/ / Sew a Gorgeous Garment Bag – free sewing pattern

Sew a Gorgeous Garment Bag – free sewing pattern

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Be ready to travel handmade with a beautiful garment bag made by you! This sewing pattern for a fabric garment bag is easy to sew using techniques that I’ve shared in lots of my free bag patterns. There are lots of clever features that will make this your favorite piece of made-by-me luggage ever.

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The front of this approximately 24’’ x 40’’ garment bag (not including the handles and strap) has a long zipper that opens all the way at the top to make putting clothes in and taking them out super easy.


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On the back, there is a large 24’’ x 14’’ pocket that’s perfect for items that won’t stay on a hanger.

I decided to add decorative ribbon to my bag for extra ‘wow factor’.


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Besides the handles at the top and bottom that allow you to carry this bag like a suitcase, there is also a detachable shoulder strap.


And don’t miss my favorite feature (something that was suggested by one of you!) – a tie at the top to secure the tops of your hangers so they don’t slip down into the bag when you carry it by the handles.

Are you ready to sew? Let’s go!

How to Sew a Gorgeous Garment Bag

Approximate size 40’’ tall x 24’’ wide, not including the handles and strap.

You will need:

*The bag pieces are cut widthwise. More fabric will be needed if you have a directional print that runs lengthwise.


Not all pieces are shown.

Not all pieces are shown.

Cutting

From the main fabric for the bag exterior, cut:

  • 2 rectangles 44’’ x 26’’ (or as wide as the fabric width if your fabric is less than 44’’ wide)

  • 1 rectangle 16’’ x 26’’ for the pocket

  • 1 rectangle 4’’ x 24’’ for the pocket top panel

  • 2 rectangles 4’’ x 12’’ for the handles

  • 2 rectangles 4’’ x 5’’ for the D-ring tabs

  • 1 strip 2’’ x 21’’ for the hanger tie

  • 1 strip 4’’ x 42’’ for the strap

From the fabric for the bag interior, cut:

  • 2 rectangles 44’’ x 26’’ (or as wide as the fabric width if your fabric is less than 44’’ wide)

  • 1 rectangle 16’’ x 26’’ for the pocket

From the bias binding fabric, cut 2 1/4’’ wide strips on a 45 degree angle and join to make 4 yards total.

From the foam stabilizer, cut:

  • 2 rectangles 44’’ x 26’’

  • 1 rectangle 16’’ x 26’’ for the pocket

From the medium weight fusible interfacing, cut:

  • 2 rectangles 4’’ x 12’’ for the handles

  • 2 rectangles 4’’ x 5’’ for the D-ring tabs

  • 1 rectangle 4’’ x 24’’ for the pocket top panel

  • enough 4’’ strips to cover the back of the 4’’ x 42’’ bag strap piece

Preparation:

Press to fuse the medium weight fusible interfacing pieces to the wrong side of the d-ring tab pieces, the handle pieces, and the pocket top panel.


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Prepare the Quilted Pieces

1. Lay a 44’’ x 26’’ exterior fabric wrong side down against a foam stabilizer piece of the same size. Adhere with spray-baste (such as SpraynBond) or machine baste around the edges 1/8’’ from the edge.

I love to machine baste when using foam stabilizer. See my easy video tutorial here.

2. Lay a 44’’ x 26’’ lining fabric with the wrong side against the opposite side of the foam stabilizer. Adhere with spray-baste or machine baste around the edges 1/8’’ from the edge.


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Repeat with the remaining pieces of fabric and foam stabilizer so you have fabric and stabilizer ‘sandwiches’ – 2 large pieces for the garment bag and one smaller piece for the pocket.


3. Use free motion or walking foot quilting to quilt all over all three of the large fabric and stabilizer pieces.


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4. After quilting,

  • from one 44’’ x 26’’ piece, cut a 42’’ x 24’’ rectangle for the bag back (or as tall as you are able to depending on the width of your fabric – 38’’-40’’ x 26’’ is fine too)

  • from the other 44’’ x 26’’ piece, cut 2 rectangles 42’’ x 12’’ for the bag front (or the same height as the bag back piece if needed)

  • from the 16’’ x 26’’ piece, cut a rectangle 14’’ x 24’’.


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5. Use the large curve template to curve the TOP corners of the 44’’ x 26’’ back piece.


6. Use the Creative Grids Corner Ruler or small curve template to round the bottom corners of the back piece and the pocket piece with a 3’’ radius corner.


