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. Janice — June 29, 2009 @ 10:58 pm

    I love the Lazy Girl patterns as they are so easy and lazy!
    In addition to the purse patterns, I have two thread libraries for my Mettler sewing thread, the sewing machine cover, the three pouches for storage and travel.
    Family, friends and strangers are always asking what purse pattern I used and where they can get it!
    Keep up the great work, Joan!

  2. Dawn — June 29, 2009 @ 11:21 pm

    Can’t wait to try this pattern! I didn’t even notice the owl until it was pointed out, VERY COOL!!!

  3. Janice Beitz — June 29, 2009 @ 11:24 pm

    I love the suggestions about using borderprints or fancy stripes. Many of them are beautiful but intimidating. Trust joan to make the process “Lazy”. Thanks, Joan, for using the illustration with the cutting lines overlaid. It makes the method really easy to understand.

  4. Lorianne W of CA — June 29, 2009 @ 11:52 pm

    I would have never thought of using a border for this purse. I have some fabric that would be great for this bag. Now I can’t wait to get it and try. Love what you have done. Thanks for the great patterns.

  5. SANDRA — June 30, 2009 @ 1:09 am

    I absolutely love the BAGS I was so happy to see joan carrying the patterns keep up thee great work and it’ss all in the bag from here on out lol

  6. Dawn — June 30, 2009 @ 1:16 am

    Love the bag! Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. Lynn Vogel Turbes — June 30, 2009 @ 1:32 am

    I am such a huge fan of your purse patterns and have one in the making at all times! I have a border print begging to become a Lazy…thanks for the tips for it’s dream to come true very soon!

  8. Carolyn Howland — June 30, 2009 @ 1:47 am

    A lazy girl pattern and Moda fabric make a perfect combination. I would love to win the fat quarters. Hugs

  9. Susette — June 30, 2009 @ 2:41 am

    Love the fabric. Thanks for the giveaway.


  10. Jan in Oz — June 30, 2009 @ 3:30 am

    Claire is a beauty and she seems to make up so well in so many different fabrics. There will be a warm welcome waiting for her in Oz when she arrives!

  11. Agneta Ekholm — June 30, 2009 @ 3:53 am

    What a smart idea! Sometimes I buy my border fabrics too long (I am SURE “overbuying” never happens to anybody else … not) And to create a quite small object, like the newest girl in your collection will be just sufficient! Perfect!

  12. Julie — June 30, 2009 @ 6:16 am

    You continue to WOW me with each new Claire bag! Love the Tula Pink and never would have thought of using a border fabric! Thanks for the great tips! I have the pattern and some (now boring to me fat quarters!) – just waiting for enough time to get my bag made! Hope I get to make one just like yours!

  13. Ruth - Amarillo — June 30, 2009 @ 6:19 am

    Hmnmm Joan…have you ever thought of making a career out of purse pattern making? With a little practice, you just might make it in this big round world. Just kidding. As per usual, your well thought out instructions are excellent….your fabric choices delicious and you’re just a neat all-around kind of gal! Thanks so much for all you share with us.

  14. Ruth — June 30, 2009 @ 6:29 am

    I love the fabrics you used. Sadly we will probably never see them here in Australia unless we buy them from OS.
    They are just the cutest. Love Claire bag. she is on my ‘must have’ list.
    Thanks Joan.

  15. Crafty Gardener — June 30, 2009 @ 6:29 am

    I just joined the Yahoo group and plan to make some of your patterns over the summer time.

  16. jo d — June 30, 2009 @ 6:29 am

    love seeing the different fabrics have a hard time finding them around my small town

  17. Suzi — June 30, 2009 @ 6:34 am

    What gorgeous fabric, I’ve been loving you’re posts of this bag!
    I’d love to give it a try..

  18. Billie — June 30, 2009 @ 6:38 am

    I’ve tried to resist, I already have a pile of projects I can’t get to, but you are making it sooooo hard. Claire will have to be bumped up to the top of the list. Billie

  19. Robbie Foster — June 30, 2009 @ 6:52 am

    Cool fabric and, of course, it is a really cool bag. I never would have seen the hidden critters–not even the butterfly.

  20. Kim Dolan — June 30, 2009 @ 7:02 am

    What a fabulous effect the border print makes! Thinking outside the box and utilizing the symmetry of the design really makes the bag POP!

    Thanks for sharing this and offering these great fabrics!

    Kim in Sydney

  21. susie brown — June 30, 2009 @ 8:27 am

    I love the ideal of using a border print for the handbag.

  22. Laura — June 30, 2009 @ 8:28 am

    What a great way to use those fabulous border prints! Who would think?

  23. Barb in Northwest Ohio — June 30, 2009 @ 8:32 am


    Love all your tips. Your patterns are great and so easy to follow. Too bad work gets in the way of my sewing time. I have the Mini Miranda on my work table, just need to get the time to stitch. Keep up the good work.

  24. Karen — June 30, 2009 @ 8:33 am

    Oh..ohoh….looks like the perfect fabric for me and my Claire. Love all the tutorial help…and love Lazies! Thanks for the chance to win this awesome fabric.


  25. Toni — June 30, 2009 @ 8:40 am

    What a novel idea, placing the fabric that way on a border print. I have just received my pattern and have several border prints in my stash — too little to make anything substantial and too pretty to give away. Hmmmm… now I can see that I’ll have several Claires.

