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”

  1. Pat — June 29, 2009 @ 9:28 am

    What a great idea! I would have never thought to use a border fabric like that!

  2. Carmel — June 29, 2009 @ 9:32 am

    I like the way the creatures are hidden in the prints. Especially the owl. Very clever.

  3. Patty Hall — June 29, 2009 @ 9:32 am

    I love the owl! So cute. and in pink and green. Love the 2 together.
    Enjoy your site, very Inspirational!!

    Patty H.

  4. Gina — June 29, 2009 @ 9:34 am

    I just love your blog page! It’s like having a friend that shows you what they’ve just finished making and sharing new tips with you on how they did it. Please keep sharing with the rest of us!


  5. Sandy — June 29, 2009 @ 9:37 am

    I already have the pattern but haven’t chosen frabic to make her. It would be great to receive your frabic. I’ve made lots of your other patterns and love them, just can’t seem to find time to make this one.

  6. Kim Q — June 29, 2009 @ 9:37 am

    The prints you used are absolutely perfect for the bag!

  7. Dixie Grassl — June 29, 2009 @ 9:40 am

    I love the creative way you used a border. I never thought of cropping a big print, or using a border going up and down. How clever!

  8. Marilyn — June 29, 2009 @ 9:45 am

    I love your latest creation. Please keep the inspiration coming!!

  9. Marilyn in MA — June 29, 2009 @ 9:45 am

    I love Lazy girls, I have several bags already, I really like Clare. I can’t wait to get the pattern and get started.
    Would love to win the fabric

  10. Kathy — June 29, 2009 @ 9:45 am

    Bags are my thing and this is the best site to be inspired.

  11. Nancy — June 29, 2009 @ 9:47 am

    I love this pattern and the fabrics you have selected. Please enter my name for the drawing.

  12. Bettina Elliott — June 29, 2009 @ 9:50 am

    i just got my claire pattern friday…..can’t wait to make it, hopefully this week.
    i’m thinking of using some amy butler i’ve got just dying to be used.

    love my lazy girl patterns!

  13. Nancy — June 29, 2009 @ 9:55 am

    What a great use for a border print. The ultimate LAZY!!

  14. cathy — June 29, 2009 @ 10:00 am

    Great idea!

  15. Pam Petty — June 29, 2009 @ 10:01 am

    I just love your patterns, they are so easy to read, the pictures, the directions… If there is an easy, excuse me, lazy way to do it, you have it figured out. Thanks so much for being so creative to come up with so many ideas. Purses are my favorite thing to make. When I look at fabric, I’m always looking at it as a purse. Again, thanks!!!!

  16. Marilyn — June 29, 2009 @ 10:07 am

    I really enjoy the email updates on blog. I just received the Claire pattern and would love to win the fabrics to use with it. Thank you for so much instructional information.

  17. Shirley — June 29, 2009 @ 10:09 am

    You do the very best jov of writing clear easy-to-follow directions!! Thank you for the many additional tips you offer! I have used many of them….even on other projects, I must confess.

  18. Kris — June 29, 2009 @ 10:14 am

    Joan, I just love the fabric combinations that you come up with. I know that I stand in the fabric aisle at my local store and agonize over just the right fabrics to choose…I don’t know how quickly you come up with your fabric choices, but they always come out matching wonderfully with enough contrast to keep things interesting. Thanks for this post and for doing the give-away, too!

  19. Sara — June 29, 2009 @ 10:15 am

    That fabric is gorgeous! I love Moda.

  20. Anne R — June 29, 2009 @ 10:18 am

    Hi, Joan,

    I have been following your blog for quite a while now and always enjoy the tidbits you share with us. It has been exciting to read about Claire and see the variations. Now she is finally available to all of us.

    I would never have seen the “owl” if it wasn’t pointed out by you and I tend to look at prints like this for the hidden images!

    Anne R

  21. Kathy A — June 29, 2009 @ 10:27 am

    Love your bags!! Great ideas! Please enter me in the give=away. Thanks

  22. Terry Harrison — June 29, 2009 @ 10:28 am

    I’ll be picking up my pattern sometime this week. This looks to be the perfect bag and I look forward to making one – or, a lot! Thanks!

  23. Laura — June 29, 2009 @ 10:31 am

    Finally got my Claire Pattern in the mail. Been picking out fat quarters for it for awhile. Can’t wait to make it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  24. Cindy H — June 29, 2009 @ 10:33 am

    I love the Claire handbag! I can’t wait to get started making mine.

  25. Alma Lou — June 29, 2009 @ 10:47 am

    Not only is the fussy cutting a great idea, and one to share with my quilting group, but I love the inside compartments. This is what makes any bag practical.

    There are so many possibilities!

    Now to go surfing to find just the right fabric to coordinate with my wardrobe. Hmmm, this is going to be fun!

    Thanks for the great ideas.

