I love having a small bag to run around town with. Yes, there are times when I want to tote along a bottle of water, my iPad, some kind of handwork project, and/or a few other bulky items in a large bag, but for a quick shopping trip, who needs all that extra stuff?
On the other hand, sometimes a small, in-the-hoop bag is just not enough. You need a change purse and maybe a second one for all those credit cards, reward cards, and membership cards. You need a place to tuck some cash, your phone (which is getting larger all the time!), lip stuff, and whatever other necessities your life demands.
This project lets you customize the bags you need when you need them by hooking together multiples. Here I’ve used one of each size but you could just as easily hook two of the medium or large size together. If you hook them together back to back, it will make it easier to access the zippers. Hooking up multiples makes it easy to organize your stuff—and if you have one bag that has all the essentials you always need, you can quickly unhook it and drop it into your big bag.
These bags are based on the first set of Sew Simple In-the-Hoop bags. After selecting and cutting all my fabrics, I decided the original zigzag motif would compete against my floral prints so I made a new set with a stipple pattern (along with a few more!). I stippled in black over the floral print bags and in yellow on the black one.
I also modified the two larger bags for top straps. The 6×8” version already had such a placement but I added a second to more closely match the placement on the 5×7” version so the two could be hooked together. I included a swivel latch hook on each bag for easily hooking on a set of keys.
Note: I’ve also made these revisions to the original zigzag versions so if you’ve previously downloaded them, you can log back into your account and get these updated ones if desired. Be sure to note the change in color sequence!
Rather than matching all the fabrics across three bags, I mixed them up a bit. This let me use up some leftover bits from recent projects. The floral was a fat quarter, so to conserve fabric, I pieced the front panel on the largest bag instead of placing the fabric on the fold. Note in the photo below, I’ve trimmed the batting to just inside the placement lines, which will minimize bulk in the seams.
Piecing on the front panel lininig also let me match the it to the back. I liked the idea of the inside pocket that I added on the customized version of the previous 6×6” ITH zip bag so I added one to this bag as well, placing it on the back lining.
I interfaced the back panel on both of the larger versions but not the mini. The interfacing adds a little more structure to these quilt-weight cottons and makes them more durable.
About Those Stay Stitching Color Stops
I added handle attachment loops to the top long side of each larger bag and made one handle with swivel hooks on each end. This allows me to use the strap with either bag or to hook them both together. The largest bag in this set has 3 possible placements for handles or extra loops for hardware: an outer pair on the long side for a shoulder strap that provides the best bag stability, a second inner pair to more closely match those on the 5×7 bag (what I used here), and a third single placement at the top of the zipper for either a handle loop or, as I did with mine, a small loop with a swivel hook. Or, you could position a handle at that point as I did on the one shown below:
Each of these placements is it’s own color stop to make it easy to skip past any unwanted placements. Even if you do stitch them without placing anything, all you’ll have is some extra stitches in the seam allowance that won’t be visible on the final product.
These bags can be downloaded individually or as a set. Individual designs include only a brief 2-page instruction sheet with links to blog posts with instructions. The set includes full size pattern pieces and will include a formatted-for-print instruction booklet as soon as it’s done. If you download the set before that time, the instructions will be the 2page version. That file will be replaced with the long version and you’ll be able to redownload it once it’s available. In the meantime, you can check out the blog posts.
The set includes 15 designs, with 5 different styles in 3 different size: 4×4”, 5×7”, and 6×10”. Obviously pricing is better by the set than by purchasing them individually not to mention the pattern pieces are only included with the full set. For individuals, you’ll need to make your own by printing the design from your embroidery software and following the directions in the included 2-page PDF.
- Download Sew Simple In-the-Hoop Zippered Bags
- See all in-the-hoop projects
- Get the 3 designs used in this project:
Where to Learn More
I covered more about customizing these in-the-hoop zip bags in this blog post:
For construction tips, please see these two posts: