Let’s kick off the New Year with a new bag! This slouchy shoulder bag is fast and easy but with a very stylish finish. We spotted the adorable corduroy pear print from our friends at Cloud9 Fabrics several months ago and knew it would be perfect for a casual tote. A mid-weight canvas in a coordinating solid adds extra stability for the base and strap, and the smooth surface of the canvas is a lovely complement to the texture of the corduroy. The cool strap-and-tassel closure is a look we spotted on some of this season’s trendiest designer bags.

As with the majority of the Cloud9 fabrics, the Spring Quartet corduroy collection, from which we chose our pink Bartlett print, is an organic cotton. It also has a very fine wale, giving it a velvety finish that provides the bag’s signature slouch.

The construction is very straight forward with easy straight seams and boxed bottom corners to form the rectangular shape. If you’re brand new to making boxed corners, we link below to our full, step-by-step tutorial on the process. It’s a great technique to add to your sewing toolbox.

The bag is designed to softly fold in on itself along the top, so for a closure, we didn’t want a rigid snap or zipper. Instead a pretty tasseled strap is secured into the top of the bag along the back panel. Because of the extra weight of the rivet, D-ring, and the tassel itself; you can simply drape the strap from back to front to hold the bag closed. Of course, if you want a bit more security, you could certainly add a standard or magnetic snap to the top. We wouldn’t recommend a zipper as that would defeat the slouch.

Dritz® Double Cap Rivets and Fashion D-Rings in an antique brass finish were our picks for hardware. They stand out very nicely against the solid canvas. Double rivets on the tabs and single rivets on the straps strengthen all the attachment points. And the heavy Fashion D-Rings are both great-looking and add that needed weight to the front strap-and-tassel closure.

We created our tassel out of a soft faux suede in a color to match the burnt scarlet canvas. This color match is important to the final look of the bag as adding in a third color would detract from the modern simplicity of the design. We have a link below to the faux suede we used from Tandy Leather. If you’re unable to find suede or faux suede lacing in a matching color of your choice, consider going with something in the brown/tan family; it can be easier to find lacing in traditional leather tones. A deep chocolate brown would look terrific with our pink Bartlett corduroy.

Our Corduroy Slouchy Shoulder Bag finishes at approximately 13” high x 12” wide x 3” deep. The 1” continuous over-the-shoulder loop has an approximate 12” drop.



  • ½ yard of 44″+ wide printed corduroy or similar for the main exterior panels; we used 44” Bartlett in Powder Pink from the Spring Quartet collection by Jessica Jones for Cloud9 Fabrics – an organic, fine wale corduroy; we found it in-stock at Fabric Depot and Hawthorne Threads
  • ⅓ yard of 50″+ wide mid to lightweight canvas or similar in a coordinating solid color forthe exterior base panels, strap, strap tabs, and tassel strap; we used a mid-weight canvas (7oz) in Burnt Scarlett, purchased locally
  • ½ yard of 44″+ wide quilting weight cotton in a subtle coordinating solid for the lining – we matched the background color of the pear print; we used a pale pink quilting cotton, purchased locally
  • ½ yard of 45”+ wide fusible fleece; we used Pellon Thermolam Plus
  • SEVEN Dritz® 8mm Double Cap Rivets in Brushed Brass
  • Dritz® Cutting and Setting tools for Double Cap Rivets

    NOTE: We also recommend an Awl for help starting and opening the rivet holes in the thickest layers.
  • THREE 1” D-Rings; we used Dritz® Fashion D-Rings in Antique Brass
  • 8-10 yards of thin (⅛”) suede or microfiber lacing for the tassel; we used Tandy Leather’s Eco-Soft Lace (a microfiber) in Red

    NOTE: Yes, 8-10 is a bit of a larger range, but it depends on the lacing you find. In general, we recommend erring on the side of too much over too little. Leather lacing should average just .59/yard in most situations.
  • All-purpose thread to match fabric
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Straight pins
  • Fabric Glue to secure the neck wrap on the tassel
  • Clip to hold the wrapped tassel while it dries; a simple chip clip works fine; we used a large Wonder Clip
  • Seam sealant; for the raw, folded-back ends of the handles
  • Small hammer to set rivets; we recommend a soft leather mallet or a ball peen hammer
  • Heavy metal, stone or wooden block to use as a cutting and hammering surface
  1. From the fabric for the main exterior (the Pear corduroy in our sample), cut TWO 16″ wide x 11″ high rectangles.
  2. From the mid-weight canvas for the exterior base panels, strap, strap tabs, and tassel strap (burnt scarlet canvas in our sample), cut the following:

    TWO 16″ wide x 5½“ high rectangles for the exterior base panels

    ONE 3” x 28” strip for the strap

    TWO 3” wide x 6” high rectangles for the strap tabs

    ONE 2” x 7” strip for the tassel strap
  3. From the fabric for the lining (pale pink cotton in our sample), cut the following:

    TWO 16″ wide x 15½” high rectangles for the main panels

    ONE 8” wide x 13” high rectangle for the lining pocket
  4. From the fusible fleece, cut TWO 15″ x 14½” rectangle
  5. From the lacing, cut TWENTY 12” lengths.