  26. Vickie — June 30, 2009 @ 8:45 am

    I just love your choices of fabric for your Claire bags! You just helped me pick my fabric for Claire when I get my pattern. I have a striped print fabric that I think will work. Your a master at what you do!

  27. Kim Cline — June 30, 2009 @ 8:49 am

    i find the prints you have used in all of your clairs to be very hip, contrastingly cool. i love the more wild fabrics and colors and you seem to hit it everytime

  28. Brooke — June 30, 2009 @ 8:52 am

    you keep tempting me with this pattern. tempt tempt tempt. i do have a birthday coming up…..hmmmmmmm ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Patricia — June 30, 2009 @ 8:57 am

    I am new to Lazy Girl Designs but I LOVE everything I see!! I did make the Noriko (I hope that is the right name) bag that is a freebie on the group and really enjoyed working with the pattern. I hope to get more of your patterns soon, I have my eye on several.

    blessings, Patricia a.k.a patchworkhen

    p.s. pick me (please)

  30. Sue — June 30, 2009 @ 9:00 am

    I might not have chosen those fabrics, but seeing how you used them really changes the look, very clever. I really liked the look of the bag, great pattern, great prints.

  31. LouAnn — June 30, 2009 @ 9:04 am

    I’m known as the “BagLady” at the shop where I work and teach classes. I will definitley have to include Claire in my “Build-a-Bag” monthly class. Moda fabrics are delicious and work well in many bags.

  32. Barbara — June 30, 2009 @ 9:21 am

    Love it, love it, LOVE IT!

  33. Arlene — June 30, 2009 @ 9:35 am

    I do enjoy the Lazy Girl patterns. I really like this bag because it uses more of the fabric without being obvious about it. Nicely done.

  34. Traci — June 30, 2009 @ 9:45 am

    Joan, just love the new Claire! I’ve got my pattern & fabric, now I just need a 2nd me!

  35. Alda — June 30, 2009 @ 9:57 am

    Just Love all your bag patterns. What a “cool” fabric with the โ€œhiddenโ€ owl. My mom collects owls and always uses the bags I make for her (3 so far). I would love to make Claire for her from this fabrics.

  36. keepsakek — June 30, 2009 @ 9:59 am

    Wow … what a fab look …. now off to find border prints too.

  37. Kristy James — June 30, 2009 @ 10:10 am

    I am so glad you posted about using a border print. I was thinking about using one and really wasn’t sure how to go about cutting it. I wasn’t brave enough to dive in and start cutting because I was afraid I would mess it up. Your diagram has given me the confidence to start whacking!

    Thanks for all your inspirational ideas. You are a blessing.

  38. Melanie Warman — June 30, 2009 @ 10:11 am

    I love this tip and especially the great pictures, I’m very visual in my learning style. I admit that I am addicted to making Miranda bags but as a result, I’m the most popular member of my extended family! Great website! Melanie

  39. WendyT — June 30, 2009 @ 10:15 am

    I love the way you did this Joan. Makes it very unique.

  40. Marie Palmer — June 30, 2009 @ 10:16 am

    Hi Joan
    Great patterns. I first saw someone using a wonder wallets at a show in Toronto Ontario.
    Didn’t ask the person where she got the pattern. Had been looking for it for a while.
    On vacation in Michigan saw the pattern and one made up in a quilting store in Marshall Michigan. Of course I purchased the pattern and have been making them ever since.
    Love all your patterns looking forward to making the new Claire bag.
    Would also love to win new fabric. Can never have enough to add to the stash.
    Thanks for a great pattern company and a great web site.

  41. Colleen — June 30, 2009 @ 10:35 am

    Love your bag. Your are so helpful.

  42. Doreen — June 30, 2009 @ 10:46 am

    I just love your patterns. The directions are so clear and concise that they are easy to follow. Thank you for all your help in fabric and color choices.

  43. Darcie — June 30, 2009 @ 10:47 am

    I love all the variety with this bag! All the combinations so far look amazing on her. I’m definitely looking forward to getting this pattern.

  44. Julie Drennan — June 30, 2009 @ 10:50 am

    Found my stash of bag-E-bottoms! Made a Claire and broke all the rules. Will post a pic soon, when I find my camera. Moda fabrics rock, according to my daughter.

  45. Tina M. — June 30, 2009 @ 11:34 am

    AWESOME way to make use of those tricky border prints. Keep the amazing patterns coming ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Mary — June 30, 2009 @ 11:38 am

    Love the fabrics used in the latest Claire! Sew many fabric choices, sew little time.
    Happy Stitchin!

  47. Nancy — June 30, 2009 @ 11:59 am

    Love the border print! The “Lazy” that gets the fabric will be so lucky!

    Take care,


  48. Louise Yoshihara — June 30, 2009 @ 12:20 pm

    I love this fabric line ! I’ve collected owls forever, but would have never seen the owl until you pointed it out. I was thinking stripes, not owls. Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. That’s why your tutorials are priceless. I need to see those tips on auditioning fabrics, etc. That’s when this old dog learns new tricks. Hope to win the drawing.

    Louise in Bend, OR

  49. Ola — June 30, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

    I love the Claire and hope to get it soon. Send me the fat quarters!

  50. Norma — June 30, 2009 @ 1:51 pm

    I love the colors and design of this Lazy Girl bag. Would love to win the fat quarters.