Guest Post – Robyn from Bolo Heads

Hi everyone! Happy Tuesday! Would you believe I haven’t sewn a stitch in a week?!? I know! Today I have Robyn from Bolo Heads! She has a super adorable bag for you all – so make sure you stick through to the end of this wonderful tutorial!

I am so happy to be here today, and hope all is well with Melissa.
I have a little blog called Bolo Heads.
Bolo is Hawaiian for without hair (meaning bald)
I was born in Hawaii, and had no hair, so that was my nick name growing up.
All of my children had the same condition (bald babies)
So that it explains it.
Today I am going to show you how to make the cutest little stitching bag.
I am an heirloom sewer.

Smocking, embroidery…..

There is always some stitching project following me around.
I used to take it with me in a Ziploc bag, not cute.
Then I used a bag that my daughter’s doll came in.
Still not cute.
Now I have this super cute patchey bag.
I am going to give you a for warning, there are a lot of pictures,
but I don’t want you to get lost along the way.
Also I was making two bags at the same time so some of the pictures don’t match up

Are you ready? Here we go.
You will need.
Bag                             56 – 2 1/2″ squares.
Lining (2)                           10 1/2″ x 12 1/2″
Brim (4)                             2 1/2″ x 12 1/2″
Handles (4)                        2 1/4″ x 12″

Drawstring closer (4)          8 1/2″ x 12 1/2″


Start with your 2 1/2″ squares.
I was lucky enough to get these super cute Happy Zombie ones.
2 1/2″ square


Sew them together, I chained them, and then sewed the two together,
and so on until you have something like this.


Four rows of six and one row of four.
Then sew them together.


Do it twice, so that you have a front and a back.
Then sew them together.


Iron what will be your bottom seam open.


Next iron it on to some interfacing.
You can use what ever is your favorite.
Fusible fleece is nice and soft.
I would like to take a minute to talk about what I used.
My sister gave this to me.
You can only get it at Joann’s in the sewing center.
If you sew bags you know that the best thing to use is fusible fleece.
If you use fusible fleece then you know that it is $7.00 a yard.
This is a little lighter weight then the fusible fleece but is only…
brace your self…
.99 cents a yard.
You can buy a whole bolt for $10.00 the same price as 1 1/2 yards of the fleece stuff.
Your welcome.
Moving on…
Sew your lining pieces together
then press that bottom seam (12 1/2″) open.
Iron your lining, brim, and handle pieces to the interfacing.


All of your prep work is done, now is a good time to take a break.
I am going to pick up my daughter from preschool I will be right back.


OK I ‘m back,
trim all of your pieces from the interfacing.
Let’s sew the whole thing together shall we.
Sew down the sides.


Press the seam open.


Now you have this funny little chunk missing, this is how we are going to fix it.


Line up the bottom seam with the side seam,


sew it together keeping the seams together.


Turn it inside out and voila a square bottom bag.
Shall we do the lining next, lets go.
Sew the side seams


Line up the side seam with the bottom seam pin (on the other side)


Measure four inches across, like this.


Mark it with a line.


Sew on the line.
Now if you want you can trim off the excess, I didn’t.


Fold the extra toward the center, and put inside the bag,
lining up the side seams.


Baste together.
You are doing great, we are half way.
Now we are going to do the handles and the brim.
Ready or not here we go.
This is a trick I learned and when I first saw it I was like
“How did I not know this!”
Maybe you will be the same, or you will think I am a dork for not knowing.
Anyway put in a safety pin like this with the head pointed in.
Sew down either side.


Start pushing the pin through.


Look at that totally turned inside out.


Topstitch on both sides.
I like to use my open toe foot for this, it is a nice guide.


For the brim sew all the sides together.


Make a mark four inches from the side, on both sides.
Yes I do do this with a razor blade.
Be careful not to go beyond your seam allowance.


See look at that nice little mark.
Center your handle on the mark, pin in place.


Sew the top closed.


Turn inside out and topstitch the edge, again with the open toe foot.


Look how cute it is.


Now with right sides together, place it on the bag.
Almost done now we just need to make the drawstring closer.
Layer all your drawstring pieces together and on the 8 1/2″ side
make a mark that is 1 1/2″ down from the top.


Cute little mark, that is where we are going to start sewing.


Sew your side seam.


Press this seam open, if you hold the unsewn ends just right
They will lay open and let you press them down.


Topstitch down either side of the seam.
Once again using the open toe foot, start where the seam is split open.


Do both sides of both the front and the lining.


With right sides together, sew the two pieces together.


Turn inside out and topstitch around the top.


Beginning at the point where the slit stops,
topstitch around the top again, making a casing.
We are almost done I promise.
Now we are going to make a sandwich.
Like this bag, brim, and the drawstring top.
Make sure you have the right sides together.


Sew around the top keeping shy of the basting stitches.


All sewn together.


Trim off the excess seam allowance.


Pull up on the draw string part..


and tuck it inside the bag.


Lift up in the brim….


and topstitch with your quilting foot around the bag
make sure to keep it all taut, pull out on the brim and pull back
on the drawstring part as you feed it through.


Look how nice that finishes, the outside…


the inside.


The very last step.
Thread ribbon through the casing on one side…


and then on the other side.
Tie a knot in the ends and burn the edges so that they won’t fray.


Pull them tight and you are


I knew we could do it.
I hope you like it and I can’t wait to see if you make one.
If you do come on over and let me know.

Now do yourselves a favor and go follow Robyn! She has a fun blog and I really enjoy reading what she has to say, and I know you will too! Don’t worry, I haven’t fallen off the planet, just trying to get some things in order. I will be back next week!

About Melissa Dunworth

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16 Responses to Guest Post – Robyn from Bolo Heads

  1. Kristy says:

    Adorable! Love that Mochi fabric too! 🙂

  2. Robyn says:

    I am such a dork when I saw this on my google reader I was like “hey that’s me” Like I didn’t even remember that I spent all day yesterday putting this together. Thanks again and I hope all is well with you.

  3. Lisa L. says:

    What a cute little bag!! I want to make it when I finally have some time to myself again! Thanks for the tute!

  4. nanette says:

    You smartie! This turned out so great. Love your instructions. They are really good. I know how long this takes to come together.

  5. Susan Schmid says:

    That’s very cool! Well done pictures and instructions. Robyn, could I hire you to make one for my mom to carry her knitting in?

  6. Snoodles says:

    Super cute fabric – love this tutorial….marked it to make one, later!

  7. Sondra says:

    What a great tutorial and I love the bag! Thanks so much Robin!

  8. CeLynn says:

    That is a super cute bag! Thank you for the tutorial 🙂

    Hey Melissa,hope all is going well for you! Will be posting your blocks tomorrow 😉

  9. Lovely tutorial! I really like the band at the top. 🙂 very profesh!

  10. lawana says:

    thanks so much for this… want to try when I get the chance…no more ziplocks hahaha

  11. DonnaF. says:

    VERY nice bag, AND tutorial. Your tips along the way are a smile waiting to happen and worth noting. Thank you very much.

  12. Carmen Wyant says:

    Ayumi’s original tutorial was less complicated than this. I made 2 of her bags in just a few hours. Yours appear to have a bit more padding and a more complicated way of doing the handles. Happy Zombie also has made quite a few of these that she featured on her blog-from Ayumi’s tutorial. It can be found here

  13. VickiT says:

    What an adorable bag. Beautiful job. Thank you.

  14. Sew for Tea says:

    Such a cute bag! I love the draw string pouch in the middle. Perfect for the summer!

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