How to Sew a Library Book Bag

The library is one of my favorite places to hang out. My brother and I spend a lot of time there, and every trip that we take there we leave with lots of books and DVDs for the week. Because of this, it is really important that I carry our book bag to hold all of our wonderful library finds. It’s really easy to make a lined book bag and with this simple tutorial you can learn how to make your very own.

Library Bag Tutorial

Materials to Sew a Lined Library Book Bag

  • 1/2 yard of main fabric
  • 1/2 yard of lining fabric
  • Cut (2) two strips of fabric 3″ x 39″ for the strap
  • Fabric shears
  • Ruler
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Marking tool
  • Straight pins
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine (I used my bernette 77)

Steps to Sew a Lined Library Book Bag

Step 1: Choose Your Fabric

You will need a fabric for the outside, and fabric for the lining to create this project. I’ve chosen to use two different fabric prints, but you can make your bag out of one print if you like.

Library Bag Tutorial

Step 2: Cut Your Fabric

To make your bag start by cutting your main fabric into (2) two 16″ x 16″ squares. Repeat this step and do the exact same thing for your lining fabric. You will end up with (4) four 16″ x 16″ squares.

Once you’ve done that take your fabric and cut (2) strips that are 3″ x 39″.

Tip: You can make your bag any dimension that you like. You can make the straps longer or the bag shorter whatever fits you best. I use these dimensions because they work best for me and my little brother.

Libray Bag Tutorial - Cutting Fabric

Step 2: Creating Your Strap

Lay your (2) strips of fabric that are 4″ x 39″ right sides together (this means with the pretty sides touching each other and the wrong sides facing up).

Libray Bag Tutorial - Cutting Fabric

Leave the short sides of the strips open and pin the long sides down and sew them using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and the end. Once you’ve completed this then turn your strap right side out and press.

Libray Bag Tutorial - Creating Straps

Edgestitch the strap on both of the long sides about 1/8″ from the edge.

Step 3: Create the Bag

Place your strap to the side and grab your (2) two main fabric pieces. Place them right sides together and pin down the sides and bottom.

Sew the sides and the bottom of the bag using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Libray Bag Tutorial - Creating Bag

Step 4: Create the Lining

Grab your (2) two lining pieces and place them right sides together and pin down the sides. On the bottom, you will pin a portion of the fabric, but you will leave a (4) four-inch opening at the bottom of the lining which will allow us to turn the bag right side out once we’ve completed the bag. I’ve put double pins in an X where I am supposed to stop sewing to make sure that I have the left the 4″ opening.

Sew the sides and a portion of the bottom using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Remember to leave the 4″ opening at the bottom as shown in the pic below.

Library Bag - Assembly

Step 5: Box the Corners

Pinch the right side seam and the bottom seam of your lining fabric and line them up so that they are touching.

Eyeglass Case Tutorial - Assembly Fabric

Take a ruler and at the point slide your ruler down until it measures (2) two inches from the left side to the right side. Using chalk mark a line at the 2″ point. Sew directly on the chalk line that you just created which will make the point look like a triangle as shown in the pic below. Repeat this step on the left side.

Library Bag - Boxing Corner

Pull out your main fabric and repeat step 5 to box the corners of your main fabric. Your lining and main fabric should now look like this.

Library Bag - Assembly


Step 6: Attach the Lining

Take your main fabric and make sure that it has the right side outward-facing you. Keep your lining with the wrong side out facing you.

Library Bag - Assembly

Place your main fabric inside of your lining fabric with the right sides touching each other. Match the side seams and the raw edges evenly. Pin all around the top of the bag.

Sew all the way around the top of the bag using a 1/4″ seam allowance

Library Bag - Assembly

Step 7: Turn the Bag

At the bottom of the lining pull the main fabric through the four-inch opening that you left.

Library Bag - Turning the bag

Sew the opening of the lining closed.

Library Bag - Closing the bag

Stuff the lining down inside of the bag.

Library Bag - Turning the bag

To finish off your bag simply edgestitch all the way around the top of the bag about 1/8″ away from the edge.

Step 8: Attach the Strap

On both of the short ends turn the end under 1/2″ and press. Take one of the short ends and pin it in place on the left side seam 1″ below the edge ON THE INSIDE of the bag.

Library Bag - Attaching the strap

Sew a square on the outside of the bag where the strap is to secure it in place. Backstitch at the beginning and the end, and remember not to sew over the pin that is holding the strap in place.

Now, sew an X in the middle of the square for extra strength.

Follow the steps above to attach the other short end of the strap to the right side of the bag.

Library Bag

You’re all done and your bag is complete! Grab your new library book bag and head over to your local library to see what kind of rentable treasures you can find.

Library Bag Tutorial

Library Bag Tutorial

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