Sunday Gift Guide: Lollipop Bag

I am very selfish when it comes to sewing. I don’t think I’ve made a single thing for someone else. Although I once made a dress for my sister, but it was identical to the one I had already made for myself. But her birthday is next week, and I still need to get her a gift. Luckily for me I work in a fabric store and I can just make her something. We have so many patterns for gifts at Bolt & Spool: tote bags, purses, backpacks, pincushions, stuffed toys. And aprons! We just received a giant box of apron patterns and books. And they really are a great gift, regardless of whether or not the recipient (which could be you) cooks, because they’re also great for carrying tools, or craft supplies, or just keeping your clothes clean. A friend of mine wears aprons because her skirts and leggings don’t have pockets. She’s a genius.

Anyway, you would think an apron would be a perfect gift for my sister, a professional cook, but she doesn’t like to cook outside of work. So here’s what I’m making her: the Atkison Designs Lollipop Bag.

These instructions are so easy to follow, and the bag is quick and simple to make. And it doesn’t require much in the way of materials. So it’ll make for a great last minute gift! So without further ado, here is the Lollipop Bag! First, my material selection.

Pretty neat combination, eh? I’m using a cotton gingham for the interior, and a Liberty of London Corduroy for the outside.

And this is all the stuff you’ll need:

I forgot to include the swivel clips, but we have those in our store. We also have these awesome zippers in every color you can imagine.

The instructions call for fat quarters (quilting squares). Actually, the instructions call for more fabric than you need, and I found that I ended up trimming a couple inches of material off my pieces as I was assembling it. It would be wise to read through the instructions first, then determine how much fabric you really need. This bag requires much less than a quarter yard of fabric each for the lining and the outside.

So I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about playing with fabric. Consider who this is for, and for what purpose. We have some great iridescent silks for formal events, and linen/metal blend that is dazzling in the light for a night out, and Japanese animal prints that I wish I had a picture of, for something more casual and fun. We also have Liberty of London fabrics! I’m a huge fan of these beautiful prints and luscious textures, but… this fabric is expensive. Of course get what you pay for: one woman I talked to had a Liberty print dress that survived years and years of washings without ever fading. However, the fabric is still expensive.

But this bag is perfect for Liberty fabric! You can get about 4 bags out of a quarter of a yard, so this is the perfect opportunity to play with Liberty fabric without spending a lot of money on it! And some of these prints, especially the corduroy that I’ve used, are so vibrant and wild that I think it’s hard to imagine it on the body. I mean, these prints are attention-grabbing. So why not accessorize with it instead?

Anyway, here’s the finished bag! You can even come play with it at Bolt & Spool!

This bag is 9x4x2,” but the instructions also come with a slightly larger size. But really, you can make any size you want. I didn’t add that flower to mine, but you sure can! Or you can add beads, or sequins, or gems, or a different flower. Or check out some of out trims and ribbons! There are so many ways to embellish this!

Want to go a little bit further? I do, and there are some very simple alterations you can do to improve the functionality of this bag. Because I imagine my sister will be using this to carry money and a phone, and probably not lollipops, I’d like to make this more practical. To make it more like a wristlet/clutch thing, I’d definitely like to add a pocket or two. To do this, just cut a rectangle of fabric that’s slightly bigger than the object which it will hold (maybe a credit card or phone), fold the raw edges under, and sew it onto the lining before you attach it to the outer fabric. I also feel that the strap is disproportionately wide compared to the size of the bag, which was probably my fault during assembly, but it’s a detail that I want to pay more attention to in the bag I make for my sister. I’d also like to find a better solution for sewing up the bottom of the bag, but that’s something that wouldn’t make sense unless you actually saw the pattern.

I like this bag a lot. After I make one for my sister, I’m going to make one for myself.


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