tips. It’s awesome! I would love to make this exact bag? Is that possible? I’m not the best sewer in the world, but I think I can hold my own and make some pretty fun and exciting projects! I hope I can get this fabric in time!

    Thanks again!!

    Grace Egeler

  34. Patty — June 29, 2009 @ 8:40 am

    Lovely fabrics! Thanks for pointing out the animals in the print! I wil lcontinue to look for this designer in the future. Thanks again for the tutorail about using border for the bag can’t wait to make my own!

  35. Sandy Dodson — June 29, 2009 @ 8:56 am

    Your newsletters are just wonderful I now have my husband home quite ill so sewing is a great comfort and outlet for me now so keep the ideas comming I always say so many projects so little time.

    I truly enjoy The bag ideas are wonderful


  36. Christine — June 29, 2009 @ 9:00 am

    Those are wonderful fabrics. I would love to win them because I have a friend’s birthday coming up.

  37. Carol Sc — June 29, 2009 @ 9:02 am

    I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog — the tips are helpful and the bags are all “I want to make this one” and “this one” and “this one” — at least one is on my “to do” list. Thanks for the inspiration!

  38. Amy Wolf — June 29, 2009 @ 9:03 am

    Love it! Thanks for pointing out the owl on this fabric, too, I never would have noticed it!
    You are always so generous and I love reading your posts about whatever you are working on.


  39. Deb G — June 29, 2009 @ 9:03 am

    I love Tula Pink’s designs and the way you used them! What a great idea for a border print! Thanks!

  40. Penny — June 29, 2009 @ 9:05 am

    Very pretty bag. I love the pink, I guess I am a pink girl! Thanks for sharing the idea of the border print, it will give new thought to fabric selection.

    Penny D in Chesapeake

  41. Vicki Terpstra — June 29, 2009 @ 9:07 am

    Wonderful tutorial. Thank you very much. This will certainly come in handy for so many things while making purses. I just LOVE all your purses and look forward to being able to purchase many of them.

  42. Pat — June 29, 2009 @ 9:10 am

    Lazy Girl Patterns are my favorite because they are not only the right size and stylish, the directions are just incredible. Not everyone can design and also instruct. You are a genius at both. I’ve made about 5 of the patterns and they just get better and better! Thank you

  43. Lisa Leimone — June 29, 2009 @ 9:14 am

    Your ideas are wonderful!! Thanks for all the beautiful patterns you create and all the “Lazy” tips you share!


  44. denise/deBRAT — June 29, 2009 @ 9:16 am

    You know we look at the bag for several postings and don’t think anything about it other than how totally lovely and clever and useful it is… and then you post what then becomes so obvious. How the pattern pieces were cut for balance. lightbulb moment here!

    Thank you for stating the subtle-ly obvious for those of us who have forgotten those type of things.
    enjoy your day!

  45. Kim Davis — June 29, 2009 @ 9:17 am

    I never noticed the animals in the fabric–how awesome!

  46. Jennifer — June 29, 2009 @ 9:17 am

    Love the idea to fussy cut the fabric. It’s such a great look! Didn’t see the owl before you pointed it out. A leftover fussy cut square would be great for an I-spy quilt!

    I recently made my first bag, Mini Miranda, after seeing a sample in my LQS. I am hooked! Your patterns are so well written. Thank you for sharing your talents with us!

  47. Cher — June 29, 2009 @ 9:19 am

    Your blog is very inspirational and easy to follow any directions. Still working on my projects but love to read other ideas. Thanks so much. Happy Independence Day and Canada Day for us Canucks.

  48. arlene — June 29, 2009 @ 9:20 am

    I’m going shoping this morning to find fabric to make a Claire bag, love the pattern I know I will find some great fabrics to make the bag.

  49. Jannette — June 29, 2009 @ 9:24 am

    Hi Joan,
    I LOVE your patterns – I have a whole bunch of them, I just need more time!
    If you’re looking for lazy comments – here’s mine – I’d love to win that fabric bundle, ’cause then I wouldn’t have to go shopping for it! LOL
    My oldest daughter LOVES owls, so this fabric bundle would be perfect for her!
    Thanks for all your Lazy projects!

  50. Gwen — June 29, 2009 @ 9:25 am

    Great, great, great blog! Thanks so much for sharing all of your talents.