30 best bag patterns to sew
Looking for a new bag? Find inspiration with our pick of the best bag patterns to sew!
Bags are such an essential accessory, but it's not always easy to find the right one for your needs in the shops. They might be the wrong size or colour – or not have enough pockets! The good news is that there's lots of amazing bag patterns available so you can make your own perfect bag to suit your requirements.
A handmade bag can be both pretty and practical – and you can choose your favourite colours and fabrics to complement your outfits. They also make amazing gifts for friends and family.
In this roundup we've gathered together the best bag patterns to sew, from backpacks to handbags. There are some easy bag sewing patterns for beginners to make, alongside more complicated bag patterns for advanced sewers.
We've included a mixture of free bag patterns and patterns to buy, so you're bound to find a pattern that you love. There are bags for all occasions ranging from smart bags for an evening out to practical backpacks to wear at the weekend – or when heading out for a walk. We've got yoga bags, tote bags, bucket bags, wash bags and much more.
There are bag patterns for all seasons too, including beach bags, messenger bags and cross body bags. Once you've made one, you'll be hooked!
If you're new to sewing, you might find it useful to explore some of our guides to the best equipment to buy and sewing skills to help you get started. Check out our sewing for beginners, how to use a sewing machine, best sewing machines for beginners and sewing kits for beginners guides.
Do you enjoy watching a creative TV show with your latest work in progress? Take a look at our guides to The Great British Sewing Bee, The Great Pottery Throw Down and Interior Design Masters for lots of inspiration and ideas.
Read on to discover the best bag sewing patterns…
30 best bag sewing patterns
1. Backpack pattern
Get that back-to-school feeling by making a colourful backpack! Learn how to make a backpack step by step with our easy guide. This bag pattern is designed for children, but could be scaled up.
Learn how to make a backpack
2. Messenger bag pattern
Messenger bags are extremely practical – you can sling it on when you're riding your bike or simply grab it and go when you're heading out of the door. Rebecca Reid's messenger bag is sturdy and will keep your belongings dry if you're caught in the rain.
Make the messenger bag pattern.
3. DIY beach bag pattern
Heading for the beach? Stash your sun cream, beach towel and other essentials in this fabulous DIY beach bag designed by Tasha Chapman. It's easy to sew and it's perfect to take on holiday with you.
Sew the DIY beach bag pattern
4. Free tote bag pattern
Do your bit for the planet by taking your own handmade tote bag to the shops. This easy bag pattern from The Purl Bee can be used to make a practical tote bag. Why not go the extra mile and make it using old curtains or upcycled fabric?
5. Duffle bag pattern
Duffle bags are really to handy to have. They can be used for so many different things: beach bags, gym bags, shopping bags or PE kit bags. The possibilities are endless! Stitch your own duffle bag using Jess Entwistle's free bag pattern.
6. Bento bag pattern
Combine your favourite fabrics to make this stunning Japanese-style bento bag designed by Jennie Jones. It's simple to sew and the finished bag looks very impressive.
7. Kit bag pattern
This adorable kit bag by Jess Entwistle is perfect for a child. They can use it to carry their toys or to take their PE kit to school!
Discover how to make a kit bag
8. Bunny bag pattern
If you're looking for an Easter craft project then try making this super cute bunny bag created by Tina O'Rourke. It's ideal for an Easter egg hunt!
Sew the bunny bag pattern
9. Drawstring bag pattern
This pretty bag is suitable for all of your child's adventures! It's a great sewing project to make if you've got some leftover fat quarters to use up.
10. Yoga bag mat bag pattern
Take your yoga mat to your next session in its own pretty yoga mat bag. This would make a wonderful gift for a yoga-loving friend or family member.
Find out how to sew a yoga mat bag
11. Fanny pack pattern
We're reliving the 90s and making our own bum bags (or fanny packs for US readers!). Fanny packs are very handy to wear on occasions when you need to carry cash and it's not practical to bring a bigger bag.
Sew your own fanny pack pattern
12. Bow clutch bag pattern
You can take this chic little bag with you on a night out – or turn it into a stylish make up bag. This bag pattern would make a brilliant gift for a special occasion.
Find out how to sew a bow clutch bag
13. Fabric gift bag pattern
Looking for an eco-friendly alternative to wrapping paper? Fabric gift bags can be saved and reused over and over again. This fantastic pattern by Jennie Jones uses just one fat quarter.
