The Weekend Bag Blog

We love bags as much as we love pockets on garments, and that's quite a lot! Bag-making is often overlooked when people start out on their sewing adventures because beyond a tote bag, it can seem a bit daunting. There can be buckles, rivets, clasps and straps to consider which involve some basic skills other than sewing, but we promise that these are easier to fit than they look, and the overall satisfaction of using a handmade bag every day (or for weekends away) is worth the little extra time spent.

We carry a range of bag patterns, from the big companies to the new indie designers, as well as a large selection of medium to heavyweight fabrics and of course, all the extra hardware and tools you may need to complete your project. We also run classes to teach you the skills and walk you through the patterns so you can come away with your own bag made by you!

The beauty of making your own items is that they can be entirely unique - so if you want to go bright and bold with rainbow webbing straps, then why not? Bags can add an unexpected pop of colour to an outfit, or keep it simple with black or a neutral. In the round-up below, we have suggested some suitable fabrics for each bag but as long as you match the weight to the pattern then you can be creative. Top tip: make sure that you use a new upholstery or denim needle in your machine (90-110) to get the most professional results.


Pattern: Jack Tar Bucket Bag  - Suggested Fabric: 10oz Denim in Sage Black

Pattern: Merchant and Mills RTR Rucksack - Suggested Fabric: Organic Cotton Canvas

We are running a two-part evening class to make the RTR bag starting this Tuesday 16th October.


Pattern: Machine stars Children’s pattern to make a Book Bag or a Sleepover Bag Suggested Fabric: Charley Harper Western Birds Canvas


Pattern: Simplicity 1153 Tote / market bag and smaller bags - Suggested Fabric: Kokka Lightweight Canvas

Pattern: Simplicity 4391 lap top and tablet cases - Suggested Fabric: Organic Laminated Cotton

Pattern: Simplicity 8037 back pack and over arm bags - Suggested Fabric: Ellen Luckett Baker Canvas


Pattern: Grainline Studio Stowe Bag - Suggested Fabric: Essex Linen Mix Chambray


Pattern: Papercut Himeji bag - Suggested Fabric: Linen Plains Rose

Handmade bags also make a great gift, with no worries about getting the fit right. (If we were being really organised we would start making a few for Christmas presents already!)

If you have any queries or would like advice on your sewing projects then please pop in, or email us on , we'd be happy to help! And if you are on Instagram then follow us @raystitch and use the hashtag #raystitch so we can see what a talented bunch you all are :)