Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Bag It - Boxy Bag Size Options

(This post was originally published as part of the 2015 Bag It event.)

The large (9'' long) featured in basic Boxy Bag tips and techniques post is a very useful size.  I've used the bags for my knitting, for my daughter's makeup and for storing small items in a suitcase.

But a smaller bag can be really useful too - let's use this wonderful tutorial at Pink Stitches   and make a small bag 5'' long.

You'll need the following:

  • Two (2) pieces of fabric for the outside cut at 8 x 6''  
  • Two (2) pieces of lining fabric cut at 8 x 6'' 
  • Four (4) pieces of fusible fleece each at 8 x 6'' 
  • Scrap piece of fabric for handle at 3 1/4 x 5 ''
  • Scarp piece of fusible for handle at 1½ x 5''
  • A zipper at least 8'' long which will be cut to fit as per the zipper overview.

For tips on marking quilting lines, see this post.

Make the bag as you would the larger bag but box the corners at 1''.

Isn't this a gorgeous color?  I call it cinnamon but in American Brand Solids calls it Dark Rust (72).
My fabric zipper tabs and the handle are a deep gold which goes quite well with the bag.

There is a rough magic math formula here so you can create a bag at whatever size you want.

The larger dimension of your fabric and the size of the boxy corners determines the length of the final bag size:  Length = Larger fabric dimension - 2 x (box corner size) - 1 for seam allowance.

  • Example:  Large bag:   9'' = 13'' - 2 (1.5'') - 1''

The amount you box the corners determines the height of your bag:  Height = 2 x (box corner size) + 1/2 '' for seam allowance

  • Example:  Large bag:  3.5'' = 2(1.5") + 0.5''

The smaller dimension of your fabric and the amount you box the corners determines the width of the bag:  Width = Smaller fabric dimension - bag height - 1/2'' for seam allowance

  • Example:  Large bag: 4'' = 8'' - 3.5'' -0.5''

Experiment with other sizes and come back and comment.  I'd love to hear from you.  Did my rough formula hold?

I find these boxy bags to be quite addictive. I'll be making several of these bags myself this year for holiday gifts!

Are you enjoying this series as much as I am?  Isn't the tutorial at  Pink Stitches.  a great one?

This post was sponsored by Zipit, an Etsy store as part of Bag It 2015.

Fabric credits for smaller bags -

Houses - Outer Moda Sweetwater Road 15; Lining AMB Lime

Charm - Moda Fig Tree; Lining: Moda Fig Tree Tapestry

Solid - AMB Dark Rust (72), Gold (68)

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Have a wonderful day! Patty


  1. Don't laugh: I keep an empty cookie box on a shelf in my sewing room. It's the only way I can picture boxy bags to get the sizing and configuration right :D I have no problem doing the sewing - it's the MATH I have difficulties with :D I have a favourite size for making boxy bags --- I quilt the outer fabric, then trim down to 14" X 16", with 1 1/4" boxes (measured from the seams). I shall copy and paste your math equation so I can compare it to my upcoming projects :) Do you have a standard formula you use for your handle length? I generally do about 1/2 the cut width of the fabric, plus an inch or two. My handles are actually longer than yours - they're "strappier" - I like yours better, actually :D

  2. I have the fabrics cut out for the first bag. I'll finish it this week. I'm enjoying your series....

  3. Cute - have to bookmark this so I can make me some. Thanks for sharing...

  4. I have a boxy pouch on my to-do list so will be sure to try this tutorial - thanks for the link!

  5. A wonderful series and well thought out.. thank you from Australia

  6. I'm a beginner so please excuse my question: what do you mean by "the larger dimension" and the "smaller dimension" if the fabric in the Boxy maths? Thank you for your kind response. Louise, Western Australia.


Thanks for visiting Elm Street Quilts. Looking forward to hearing from you!