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7. Lay the two 12’’ x 42’’ front pieces on your workspace right side up. Mark the top inside corners as follows:

  • make a mark 1’’ below the top inside corner

  • make a mark 4’’ over from the top inside corner.

Then use scissors or a rotary cutter to cut a slight curve that connects the two marks on each piece.


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8. Baste around all of the quilted pieces 1/8’’ from the edge to seal the edges.


Sew the Front Zipper

1. Cut 44’’ from your zipper by the yard (or cut another zipper down to 44’’). Add a slider, and sew the bottom end of the closed.

Tip: if you are afraid that you might accidentally pull the zipper pull off the top while you are working, you can sew the top of the zipper closed too – and then cut it open right before binding the top edge.


2. Lay the long zipper right side down against the right side of one of the top pieces’ inside edge. Make sure that the top of the zipper (where it opens) is near the curved top edge of a front piece.

Pin or clip the zipper in place. The zipper will extend past the top and bottom edges by about 1’’.


3. Sew the zipper with a 1/4’’ seam allowance. Switch to the zipper foot on your sewing machine if needed.



4. Flip the piece over. Trim away 1/8’’ from the fabric and foam stabilizer in the seam allowance. Do not cut the zipper tape.

Tip: my 6’’ double curved Ginger embroidery scissors are the best for this.

Fold the zipper out. Finger press the zipper tape back against the trimmed seam allowance.


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5. From the front of the piece, topstitch a scant 1/4’’ away from the seam.


This should catch the edge of the zipper tape on the back so that the raw edges of the seam allowance are hidden and you have a perfectly pretty zipper.


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6. Lay the zipper (and side piece) right side down against the right side of the remaining side piece and clip the zipper against the long inside edge – make sure that your side pieces are lined up with each other.



7. Sew the other side of the zipper in place with a 1/4’’ seam allowance. Trim away 1/8’’ from behind the zipper tape, and topstitch from the front as before.


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Bind the Top Curved Edges

1. Cut two 6’’ pieces from the 4 yards of 2 1/4’’ wide bias binding. Fold each piece in half lengthwise and press.

2. Trim away the extra zipper tape at the top of the front piece.

Working from the wrong side (inside), lay a piece of binding along the curve with the raw edges aligned and pin or clip in place.

Let the binding extend 1/2’’ past the zipper on the inside edge.


3. Sew with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.



4. Flip the binding up and turn the piece over. Fold the 1/2’’ edge over the zipper and then fold the binding down on the front, enclosing the raw edges at the inside corner.. Pin or clip it in place.



5. Sew the binding in place close to the fold.

Tip: a sewing stilletto can help you hold those small folds in place until you stitch over them.


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Repeat these steps to bind the other curved edge at the top of the zipper.

Trim away the extra zipper tape at the bottom of the front piece and sew across the end of the zipper a few times to prevent the zipper pull from coming off.


6. Measure the front piece and trim the sides if necessary so that it measures 44’’ tall x 24’’ wide, just like the back piece.

Then curve the top corners using the large curve template and curve the bottom corners using the 3’’ radius on the curved corner ruler or the small curve template.

Set the front of the bag aside for now.


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Add the Strap Tabs

1. On the lining side of the back piece, clearly mark the center of each edge. You can do this by measuring each long edge and short edge or by folding it both ways and marking the center in the fold. Make sure you can clearly see your marks.


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2. Fold each 4’’ x 5’’ d-ring tab piece in half (wrong sides together) with the 4’’ edges lined up. Press. Open and press the 4’’ raw edges to the center. Fold it and press again to make a 1’’ x 5’’ strip.

Topstitch along each strip 1/8’’ from each long edge.

3. Thread the end of one of the pieces through a 1’’ D-ring. Stitch the ends together 1/8’’ from the raw edges. Repeat to make 2.



4. Sew the d-ring tabs to the exterior side of the back piece, at the center of each long edge (referring to the mark made at the center on the wrong side).

First attach the tab by sewing across the end. Then sew a 1’’ square with an ‘X’ in the center, 1/2’’ away from the raw edges.


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Sew the Exterior Zipper Pocket

1. Cut a 26’’ long zipper. Add a zipper pull and sew the zipper closed at both ends.


2. Pin or clip the zipper face down against the top straight edge of the quilted pocket piece (on the front side).


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3. Sew the zipper with a 1/4’’ seam allowance. Trim away 1/8’’ from the fabric and foam in the seam allowance. Topstitch on the front, as before.

