30 Wonderful Bag Patterns to Sew with 1 Yard of Fabric: all free!

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Can you believe that all you need to sew a useful shopping bag or purse is a single yard of fabric? Learn how to sew beautiful, practical bags with a single yard in my latest collection of 30 free bag patterns! 

This list includes lots of quick and easy bag patterns, like fold-over messenger bags, tote bags, cross-body bags, shopping totes, a laundry bag, and lots of purses. You will definitely find the bag you need.

Getting Started

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For those who have never sewn before, 1-yard cuts of fabric are affordable, easy to find, and just enough to make one project. Best of all, the first five patterns on this list only require basic sewing skills and tools – a sewing machine, scissors (or rotary cutter and mat), and coordinating thread. Pins or sewing clips will also be helpful.

Easiest projects first!

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To help you find a sewing project you will love, the easiest patterns and tutorials that only need 1 yard of fabric are listed first. This is for all the beginning sewists!

Lightweight cotton fabric (like quilting cotton) is easy to sew. So is heavier cotton fabric, such as canvas, duck, and home decor fabrics. Almost all of these projects are designed for cotton. You can use leftover fabrics from a quilt, too!

One Yard Messenger Bag

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The One Yard Magic Messenger Bag is the perfect sewing project for a beginner. 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 for this in your fabric 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 cute fabric exterior and any other 1/2 yard for the lining!

This pattern also makes a fabulous book, craft, or shopping bag.

Japanese Style Square Bag

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Learn to sew an easy tote bag with a boxy shape. This Japanese-inspired design is perfect for a beginner – the shape is made with some easy darts sewn into the side of the bag. The free sewing pattern includes instructions for making two different sizes. You’ll be able to make two of the smaller size bag with one yard of fabric so you can make one for yourself and one for a friend.

Cute Tote Bag with Optional Applique Bunnies

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Here’s another unlined bag pattern that works best with heavier upholstery weight fabric (this fabric looked like linen, but it was polyester). The Easy Tote Pattern has a free (optional) bunny applique too.

Hostess Apron and Tote Bag

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Sew a matching hostess apron and tote bag with a single yard. Don’t miss this magic tutorial.

Teacher Tote Bags

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You will love the zippered top on these beautiful canvas bags that I designed with teachers in mind. The free pattern only requires 1/2 yard of cotton canvas fabric and 2 coordinating cotton fat quarters to make a beautiful bag.

Fish Drawstring Bags

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Sew up adorable and useful drawstring laundry bags that are shaped like fish! This easy sewing tutorial includes free pattern templates. Get started now with just a yard of fabric. I have used this pattern to make a backpack too!

Canvas Book Bag

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

Car Diddy Bag

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

Big Pocket Baby Clutch

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Handmade gifts are the best, aren’t they? Here’s a cute diaper clutch you can whip up quickly when a friend is having a baby. Just toss in a few diapers and wipes, and you’ve got 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 1 easy shoe storage bag, and 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, lol!

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!

Big Vinyl and Fabric Tote

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How can you sew a big, professional-looking bag with just four fat quarters? Use see-through vinyl for the sides! This beautiful See-Through Tote is easy to sew for a confident beginner. It’s perfect for taking to the airport!

Handy Travel Pouch

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Sew together a handy travel pouch with a cross-body strap that’s perfect for travel. There are 3 interior pockets in 3 sizes – room for just what you need!

Sweet Quilted Bag

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Learn how to sew a quilted tote. The quilting stitches are optional, but I hope you don’t skip them!

Chubby Lunch Tote

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The Chubby Lunch Tote is a medium skill-level bag for holding much more than just lunch.

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 a purse or D-rings and a strap to make a cross-body bag.

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 this One Yard Magic Bag Pattern: one yard for one bag or 2 yards for 2 bags with a different lining.

Yarn Project Bag

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

Double Compartment Cross Body Bag

Make yourself a Double Compartment Cross Body Bag with two main pockets, a slim third pocket, plus a zipper pocket on the back! You’ll love it.

The Arial Bag

Arial Tote
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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! I wanted to keep it simple enough that it wouldn’t take more than a day to sew and yet still have all the features I 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.

Sling Bag

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Sew your own sling bag (a.k.a. hip bag, fanny pack, waist wallet, belt bag) using your favorite fabric and easy sewing techniques. This free sewing pattern will show you how!

Car Trash Bag

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This easy-to-sew car trash bin has an adjustable strap so it can be placed near your car’s center console, around a headrest, or you can even loop 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. I get compliments every time I take it out.

Whether you are sewing with coordinating fat quarters or yardage cut off a bolt, I hope you found the sewing pattern you were looking for. If the width of fabric is less than 40”, you may need more than a yard for some of these sewing projects.

Which of these one-yard wonders is your favorite?

Happy sewing!

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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. 🙂