A lining can add a lot to a bag. In this case, I added a lining made with home decor weight cotton and it added sturdiness to my "It's a Cinch Bag". You could also add a lining with a pretty printed fabric to give an old bag new interest.
Don't let zippers scare you. I promise they're very easy to sew with. You don't need a special zipper foot, just your regular old presser foot will do just fine. Give it a shot! What do you have to lose?
Here's what you'll need:
- A sturdy lining Fabric or if you prefer a pretty patterned fabric to add something to your bag
- One longer than the width of your bag (mine was 22")
- And a couple more if you want internal pockets in your bag (mine were 7")
- Twill Tape or Ribbon (i used about a 1 1/3 yard)
Let's get started! First you want to cut 2 pieces of fabric to the dimensions of your bag plus 1 inch.
My bag was 20" x 20" so I cut two sections of fabric to 21" x 21"
Lay your long zipper across the top of the bag face down. If my fabric was patterned I would place my zipper face down on the wrong side of the fabric. Pin all the way across.
Sew the zipper to the fabric with about a 1/4" inseam.
Lay this section of fabric zipper side down, again on the wrong side, of your other piece of fabric. The zipper should be lined up with the top of the second piece of fabric. Pin across.
Iron down the seams you just sewed.
Top stitch just next to your zipper.
Now you'll need to sew on your twill tape to cover up the raw edges of your seams.
Time to add some pockets. Lay your zipper down on the bag lining and mark to the right of the zipper pull and the left of the end clasp like so.
In hindsight, I wish I had done this on the other side of the fabric so that I didn't have red lines showing in my finished product. Oh well, no one sees it anyway!
Draw a rectangle the length of the lines you just drew and just shorter than the width of your zipper.
Cut the rectangle as shown:
Press so that you have a nice even rectangle.
Lay your zipper over this opening and pin in place.
Stitch around the perimeter.
Cut a small section of fabric for the lining of your actual pocket. You can make the pocket as big as you like depending on how big you cut this piece of fabric.
Sew around the perimeter of your pocket.
Add another pocket if you like.
Now with the zipper tab up, line your pieces of fabric up.
Sew down the sides and bottom with a 1/2" inseam.
Whew! Now you have a lining. All that's left to do is sew it to your bag.
Insert the lining into your bag.
Match up the seams of the lining with the seams of the bag and pin in place. Pin all the way around.
Stitch all the way around, under the straps, and you're done!
Now you have an awesome lining for your purse complete with pockets for all your knick knacks!