Trim away the extra zipper at the sides flush with the long edges of the piece and sew across the zipper ends so the pull won’t come off.


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4. Fold the 4’’ x 24’’ zipper panel in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and press.

Lay it across the top edge of the pocket over the zipper, with the raw edges aligned with the top edge of the zipper tape. Pin or clip in place.


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5. Turn the pocket over and sew across the zipper tape with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.


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6. Trim away 1/8’’ from the fabric in the seam allowance. Fold the zipper panel up and topstitch from the front a scant 1/4’’ from the seam.


Sew a 24’’ long piece of ribbon down the center of the zipper panel, if desired.


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7. Place the garment bag back piece on your work area right side up. Place the zipper pocket on top, lining up the curved bottom corners.

Clip all around the side and bottom edges (including the corners) and pin across the top of the zipper panel.


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8. Sew across the top of the zipper panel 1/8’’- 1/4’’ from the top folded edge.


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Continue sewing around the side and bottom edges (1/8’’ from the edge) to secure the pocket to the back piece.


Make the Hanger Tie

1. Fold the 2’’ x 21’’ strip in half lengthwise (WST) and press. Open and press the long edges to the center.


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Fold the short ends over to the inside by 1/2’’. Then fold the strip in half lengthwise again and press.



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2. Topstitch all the way around the tie close to the edge. I love my sewing stilletto and walking foot for doing this.


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3. Cut the tie in half. Pin or clip the cut ends to the top inside edge of the bag back, one on either side of the center mark.


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4. Stitch across the ends to secure 1/8’’ from the edge.


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Sew the Handles

1. Fold the 4’’ x 12’’ handle pieces in half lengthwise, press. Open and fold the raw edges to the center, press. Fold in half again and press to make two 12’’ x 1’’ straps.

2. Topstitch along each handle, 1/8’’ from the side edges.


Sew a 12’’ piece of ribbon to one side of each handle, if desired.


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3. Place the bag back on your workspace exterior side up. Pin or clip the ends of the handles to the top edge.

The ends of the handle should be 4’’ away from each other. Refer to the center mark on the other side so that each handle end is 2’’ away from the center.

Sew across the ends of the handle 1/8’’ from the edge.

Sew the remaining handle centered over the bottom edge of the zipper pocket in the same way.


Assemble and Bind the Garment Bag

1. Place the front piece of the bag on your workspace, lining side up. Lay the back of the bag on top, exterior side up so that the linings are together. Make sure that the top corners and bottom corners are all matching.

Pin or clip all the way around. Check to make sure that the hanger ties are all the way inside and won’t get caught in the seam (except for the ends).

2. Sew all the way around the bag with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.


3. Fold and press the 2 1/4’’ wide bias binding strip in half lengthwise. Clip one end to one of the long side edges of the bag. I sewed my binding to the front side of the bag first, and then wrapped it around to the back.

You will begin sewing the binding about 5-6’’ away from the end so a 5-6’’ tail of binding is free for now.


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4. Sew the binding all the way around the bag with a careful 1/4’’ seam allowance.

Stop sewing when you are about 10’’ away from the place where you started.


5. Bring the ends of the unsewn binding together and fold them back when they meet at the center. Pin or clip to hold them in place.


Trim away the extra binding on each side 1/4’’ away from the folds.


6. Sew the ends of the binding together with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.


7. Finger press the seam open and re-fold the binding. Finish sewing the binding around the edge of the bag.


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8. Fold the binding tightly around to the other side of the bag and sew it in place close to the fold.


Make the Adjustable Strap

1. Apply the medium weight fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the 4’’ x 42’’ strap piece.

Fold and press the strap piece the same way as the handles to make a 1’’ x 42’’ long strap.


2. Use the swivel snap clips and tri-glide slide with my instructions for how to make an adjustable strap to make a removable strap.


Attach the strap to your beautiful new handmade luggage and you’re done!

I can’t wait to see the garment bag that you make with my free pattern. Please post a picture to Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe or #sewcanshe so I can take a look!

Happy sewing,


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2 Comments

  1. Thank you for your instructions and patterns. Can you tell me what fabric line that piece is from, it’s beautiful!

  2. Thank you for your time, instructions, and patterns. I love the fabric for the garment bag . Please advise the fabric line this piece of fabric is from.

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