How to Make a Lined Bag

Updated November 21, 2016

Lined bags are made using two different colours of fabric sewn together to create an outer and inner bag. Strips of fabric are fashioned into handles and attached between the layers of fabric at the top of the bag. Making a lined bag is a sewing project that even beginners will find success with, as all you need is the ability to operate a sewing machine. Lined bags make great gifts for friends and family.

Lay 1/2-yard lining fabric and 1/2-yard outside fabric on a flat surface. Smooth out any creases or wrinkles by running a warm iron over the surface of the fabric.

Measure two rectangles, 20 inches long by 13 inches wide, from the lining fabric using a ruler. Cut out the rectangles with a pair of scissors. Repeat this process with the outside fabric to create two rectangles as well.

Match the two rectangles of lining fabric with their right sides together. Cut a 1-inch square piece from the two bottom corners of the both layers of lining fabric. Pin the layers of lining fabric together with straight pins. Repeat this process with the two rectangles of outside fabric.

Sew a 1/4-inch seam around the joined lining pieces with a sewing machine and matching thread. Only sew seams in the two sides and along the straight bottom portions. Leave the top edges and square cutouts open. Remove the pins as you come to them. Clip any loose threads. Repeat this step on the joined outside pieces.

Pull open one of the square cutout portions at the bottom of the lining. Pull it open diagonally so the two sewn seams match up in the middle. Pin across the edges with straight pins and sew a 1/4-inch seam across the opening. Remove pins as you come to them and clip all loose threads. Repeat this process on the opposite corner and on the two cutout corners of the outside piece. Press both handles flat with an iron.

Cut out two strips from the lining fabric, 4 1/2 inches wide by 43 1/2 inches long. Fold the first fabric strip lengthwise in half so the right sides are together. Pin around the edges with straight pins to hold them in place. Sew a 1/4-inch seam across one of the shorter edges and down the entire length of the strip. Remove the pins and clip any loose threads. Repeat this step with the second fabric strip.

Pull both fabric strips right side out through the open edges. Use a pin to pluck the fabric at the corners to make them square. Fold in the edges on the open ends by 1/4-inch and sew seams along the edges. These strips will be the handles for your bag.

Turn the lining piece right side out so the right sides of the fabric are now facing outward. Tuck the lining piece inside the outside piece so that the right sides are together and all seams match up. Tuck one handle in between the two layers of fabric on one side. The handle should form a "U" shape down inside the bag. Position the ends of the handles in the desired location between the top open edges of the lining and the outside fabric. Pin in place. Repeat this step on the opposite side of the bag with the second handle.

Pin around the remaining top edges of the bag to join the two pieces together. Sew a 1/4-inch seam around the top edge of the bag. Leave a 2 to 4 inch section along the edge open. Remove the pins as you sew and clip any loose threads. Turn the bag right side out by pulling the fabric through the opening at the top.

Push the lining into the centre of the bag and pull the handles upward. Fold the edges at the open space in by 1/4-inch. Hand sew a seam along the opening with a needle and thread to complete the seam. Press along the top seam of the bag with an iron to flatten.


Choose fabrics with coordinating colours and patterns.

Things You'll Need

  • Lining fabric, 1/2-yard
  • Outside fabric, 1/2-yard
  • Iron
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Needle
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author