tutorial: reversible lined stowe bag


Like many other social-media savvy sewists, I have seen the Grainline Studio Stowe Bag making the rounds on the web and Instagram lately. The bag looks perfect- functional, adorable, and easy. There's only one problem- it's not lined! For me, an unlined bag is not ideal. Grainline, of course, has a great way of finishing off the seams in the Stowe Bag, but I was finding myself not wanting to make bias binding to make the bag, and I also just really wanted a reversible Stowe. I was inspired by this page in Glamour:

Check out the prices on these...um wut. I can DIY for like $15!

The Stowe Bag was a collaboration between Grainline Studio and Fringe Supply Co. and was intended to be a project bag in which one can stow their craft project and necessary materials. As I was going for more of a purse, I eliminated the pockets. I also did not include the optional permanent gusset. I love the way my bag turned out, so I thought I'd share a tutorial in case anybody else wanted a reversible lined version. I also wanted this tutorial to highlight Step 13 of the pattern as it can be kinda tricky to understand. 

Here's what you need to make a reversible lined version of the bag (does not have pockets or the bias tape). Unless otherwise noted, I used a 1/4" seam allowance throughout the entire assembly of the bag:
-Grainline Studio Stowe Bag pattern
-2 half-yard pieces of fabric (this is for the small size; you can choose pretty much any fabric- I used quilting cotton in this version but heavier fabrics would be great too!)
-The usual sewing supplies (machine, thread, scissors, iron and ironing board)
-Useful but not totally necessary: seam gauge. 

1. Print and assemble the PDF pattern pieces for the small Stowe bag, then cut out the pattern or just cut out the pattern if you have the paper version. 

2. This step is VERY IMPORTANT. For the regular version, you don't want to do this, but it is absolutely essential for the lined version. Fold the extra strap part in toward the center of the pattern piece. 

3. Trace your pattern onto your fabrics. If your fabric is directional, make sure to pay careful attention to the grainline marking on the pattern. Cut 2 pieces from each fabric.    

4. Follow steps 8 and 9 of the Grainline pattern. You'll then skip steps 10-12 because there is no bias tape in this lined version. 

5. Now you have made it to the dreaded Step 13! This step is super easy once you figure out what to do. It took me forever to understand it and I couldn't find anything online about how to do it, so here is everyone's guide to Step 13 of the Stowe Bag! Fold in each side of the bag 3 inches and then press. Repeat for the 2nd fabric. 

Literally just fold it on itself. 

6. After you complete the rest of Step 13 of the pattern, turn one of the bag pieces right side out and leave the other one inside out. Put the right side out piece inside of the inside out piece so that the right sides are touching and the wrong side of the outer fabric is facing you. 

7. THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP. Clip/pin the "neckline" of the bag, lining up the inner and outer pieces, then sew together. 

8. After sewing around the "neckline", it is time to press in 1/4" around all 4 "armhole" pieces.

9. Now it's time to get clip/pin happy. Turn your bag right side out. Then, line up your inner and outer "armhole" pieces and clip/pin all the way around the "armhole", making sure there are no puckers and that everything is flush. Then, edgestitch the "armhole" pieces together. Repeat on the other "armhole". 

Edgestitch a scant 1/8" from the edge of the fabric. 

10. This step is optional, but I think it makes the bag look more professional: iron the "neckline" of the bag, making sure the lining and outer fabric are lined up. Then, edgestitch around the "neckline". 

This is what your finished bag should look like: 


When you flip your bag inside out, it should look equally great!

The fabric combinations are endless with this bag. I also made a fun glittery linen and printed denim version!