    Alma Lou
    Amman, Jordan

  26. Ming — June 29, 2009 @ 10:48 am

    What a great idea! I have just been fussing with a border print for a Miranda bag this weekend, so I’m looking forward to trying it with Claire as well.

  27. Lisle — June 29, 2009 @ 10:50 am

    I love this fabric!! I think it’s my favorite Claire so far. I’m so lazy I haven’t ordered the pattern yet, but she’s on my list. I love the way you’re able to manipulate the fabric to make each one look so unique.

    What a wonderful project you’ve given us!!

  28. Wilma — June 29, 2009 @ 10:51 am

    Great blog. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas.

  29. Susan — June 29, 2009 @ 10:53 am

    Pink,green and cream, those are the colors of ice cream, and remind me of summer.
    I am waiting for my Claire pattern to come to La Paz with a friend.
    I have made 20 LGD bags for gifts, and 4 for myself.
    I am anxiously awaiting Claire.
    Susan In La Paz and Tehran

  30. Lisa B — June 29, 2009 @ 10:55 am


    Love all of your patterns. With your clear directions, a beginner can follow your patterns. Can’t wait to get the pattern for Claire.

  31. Linda Jones — June 29, 2009 @ 10:56 am

    This is the best purse you have offered. There are so many beautiful possibilities.

  32. Marcia — June 29, 2009 @ 10:57 am

    You have so many creative and fun ideas!


  33. Ann — June 29, 2009 @ 11:00 am

    I look forward to your posts on Monday monring! I enjoy your patterns and have a very nice collection! Keep up the good work!

  34. Beverly S. — June 29, 2009 @ 11:03 am

    I love the bag and the border print, going to start making the bag as soon as I get the pattern. I have made other LazyGirl bags, and they are the best!

  35. Honeyquilts — June 29, 2009 @ 11:05 am

    Great idea – I can see that border print oriented so it goes across the top of the bag – a whole other look. so many choices!

  36. Beth — June 29, 2009 @ 11:11 am

    I love, love, love this bag! What a fun way to show off my 2 sides ;o). Thanks for sharing this wonderful design!

  37. Janet — June 29, 2009 @ 11:14 am

    I love the Lazy Girl patterns. I have my Claire pattern and am ready to sew. If only work will let up and I can sew. Guess what I will be doing fourth of July weekend?
    Please enter me in the Tula Pink for Moda fabric give away.

  38. Patricia Robertson — June 29, 2009 @ 11:14 am

    One thing I can say about you is, you’re not afraid of color, just as I am not. I love thinking outside of the box and creating the unthinkable and coming up with a masterpiece. Creativity should have been your middle name. Thank you for all you create, artisticly( if this is a word) and sharing it with us.

    Patricia Robertson

  39. Barbara Klink — June 29, 2009 @ 11:20 am

    Thank you again Joan for sharing your creative ideas. The fussy cut fabrics really make this bag special. Lovely color combinations and style combine to make the personality of this bag a personal statement. Barbara Klink in Saint Louis

  40. Linda — June 29, 2009 @ 11:28 am

    I am loving this bag…I’ve put it on my list of things to make, and the Tula Pink is as always fantastic 🙂

  41. Mardeen Libby — June 29, 2009 @ 11:29 am

    This Lazy is my all time favorite. I love how you cut the fabric on the design border, and the colors are just great!
    Mardeen Libby in Colorado

  42. Henrietta — June 29, 2009 @ 11:30 am

    This is such a darling bag! I love your fabric combos and the hidden animals are adorable!

  43. Vanessa B — June 29, 2009 @ 11:31 am

    Thank You for the tips on cutting patterned fabrics and the chance to win these awesome fabrics! Im so loving the colors and those hidden animals 🙂

  44. Katherine Cadell — June 29, 2009 @ 11:37 am

    Love reading your blog every week. Sew many ideas that are sew much fun!!!
    Kathy in Puyallup.

  45. Pat — June 29, 2009 @ 11:53 am

    Love the Clare handbag! I have enjoyed all the Lazy Girl Patterns, and look forward to more in the future.

  46. Sandee S. — June 29, 2009 @ 11:57 am

    I’m making Claire right now and just love her. I’ve tweeked my fabrics around a little also. You make such nice patterns Joan. Thanks.

  47. Martie in CA — June 29, 2009 @ 11:59 am

    I really like the strange combination of colors in the border print. The Claire bag is done very nicely with the different fabrics.

  48. Gale — June 29, 2009 @ 11:59 am

    I love, love, love fussy cutting fabrics and now I have a new idea for the purse! Your bags are all so easy and look so great. I make them for all my family and friends.

    Count me in for the Moda fat quarter fabric drawing. Moda is one of my favorite fabrics.

    Gale in California Desert

  49. Gayla — June 29, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

    I just received my Claire pattern last week! I can’t wait to make one up–then another, then another. . .

  50. Kelly — June 29, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

    Love the bag, love Moda fabrics and love Tula Pink designs!