How to save precious fabric when sewing the Companion Carpet Bag

I’ve made a few Companion Carpet Bags and it’s fair to say I’m pretty stingy when it comes to using the good fabric. On the front panel of this bag, most of the fabric is hidden by the pocket, so I wanted a way that would use as little of my outer fabric as possible.

{Get your copy of the Companion Carpet Bag here}

Taking my example of this smaller Companion Carpet Bag, the large vintage flower Cotton + Steel print was pretty precious, so I didn’t want to extend it right to the bottom of the pocket. Here’s how I modified the pattern (taken from my original post on PennyDog Patchwork).

I printed the main pattern piece twice.

I overlaid the pocket on top of one of the body templates and marked where the pocket met. I then measured 1 1/2″ down from this line and drew across. This line is roughly where the outer fabric stops and the inside pocket fabric will start. Measure 1/4″ below the line. This adds a seam allowance to the top piece.

Cut along this new line.

To add a seam allowance to the bottom piece, we need to add 1/2″- this makes up for the 1/4″ we just loaned to the top and also a standard 1/4″ seam allowance. Stick a strip of surplus paper to the top of the template, draw the continuation of the side lines and also draw a 1/2″ line from the edge of the original piece. Cut out.

Your required pieces to cut are now different. You only need to cut one outer and one interfacing for the full bag body piece, plus one interfacing and one outer for each of your new two templates. Your pocket remains unchanged. Make sure when you cut out your pattern pieces that the straight edge of the pattern is aligned to a fold on the fabric. Apply your interfacing before you stitch your new top and bottom back together, then apply other stabilisers as normal.

If you have sewn anything from the patterns available on we would love you to share your pictures! Maybe you have made a Mrs H bag, or an Emmaline Necessary Clutch Wallet?

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