Assemble the exterior

  1. Find the main and base exterior panels. Place a solid base panel right sides together with each main panel. Align the top raw edge of the base panel with the bottom raw edge of the main panel. Pin in place.

  2. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch together.

  3. On each sewn unit, press the seam allowance down toward the base panel.
  4. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the base panel in the top and bobbin. Lengthen the stitch. Topstitch approximately ⅛” from the seam within the base panel.

  5. Find the two fusible fleece panels. Center a fleece panel on the wrong side of each sewn exterior panel. There should be ½” of fabric extending beyond the fleece on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
  6. Place the two fused exterior panels right sides together. Pin along the sides and across the bottom, being especially careful to align the base panel seams.

  7. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. You are stitching along, but not directly on, the fusible fleece.

  8. With the sewn exterior still wrong side out, create 3″ box corners, which means your “box” will be half that size or 1½”. Measure a box at each corner.

  9. Cut out both boxes.



  10. Press open the seam allowances and align the side and bottom seams, flattening each corner into a little peak. Pin across the corner.



  11. Using a ½” seam allowance, double stitch across the corner.



    NOTE: If you are new to this technique, check out our tutorial: How To Box Corners for more details.
  12. Turn the main bag right side out, push out the corners, and press.

Prepare the lining with its pocket

  1. Find the two lining panels and the lining pocket panel.
  2. Fold the 8” x 13” pocket panel in half, right sides together, so it is now 8” x 6½”.
  3. Pin in place along the sides and across the bottom, leaving a 2-3” opening along the bottom for turning.
  4. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom. Remember to pivot at the corners and to lock the seam at either side of the opening.
  5. Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance.

  6. Turn the pocket right side out. Using a long, blunt end tool push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. A long knitting needle, chopstick or point turner works well for this.
  7. Press the pocket flat, pressing in the raw edges of the seam allowance at the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
  8. Find one of the lining panels. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface.
  9. Place the pocket on the lining panel. It should sit 3½” up from the bottom raw edge of the lining panel and be centered side to side. Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom.

  10. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the lining fabric in the top and bobbin and slightly lengthen the stitch.
  11. Edgestitch in place along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. Use a substantial backstitch at both top corners to help reinforce these stress points on the pocket.

  12. Place the front and back lining panels right sides together, sandwiching the sewn pocket between the layers. Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom, leaving a 5-6” opening along the bottom for the final turn right side out.
  13. Re-set for a normal stitch length.
  14. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom. Remember to pivot at the corners and to lock your seam on either side of the 8″ opening.
  15. Following the same steps above as for the exterior, box both bottom corners of the lining.

  16. Remember, if you are new to this technique, you can check out our full, step-by-step tutorial: How To Box Corners for more details.



Create the strap and tassel

  1. Find one of the D-Rings and the twenty 12” lengths of lacing.

    NOTE: The number of tassel strands may vary based on the width of the your lacing, the width and height of your D-Ring, and just the overall “look” you like best.
  2. Keep back ONE length to use as the neck tie for the tassel.
  3. Loop all the other tassel strands through the D-Ring. They should be butted up against one another across the straight edge of the D-Ring. We wanted a substantial tassel and so also allowed the loops to overlap. The ends of each each strand should be approximately even at the bottom. They needn’t be perfect; they’ll be trimmed flush later.
  4. Clamp the tassel strands in place below the D-Ring with a clip (we used a large Wonder Clip).
  5. Find the remaining length for the neck of the tassel. Wrap it around 4-6 times (we wrapped 6 times).

  6. Knot the free ends at the back

  7. Cover the knot with a dab of fabric glue. Let the glue dry, then trim the ends close to the knot.



    NOTE: The glue looks a little messy in the photo, but it dries quite clear, which means you do want to purchase/test your fabric glue beforehand to make sure it will dry clear.
  8. Trim the ends of the tassel flush. Our tassel finished at approximately 5½”.

