Sew, What's New?

Curating sewing and quilting talent, techniques, and tutorials, since 1997.

I was given the challenge to make an expandable zippered handbag and have to admit I was a little intimidated to attempt it. I was going to just take a shortcut and find a great pattern online and guess what THERE WAS NONE TO BE FOUND!!!!

I then knew I had to come up with my own design. I played with my graph papers and started constructing what I wanted it to look like. I then began to construct one from some spare material. With some trial and error I believe I got it :-)

The Fabric I used is a heavy canvas that I bought at “MARDENS” for $1.99 a yard.

I wanted to have the expandable part to be in the center of the bag that you could unzip to expand. This on expands to another 7 inches.

When the bag is zippered up the inside is all finished off and neatly folds on itself. I came up with a way to not have to insert a liner but completed the liner in the 3 sections so that it would be finished off.

I am hoping to have some instruction written up by next week and will try and post it here and on my blog.

I will wait to see the interest first on how many would like to have this type of handbag.

I still need to add the handles and maybe a zippered top.

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Comment by Sandy Cravens on August 1, 2012 at 10:54am

Shannon love the expandable tote!!  Where do I get the pattern?  It is amazing just what looking for.  Great colors.

Comment by Kelly Dannemann on March 25, 2012 at 3:14pm

Great Design and beautiful fabric combinations!!

Comment by Susan on February 1, 2012 at 1:37pm


Shannon's instructions are actually for sale in her Etsy store for $9.95 USD.  They are not found on her blog.  You can contact her privately to order.

Thank you to all who wrote, I am very sorry for any confusion!

Comment by Shannon on February 1, 2012 at 1:32pm

After several days of editing and creating I final got the instructions regestered with the US copyright department and now have the instructions written and posted on my blog.

Comment by shawna on February 1, 2012 at 12:26pm

What a wonderful idea!  Love the expansion part as I am often cramming too much in my bag, and it would be so helpful to be able to enlarge the size on demand without having it huge all of the time.


Comment by vee smith on January 30, 2012 at 10:30pm

great bag can't wait for tut and pattern.  I've been looking for the perfect bag and here it is 

Comment by Carol Harshbarger on January 30, 2012 at 5:32pm

ha ha  hurry with pattern i have fabric and a long zipper anxious to start

Comment by Natalia Barba on January 30, 2012 at 4:59pm

beautiful love the fabric selections

Comment by Carol Harshbarger on January 29, 2012 at 12:37pm

Please let me know when pattern is available,  Love it


Comment by Gail Grange on January 29, 2012 at 3:46am

Great idea. x

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