How to Make a Sling Bag

Things You'll Need

  • 2 pieces of fabric, one for the lining and one for the outside of the bag (at least 1 yard each)
  • scissors
  • pins
  • pencil
  • sewing needle
  • thread
  • button, snap or velcro (optional)

Sling bags are fashionable and practical. Their wide shoulder strap adds comfort and their interior large enough to accommodate plenty of items. Sling bags also are soft and can fold up very compactly. Women today don't carry only leather bags from top-name designers. They also choose bags in funky fabrics made by up-and-coming designers to make a strong fashion statement. You can create one of these bags yourself, picking out the fabrics you like, adding the inside pockets you need and adjusting the shoulder strap of the bag to the length that you want.

Cutting Your Fabric

Cut your fabric into two large rectangles, each measuring 28 inches (height of the bag, including strap) by 24 inches (width of the bag).

Pin the 28-by-24-inch rectangles together. Place the pinned rectangles in front of you, so the 28-inch sides are on the left and right. One 24-inch side of the pinned fabric will become the bottom seam of your sling bag.

Measure 10 inches up from the bottom of the fabric on each side. This will be the height of the body of your sling bag. Mark this measurement with a pencil on both sides, then draw a line across your fabric.

Create two straps that eventually will be sewn into one shoulder strap. Measure 4.25 inches in from both sides of the fabric on the 10-inch line, and mark that on both sides; this is one side of the strap. Then measure 3.5 inches more, and mark that. This is the other side of your strap. Your strap is 3.5 inches wide. (There will be 4.25 inches on the outer side of the straps and 8.5 inches in the middle, at the center of the fabric, between the two straps.) Now draw lines from the 10-inch mark all the way up to the top edge of the fabric to demarcate the straps.

Cut out the shape that you marked from both pieces of fabric. The bottom of the fabric that measures 24 inches long is the bottom of the bag. You have 10-inch sides, and then two straps that extend from the upper 10-inch seam to make your shoulder strap. Save the scraps (that came from cutting the straps out of your fabric) for pockets or decoration.

Sewing Your Sling Bag Together

Decide which fabric will be the lining and which will be the outside fabric. Place the fabric that will be on the outside of your bag facedown on your table. Place the lining over it, faceup (this will be the inside lining of your sling bag). Sew the two pieces of fabric together on all sides. Remove the pins.

Fold the material in half so that the straps line up, and sew together the one 10-inch seam on the side of the bag.

Refold the fabric so that the straps are on the left and right, and the seam just sewn is centered between them. Sew the bottom of the bag together.

Sew the very tops of the straps together, but not their sides.

If you want to add pockets, now is the time to do it. Cut the size pocket you want, and sew it onto the lining.

Turn the bag inside out, and you're done.


  • 1.You can cut the fabric wider or narrower than 24 inches, or taller than 28 inches according to your preference, but make sure to adjust all other measurements accordingly. 2. Create a clasp for the bag with a simple button and buttonhole, with a snap or with Velcro. 3. You can also decorate the bag by adding floral accents to the outside using big stitches and embroidery thread. 4. When sewing on any pockets, you can allow the stitching to show through to the outside of the bag to add a nice effect. Try stitching the pockets with contrasting color thread.


About the Author

Rena Rossner has written many articles for "The Jerusalem Post" and "The Jerusalem Report," and has been writing professionally since 1996. She has written and managed content for many websites. She has a cookbook coming out later this year with Gefen Publishing. She holds an undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University in writing seminars and a master's degree in history from McGill University.