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. joan godfrey — June 29, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

    when i read border print, i thought matching stripes. i like what you did.

  2. Sheila Perl — June 29, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

    Your newsletter is like talking to a favourite sewing friend, thank you for sharing all your sewing tips and ideas, I really look forward to hearing from you every week!!
    I have made several of your patterns and I love them 🙂 I can’t wait to get my Claire pattern.
    I would never have seen that owl in a million years!! Now I am going to look at the Moda site and see what else she has designed.
    I love it when your readers add their location when they post-Lazy Girls are everywhere!!
    Sheila in Mississauga, Ontario

  3. Judy LeVang — June 29, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

    I love the versatility of The Claire handbag. Just changing the fabric makes such a difference in her look. I am making one in juvenile prints and think it will make an adorable, dash-out-the-door, fun bag!

  4. Linda — June 29, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

    I love your purses! I am also addicted to making them–
    hope I win the drawing!!!

  5. Carla — June 29, 2009 @ 12:53 pm

    Love the Claire handbag, can’t wait to get mine made. Thanks for all your great patterns and creative ideas.

  6. joyce — June 29, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

    I love the effect of the fussy cutting. Please count me in.

  7. Carol St — June 29, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

    I love the lazy designs and tutorials. Every one is so easy to follow. The moda prints are just beautiful

  8. Susie Mac — June 29, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

    I enjoy reading your blog. I’m so looking forward to some down time when I can try my hand at making a Claire handbag. Thank you!!

  9. Barb — June 29, 2009 @ 1:21 pm

    What a cute bag! Love how you did the stripe.


  10. Sequana — June 29, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

    Claire looks great in any fabric combination, doesn’t she?

  11. Michele — June 29, 2009 @ 1:25 pm

    I can’t wait to start making Claire! My only problem is deciding on the fabric! This bag lends itself to so many combinations, I just can’t make up my mind!

  12. Maggie St — June 29, 2009 @ 1:36 pm

    Again, another winner! Super job…but then when isn’t it?

  13. Jackie Joyce — June 29, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

    I love to embellish fabrics and the “dots” on the sides of the owl’s eyes, in this wonderful Moda fabric, is just asking for flat back crystals. And just to draw more attention to the bling, a few embroidery stitches on the owl’s “eyelashes” will be fun. Claire and the other girls rock!

  14. DeLynn — June 29, 2009 @ 1:50 pm

    I love the Moda Fabric and your creative use of them makes them even more special. Thanks for a dose of creativity. And thanks to Moda for the fabric giveaway. Someone is going to be “PRETTY” happy.

  15. carol thompson — June 29, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

    What a wonderful idea using border prints. I’ve always wondered just what to do with the left-overs.

  16. Sandi Franklin — June 29, 2009 @ 2:00 pm

    What a great idea. I love border prints & I love LAZY patterns & tools

  17. Marilyn — June 29, 2009 @ 2:08 pm

    I too would love to win the fabric. Who doesn’t love Moda fabric? I am just starting to work on the Claire bag and have a fabric chosen that has various sizes of stripes in my friends colors of greens and oranges and white. I am trying for symetry as well. She does not sew and this is meant as a Thank you for things she has done for me. Thanks to you for the tip of using a border print. Love it.

  18. Judy — June 29, 2009 @ 2:37 pm

    I received my pattern last week & have not had a chance to work on a purse just yet. I did look over the pattern & it sounds like it shouldn’t be too hard to make. I would love to be entered in the drawing for the Moda fabric. Thanks for all your wonderful patterns.

  19. JUDY — June 29, 2009 @ 3:06 pm


  20. Jennifer P — June 29, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

    Three bridesmaid dresses down and two to go…then the flower girls and then my rehearsal dress. This is such torture seeing how cute Claire is and not being able to work on one for me!!!

  21. Maeve Binder — June 29, 2009 @ 3:21 pm

    I’ve been following the blog ever since you announced the Claire handbag pattern was forthcoming. The many variations you have shared are inspiring, to say the least. I have been following all the tips and hints on putting it all together and I thank you for the clear photos and instructions. I LOVE the version you are showing on today’s blog, the Tula Pink fabrics are so beautiful! I ordered my pattern, have it now, and need some fabric to put it together. I would love to win the fat quarters you are offering in your giveaway – the fabric is perfect for this bag design. It is sultry hot here in South Carolina and I just want to hole up in my sewing room making this beautiful purse. Here’s hoping . . .

  22. Leanne — June 29, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

    Love those fabrics! I didn’t even see the owl until you pointed it out. Genious!

  23. Jillian — June 29, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

    Love the Claire pattern.

    Thanks for showing us your fabric design ideas–it’s one of the things I’ve always admired about the bags you make.

  24. Sandra Chavez — June 29, 2009 @ 4:15 pm

    I always enjoy reading your Blog as it opens up all sorts of possibilites for making really beautiful bags. Thanks so much.