  9. Find the 2” x 7” tassel strap. Fold it in half, right sides together, so it is now 1” x 7”. Pin across one end and down the side. The opposite end remains raw.

  10. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the strap fabric in the top and bobbin.
  11. Using a ⅜” seam allowance, stitch across one end and down the side, pivoting at the corner.

  12. Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance.
  13. Turn the strap right side out through the open end. As above, use a long, blunt end tool push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. Press flat. Our strap finished at approximately ⅝”.
  14. Find the finished tassel on its D-Ring.

  15. Wrap the finished end of the strap through the D-Ring, bringing it back on itself about 1”. Pin in place.

  16. Find one of the double cap rivets and the rivet tools.
  17. Mark for the rivet point, centering it on the 1” pull back.
  18. Because the canvas is rather thick, we unpinned and cut two holes rather than trying to cut through all the layers at once.

  19. Re-fold and re-pin the strap, aligning the cut holes. Set the rivet in place from front to back and snap the back rivet cap into place. Using the tools, hammer to seal.



    NOTE: If you are brand new to working with rivets, have no fear. Simply review our full tutorial on How To Attach Metal Rivets to Sewing Projects.
  20. Find the exterior bag. Pick which side you want to be the back. Center the raw end of the tassel strap along the top raw edge of the back exterior. Pin or machine baste in place.

Assemble lining and exterior

  1. With the lining wrong side out and the exterior right side out, slip the exterior inside the lining so the two are now right sides together. Align the side seams and the bottom boxed corners. Position the lining so its pocket is against the back of the exterior. Pin together all around the top.

  2. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch all the way around the top edge.

  3. Press open the seam allowance all around to ensure a nice, sharp seamed edge.

  4. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining.

  5. Push the lining down into position inside the exterior. Press again all around the top seam.
  6. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the main panel fabric in the top and bobbin. Lengthen the stitch. Edgestitch all around the top.

  7. Gently lift out the lining. Pin closed the opening at the bottom and either hand sew or machine stitch closed. We used a hand slip stitch.
  8. Push the lining back down into place.

Strap tabs and strap to finish

  1. Find the two 3” x 6” strap tab strips and the two remaining D-Rings. Fold each in half, right sides together, so it is now 1½” x 6”. Pin across one end and down the side. The opposite end remains raw.

  2. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the strap fabric in the top and bobbin.
  3. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch across one end and down the side, pivoting at the corner.
  4. Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance.

  5. Run a generous line of seam sealant along the raw end of each tab.

  6. When dry, trim away any loose threads so the cut is nice and clean.

  7. Turn the strap tabs right side out through their open ends. As above, use a long, blunt tool push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. Press flat.
  8. Wrap the finished end of each strap tab through a D-Ring, bringing it back on itself about 1½”. Pin in place. When looped through the finished length of the tab should be 3½”.

  9. Center a strap tab over each side seam. The finished end of the tab should sit 3” down from the top finished edge of the bag, which means there will be ½” plus the D-Ring itself extending above the top of the bag.
  10. Pin each tab in place.

  11. Secure each tab with a 2” open box stitch. You are stitching through all the layers so re-thread the machine with thread to best match the tab fabric in the top and to best match the lining fabric in the bobbin.

  12. Mark for the two rivets on each tab. The lower rivet should be centered side to side within the tab and ¾” up from the finished bottom end of the tab. The upper rivet is ¾” from the first rivet.

  13. Find four of the double cap rivets and the tools. As above, cut the holes at each marked point. With the multiple layers it can help to use a standard awl in addition to the rivet cutting tool.

  14. Insert each rivet from front to back and, using the rivet tools, set and hammer to seal.



    NOTE: Don’t forget to check out our Metal Rivets Tutorial if you are brand new to the technique.
  15. Find the 3” x 28” strap strip. Fold it in half so it is now 1½” x 28”. Pin along the long edge only; both ends remain raw.
  16. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch the one long seam.
  17. Press open the seam allowance and turn the tube right side out. Press flat.
  18. Edgestitch along the seamed edge.

  19. Finish the raw ends in the same manner as the raw ends of the strap tabs, with the seam sealant and then trimmed straight and clean.
  20. Insert each end through the D-Rings. Double check there are no twists or turns in the strap loop.
  21. Pull each raw end back on itself about 1¼” and pin or clip.

  22. Mark for one rivet in each strap end. The center of the rivet should be 1” from the D-Ring.
  23. Insert the rivets as above.

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas

Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

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