1 Yard Magic Hobo Bag Free Sewing Pattern


Learn to sew a one yard bag! This free sewing pattern is for a fast and easy hobo bag with only 1 yard of fabric.

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The free One Yard Magic Hobo Bag Pattern is included in the blog post below and is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $2 is totally optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library for you to access anytime you want? Check it out.

One year at Quilt Market, Yoko from Lecien Fabrics gave me permission to share this awesome 1 Yard Magic Pattern.

Here are some other fun sewing projects that only use one yard of fabric:

This free pattern is also included in my Ultimate List of Fast and Easy Tote Bags to Sew.

Over the weekend I stitched up this gorgeous bag using Lecien’s red Flower Sugar Oxford fabric. Take note – Oxford cotton fabrics from Lecien are heavier than regular quilting cotton – they are comparable to home decor fabric.

Can you tell what we are cooking up?

Using home decor weight fabric for this bag makes it fast and easy. There’s no lining, but all of the seams are finished.  And it’s the perfect size (and holds just the right amount) for a shopping tote!

You will LOVE the fabric origami that you get to do when sewing this unique bag with just one yard of fabric. It makes the bag look complicated even though it’s not.

So let’s sew a Hobo Bag from 1 yard of fabric!

You will need:

  • 1 yard of home decor weight fabric, such as cotton, cotton duck, cotton linen blend, etc.
  • coordinating thread
  • cutting tools such as rotary cutter, ruler, and mat
  • a sewing machine


From 1 yard of fabric that’s at least 40” wide, cut:

  • 1 square 30” x’ 30”
  • 2 strips 2 1/2” x 24”

(Note: from the diagram, it seems like the straps are longer than one side of the square. But that was too long. When I attached my straps, 24” seemed more appropriate.)

Sew the straps:

1. Fold each 2 1/2” x 24” strip in half lengthwise and stitch the long edge with a 1/4” seam allowance.

2. Attach a safety pin or bodkin to one end and use it to turn the straps right side out.

3. Press both straps flat and set aside.

Hem the Fabric Square:

{You may hem your square any way you like, but here are my tips for perfect mitered corners.}

1. Fold and press each edge of the square over 1/2” twice to make a 1/2” hem.

See the two pressing lines on either side of my square in the photo above? They intersect to make a small square at the corner. I put dots at the corners.

2. Cut off the corner diagonally, slicing the square in half at two of the intersection points.

3. Fold the just-cut raw edge over at the point where the inside fold lines intersect. Press.

4. Re-fold the original hems that you pressed and press again. Perfect!

Repeat at all 4 corners.

5. Stitch the hem in place close to the fold.

Sew the Bag Side Seams:

Here comes the origami!

1. Fold the hemmed square in half, right sides together. Measure 8” up from the fold on each side and put a pin at the 8” mark. Pin the edges together below the 8” mark too.

2. Stitch each side from the pin at the 8” mark to the fold. Sew just inside the hemmed edges.

3. Pull the top edges apart and re-fold the bag so that you can pin and sew again for 8” down to the fold on the other two sides of the bag.

4. Press the side seams flat.

Fold and Tack the Corners:

1. Lay the bag flat to make a square. Fold each corner up to meet the start of the side seam stitching. Pin, attaching the corner to the side seam only (not through all of the layers).

2. Tack the corner to the side seam. Make sure you are not sewing through all layers. If your sewing machine has a free arm feature, this would be the perfect time to use it. Repeat on all 4 corners.

Tacking is sewing in one spot to attach something in place. Your sewing machine might have a programmed tack or bar-tack stitch. I’m using my straight stitch machine that doesn’t have any programmed stitches, so I’m just sewing a few stitches back and forth 3-4 times.

Attach the Bag Straps:

1. Fold each end of the 24” long straps over 1/2”.

2. Pin a strap to 2 adjacent corners, with the folded edges turned under and hidden.

3. Stitch in a square to attach the strap, and then sew an ‘X’ in the middle of the square, if desired.

Now go shopping with your beautiful  Hobo Tote from only 1 yard of fabric!

This is the last of the three 1 Yard Magic that Lecien Fabrics shared with me. Stay tuned for more by following my 1 Yard Magic Pinterest Board. I hope they write more soon!

Happy sewing,

Sharing is Caring!

Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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  1. Oh My God, its so pretty and so easy to do! Thank you for sharing this. I will definitely try to make lots!

  2. wish you could put the links to the other bags : messenger & two smaller messenger bags , here ……..
    can’t find them on your page .

  3. I love this! Would a canvas be too heavy? My local fabric store just got in some beautiful printed canvases.

  4. Thank you for sharing this one yard magic bag. I’m anxious to give it a try. In the winter we visit a city in WA that requires shoppers to pay .5 cents per bag or carry your own. Well guess who isn’t going to get caught w/o a bag this year.

  5. Great instruction, worked well for me. (Except I am corner challenged.)

  6. Way back in the 1980s one of the women’s magazines had a pattern for a similar tote. I believe it was made using two fabrics, creating a reversible bag. If I remember right, it was sewn in mobius fashion and was lots of fun to make. I made bunches of them but no longer have any. I have been hoping to find that pattern for years. Anybody else know the one I mean? Anyway, thanks for what seems to be an updated yet original version.

  7. Just double checking: may I use this pattern to sew using my own fabrics and then, sell these totes? Thank you.

    1. No problem.
      Please don’t copy and paste the text of my tutorials to use as your own.
      But I feel like anything that you make with your own hands is yours to keep, share, or sell!


  8. roxy wilson says:

    can u possibly do a vid of this tutorial as even with pics im just not getting it..feel kinda dumb but dying to make one.thx

  9. I love this bag design and want to make some for gifts. Most of the cute prints I like are apparel fabrics. I’m worried the fabric would be too light. Would it be crazy to try to line or could it be reversible?

  10. ROSALYN SROGA says:


  11. Beverley Savage says:

    I made this with heavy drapery fabric I had left over from my last home improvement project and lined with a white cotton. Was too thick to sew corners to top of bag so I hand sewed gold colored snaps to bag and corners. Bag can now be made larger if unsnapped!!
    If I make again would use a lighter fabric.

  12. Sue Eppard says:

    Such a sweet bag. I can’t wait to try it. Would that be Yoko Saito you mentioned? She’s marvelous! You’re marvelous! Your patterns are marvelous! Thank you so much! 🙂

  13. Thanks, that’s very kind of you for shearing, can’t wait to try it

  14. DIANE LEDUC says:

    I want to try this in rip stop nylon to make a foldable bag for carrying in my purse or suitcase.

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