  25. KJ Gambino — June 29, 2009 @ 4:23 pm

    I love this fabric and can never seem to find anything close to it in my local stores. I look and look but can’t find it on line either. I made my first Claire this past weekend and have made the Mini-Miranda, The Whimsey, the Day Bag and the Town Bag. Gee might have those names wrong! lol Anyway, I love them all but I must admit Claire is the prettiest and almost the easiest to make. Joan’s patterns are sooooooo clear and easy to follow. I do admit though I never make just the purse but always make matching wonder wallets and matching perfect pouches to go with each purse. Doesn’t seem right not to have matching accessories!

  26. Marilyn — June 29, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

    I love the Lazy Girl patterns and I have made several different purses.

  27. Liana — June 29, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

    I love it! So cute! I can’t wait to start making mine. Please enter my name to the fabric giveaway

  28. Libby — June 29, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

    Looking forward to making the Clair bag……..have the pattern, just looking for the time. All your fabric choices are wonderful. Can’t wait to get a couple of them done.

  29. Susan Brooks — June 29, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

    I just finished Chelsea and love her! I want to add Claire to my bag collection.
    Love your patterns. Moda fabric would be a nice gift, thanks for this site.

  30. Margaret Swann — June 29, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

    Thank you for teaching me so many different ways of “seeing.”

  31. bscotland — June 29, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

    Love the idea of winning Moda fabrics. Also plan on making a purse in the new future – your Lazy Girls bag looks so cute and lots of pockets for holding stuff. Thanks.

  32. Margaret B. — June 29, 2009 @ 5:13 pm

    I love the Claire purse as you have made it. I have made it before also. I have not used this method. I’m definitely going to have to try it though. It makes a very “nice” purse. Thanks for the idea.

  33. Bobbie Rankin — June 29, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

    Great, great bag. I love all of the patterns and just go crazy wanting to do them all.

  34. Pino — June 29, 2009 @ 5:32 pm

    You Go Girl! Looks Great! Thanks for the tip on using border prints.

  35. Donna — June 29, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

    Love your blog!! Your patterns are awesome and so affordable to make.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas and talents with us “Lazy Girls”!!!

    Donna from Westfield, NY

  36. girlsmama — June 29, 2009 @ 5:52 pm

    I love Tula Pink! I had never notices the animals before!

  37. Tami — June 29, 2009 @ 5:56 pm

    I love the bag, and, love the Moda fabric that you used. I didn’t know there were animals “hidden” in it. It’s awesome!! Is this fabric available or is it coming soon???

  38. Sandie Hedrick — June 29, 2009 @ 6:03 pm

    Hi Joan,
    I am an owl collector too. I have them from several different countries, thanks to a neighbor. I didn’t notice the owl either, until it was pointed out. How cool! Love the fabric & the handbag, & the colors are some of my favorites, pink being #1. Please enter me in the drawing. Looks like there’s going to be a bunch of entries!

  39. Jennifer Fox — June 29, 2009 @ 6:30 pm

    I can’t wait to get started on my Claire bag! The blogs are so helpful and I love the instructions on the pattern! Very nice!

  40. Kath — June 29, 2009 @ 6:50 pm

    I love the bag and it looks so good with the fabrics .Keep up the great work

  41. ina — June 29, 2009 @ 7:29 pm

    I love your patterns. I rely on my “Runaround Bag” on a daily basis!

  42. Denise — June 29, 2009 @ 7:33 pm

    Have Claire waiting to be done. Problem is sewing room is all apart right now–installing central AC. Can’t wait for it to be back together again–lost without my sewing. That border print is so nice. Love the owl. Thank you for your patterns Joan. They are so easy to sew.

  43. Karen Lumley — June 29, 2009 @ 7:55 pm

    Wow, offer something free and everyone responds. All of your bags are great, Joan, but I am most thankful for the “Adorable” pattern you helped me obtain, about a year ago. Many thanks …I have made several of them as gifts.

  44. Melissa Lamb — June 29, 2009 @ 8:34 pm

    I just love making bags. They make the greatest gifts to give to family and friends who get to enjoy my passion for creating with fabric.
    Thank you for offering this promotion it is appreciated especially in these times.
    Melissa Lamb

  45. Mary Beth — June 29, 2009 @ 8:46 pm

    I love the Claire!. It is just the right size for all my “essentials”. I plan to make many.

  46. Lois March — June 29, 2009 @ 8:53 pm

    Beautiful fabric results in a beautiful bag. What a great pattern to use to get spectacular results.
    Lois M.

  47. Glenda in Florida — June 29, 2009 @ 9:21 pm

    Joan–I love the way you think! Using the stripe like that is a great idea. And, I love bunnies–I’ll have to track down that fabric!

  48. Mary Carole — June 29, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

    I was so excited when the owl finally became visable to me! The Claire handbag is the best I seen that it perfect for ALL the women is my family. I will be working a long time on this for a few months, I love it! Your blog is terrific for good info snf great photos. Thank you!!

  49. Sharon P — June 29, 2009 @ 9:58 pm

    Joan the fabric is just wounderful. The pink remindes me of fluttery fly by Moda but it was in blue. Now I will be looking for striped fabric. Thanks for sharing.

    Sharon P in thumb of MI

  50. Carol — June 29, 2009 @ 10:08 pm

    I always love reading your emails! This is a great, creative use of fabric!
    Thanks & let me know when my fat quarters will be on the way! LOL!