Discover how to sew fabric gift bags
14. Lunch bag pattern
Reuse some old jeans to make this easy lunch bag pattern. You could easily get a few bags out of one pair of jeans if you opt for a large pair! Men's jeans are great for this as they tend to have a straight leg.
Make the lunch bag pattern
15. Travel wash bag pattern
Get ready for your next trip by stitching your own travel wash bag. It's made from high-quality thick waxed cotton canvas, so it's durable and looks very elegant.
Learn how to make a travel wash bag pattern
16. The Hilda bag pattern
The Hilda bag from Made My Wardrobe is a backpack and bike pannier in one, so perfect for those who commute. Simply clip the bag onto the back of your bike and off you go! It’s practical and oh-so stylish.
17. The Grocery bag pattern
You’ll get tons of use out of this bag from Sew Over It, and it’s a super-simple sew so if you’re a bag-making novice this is a great place to begin. It has two sets of straps, internal pockets and the option to add a base insert for structure, so you can make this as simple or detailed as you like.
18. The Factotum bag pattern
This cross-body bag from Merchant and Mills is another great style for everyday use. It’s small in size but the pockets and zipped main compartment make it practical for keeping your essentials safe and easy to find! It looks so good made up in a lovely oilskin fabric.
19. The Jack Tar bag pattern
Another Merchant and Mills design that just oozes quality! Get ready for lots of ‘You made that?!’ remarks! This bucket bag is roomy so a good choice if you’ve got lots to carry, and the three internal pockets mean you’ll still have some organisation.
20. Reversible Japanese knot bag pattern
We love a Japanese knot bag, and with this one from Debbie Shore you get two bags in one as it’s reversible. Debbie also has a YouTube video available showing how to make this which is super handy.
21. Midnight Sun bag pattern
This is described as a ‘workhorse of a pattern’, and it really is! Sew this unique bag in two different heights and as a cross-body or tote bag. It also makes a great project bag if you’re looking for something new to keep your craft supplies in.
22. Kelly waist bag pattern
If you’ve been on the fence about the return of the fanny pack, this contemporary take from Love You Sew could be the one to convert you! This bag is made with a removable belt so it can be used as a clutch when you’re not wearing it around your waist – genius!
23. Brompton backpack and shoulder bag pattern
Sewgirl pattern designer Fiona Hesford is a Simply Sewing favourite, and her versatile Brompton backpack and shoulder bag sewing pattern is a straightforward design for beginner sewists.
24. Crescent tote pattern
This simple bag from Noodlehead with zip detail is guaranteed to be a wardrobe staple – add a splash of colour with a fun contrast lining.
25. Wallet sewing pattern
Designer and author Arounna Khounnoraj has designed this simple wallet pattern for Bookhou that’s ideal for beginners. It uses up small fabric scraps so is a great sustainable sewing project.
26. Madison craft bag pattern
Former Sewing Bee Stuart Hillard has recently released Bags for Life, a fabulous collection of bag patterns for sewists of every level. Buy a copy here, or head to his website to download the pattern for his Madison Craft Bag.
27. The Wharncliffe Collection e-book
Download sewing expert Wendy Ward’s collection of bag and accessory patterns for just £5 – you’ll have the bag sewing bug!
28. The Highbrow Hobo handbag pattern
Bag designer Lisa Lam has a collection of fun bag patterns to sew – we particularly like this colourful Highbrow Hobo design. If you want to get stuck in to more of her makes, find her book here.
29. Ellie Hobo bag pattern
This large, relaxed tote bag pattern from IThinkSewBags is great for trips to the shops or travelling. This can be made all in one fabric, or you can use up some of your fabric scraps to make a patchwork version. This is a lovely easy project for an afternoon sew.
30. Chickadee backpack pattern
This practical backpack pattern from Sew Sweetness works as a school bag, a pram bag or an everyday rucksack. It has two metal frames inside which give it structure and plenty of room. There’s an online workshop available too if you’d like some guidance making this.
Sarah Orme is a UK-based linocut printmaker, digital editor, feature writer and award-winning podcaster. She's been editing the sewing and art sections of Gathered.how – and before that our sister website calmmoment.com – for over 3 years. She’s the host of Gathered’s We’ve Made It podcast and A Calmer Life podcast. She’s a keen crafter and artist and loves creating DIY tutorials for Gathered. Sarah has previously written features for The Guardian, In The Moment Magazine, Project Calm Magazine, countryfile.com, radiotimes.com and yourhomestyle.uk. She enjoys designing her own unique lino prints and dreams of opening her own online shop. She shares her work @sarahormeprints