If you didn't come here from the main page for these bags, you may find yourself somewhat confused; I suggest you visit it.

This pattern is based on a German-language article that I found on the Tempora Nostra site in mid-October, 2006. The instructions here were, however, written by, and the illustrations created by, me. I grant permission for their non-commercial reproduction and use.

So far as I can tell (using AltaVista's Babel Fish' rather garbled translation of the text as my source), the authors of the article made the following determinations, following their examination of the mentioned images (which you can see on my main page for these bags):

1) It is more likely that these bags are, as they appear, trapezoidal in profile than that they are rectangular and drawn close at the top. The artists who produced these illustrations were consistent, elsewhere, in showing details like the wrinkles formed when fabric is gathered, and no such details appear on the bags.

2) Lined bags are more likely to remain smooth, as the bags in the images are, showing no tell-tale bulges when filled. They are also sturdier than those made with a single layer of fabric, and better able to stand up to the wear and tear of daily use.

3) The little decorations on the flaps and/or bottoms of the bags are probably tassels.

4) The depicted bags are, based on their scale relative to the people carrying them, probably about six or seven inches deep, nine or ten inches wide at the base, and five and a half or six inches wide at the mouth.

The article included a diagram of the pieces you'll need to make the bag and dimensions for a "lady's bag" (six inches deep) and a larger "gentleman's bag" (seven inches deep). I used the two to make print-and-cut pattern pieces for both sizes. You can print them ready-to-use on US-legal-sized paper (lady's, gentleman's), or print them on US-letter-sized paper and tape the larger pieces together (lady's, gentleman's).

The following instructions are also included on the pattern sheets, so you don't need to print those out separately.


Cut out one front and one back from your outer fabric, and one of each from a lining fabric in a contrasting color.

Put the two fronts right-sides-together, and stitch them together down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side. Turn them right-side-out through the remaining opening, then tuck in the unstitched edges and stitch the top closed. Repeat with the backs.

Line up the front and the back, and hand-stitch them together down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side through the lining fabric only. When you're finished, the lining will be seen, just a little, all the way around the bag, creating a pleasing color detail.

Cut a rectangle from your outer fabric--two and a quarter inches wide and sixty-three inches long if you're making the "lady's bag", four inches wide and sixty-five inches long if you're making the "gentleman's bag". Fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together, and stitch down the long and across one short side. Turn this tube right-side-out. Tuck in the unsewn end and blind-stitch it closed. Sew both ends of this strap to the back of the bag, just below the flap, being careful to stitch through the outer layer of fabric only.

Add to the bottom of the bag and the flap tassels made from yarn the same color as the lining fabric.

This page was written and is maintained by Coblaith Muimnech, who owns the copyright to all portions of it, including all illustrations not excerpted from works more than 300 years old. Please do not reproduce any portion of it without explicit permission.

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