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How to Sew a Bag With Just 1 Yard of Fabric: 25 Free Patterns

CEO Tinh Phung
Can you believe that all you need to sew a useful shopping bag or purse is just one yard of fabric? It's true! With these quick and easy bag patterns, you can create fold-over messenger...

Can you believe that all you need to sew a useful shopping bag or purse is just one yard of fabric? It's true! With these quick and easy bag patterns, you can create fold-over messenger bags, tote bags, cross-body bags, shopping totes, laundry bags, and lots of purses. This list is sure to include your next sewing project.

Getting Started

If you've never sewn before, don't worry. One-yard cuts of fabric are affordable, easy to find, and just enough to make one project. And the best part is that you only need basic sewing skills and tools - a sewing machine, scissors (or rotary cutter and mat), coordinating thread, and pins or sewing clips. It's that simple!

Easiest projects first!

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To help you find a sewing project you'll love, we've listed the easiest patterns and tutorials that only need 1 yard of fabric first. These patterns are perfect for beginners! Lightweight cotton fabric, like quilting cotton, is easy to sew with. You can also use heavier cotton fabric, such as canvas, duck, and home decor fabrics. Almost all of these projects are designed for cotton. You can even use leftover fabrics from a quilt!

One Yard Messenger Bag

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The One Yard Magic Messenger Bag is the perfect sewing project for beginners. It could be your first DIY bag!

One Yard Hobo Bag

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The One Yard Magic Hobo Bag pattern is just as easy. Do you have 1 yard of fabric for this in your stash?

Easy Bag with 1 Yard of Quilting Cotton

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Kids' Halloween treat bags like this one are fast and easy to sew! Just grab 1/2 yard of cute fabric for the exterior and another 1/2 yard for the lining. This pattern can also be used to make a fabulous book, craft, or shopping bag.

Cute Tote Bag with Optional Applique Bunnies

Here's another unlined bag pattern that works best with heavier upholstery weight fabric, like linen or polyester. The Easy Tote Pattern even has a free optional bunny applique.

Hostess Apron and Tote Bag

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Sew a matching hostess apron and tote bag with just a single yard of fabric. Don't miss this magical tutorial!

Fish Drawstring Bags

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Sew up adorable and useful drawstring laundry bags shaped like fish! This easy sewing tutorial even includes free pattern templates. You can also use this pattern to make a backpack!

Canvas Book Bag

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This little book bag pattern is perfect for natural canvas fabric and quilting cotton for the straps.

Big Pocket Baby Clutch

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Handmade gifts are the best, right? Here's a cute diaper clutch you can whip up quickly to give to a friend who's having a baby. Just toss in a few diapers and wipes, and you'll have the most thoughtful gift at the baby shower!

Drawstring Ditty Bags

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Learn how to make easy drawstring bags with less than a yard of fabric. You'll love this tutorial, which can be sewn with coordinating fabrics or just one.

Flat Travel Bag

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With just a half-yard of fabric, you can make an easy shoe storage bag. With 1 yard, you can make a set of 2. These are perfect for keeping shoes protected from everything else in your bag - or maybe keeping everything else protected from your shoes!

Rope Handled Totes

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My rope-handled tote pattern is so quick to sew because you don't have to make handles or straps. Rope is trendy too!

Handy Travel Pouch

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Sew together a handy travel pouch with a cross-body strap that's perfect for travel. It has 3 interior pockets in 3 different sizes, so you'll have room for just what you need!

Sweet Quilted Bag

Learn how to sew a quilted tote. The quilting stitches are optional, but they add a nice touch to the bag.

Boxy Zipper Bag or Purse Pattern

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My Boxy Zipper Bag Pattern can be made with or without bag hardware. Add handles to make it a purse or D-rings and a strap to make it a cross-body bag.

Chubby Lunch Tote

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The Chubby Lunch Tote is a medium skill-level bag that can hold much more than just lunch.

Convertible Cross Body Tote

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Sew a beautiful cross-body bag pattern that will be your new favorite purse!

2 Bags from 1 Yard of Fabric

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Mix and match with the One Yard Magic Bag Pattern: one yard for one bag, or 2 yards for 2 bags with different linings.

Yarn Project Bag

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Sew up a roomy bag perfect for carrying balls of yarn and your knitting or crochet projects. The Yarn Project Bag would also make a great gift.

The Arial Bag

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Sew yourself (or a friend) The Arial Tote Pattern with a unique braided strap and a cell phone pocket on the inside!

Pretty Hobo Bag

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This hobo bag-style purse pattern is easier to make than you think! It's designed to be simple enough to sew in just a day, yet still have all the features you want in an everyday purse.

Clamshell Bag

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Sew a clamshell bag pattern just the way you like it! Without anything fancy, this zipper bag is just right for holding supplies, cosmetics, or small things when you travel. But if you add exterior pockets and handles, it makes a darling handbag.

Car Diddy Bag

My Car Diddy Bag holds my phone, cords, a couple of pens, and anything else I want to toss in there while I'm driving. What will you put in it?

Car Trash Bag

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This easy-to-sew car trash bin has an adjustable strap so you can place it near your car's center console, around a headrest, or even loop it through a door handle. Plastic snaps hold a removable bag in place to keep everything clean and easily remove trash!

Kids Bike Messenger Bag

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This pattern is for a cute messenger bag that fits on the front of a bike - it's perfect for kids or kids at heart!

Baguette Bag

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Sew a small purse in the cutest shape everyone wants - a Baguette Bag! This purse may be small, but you can still pack it with everything you need.

Whether you're sewing with coordinating fat quarters or yardage cut off a bolt, we hope you've found the sewing pattern you were looking for. Just remember that if the width of your fabric is less than 40 inches, you may need more than a yard for some of these projects.

So, which of these one-yard wonders is your favorite?

Happy sewing!

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