I work as a hairdresser in a london salon. I’ve been there for years and have taught the apprentices there for many years also.

Soon one of the Senior Apprentices that I work closely with will be going on her final test to become a Stylist. I wanted to make her a good luck present.

A ‘Scissor Bag’ to beat all scissor bags. All the pockets, pouches, bells & whistles!

Ive made a few bags before. This VIDEO TUTORIAL from http://www.pattydoo.de was one of my first sewing inspirations… I couldnt tell you how many times I watched it before gathering up the nerve to make one. Whenever I’ve made a bag without a pattern I’ve got very confused. If you want lots of pockets and pouches that means lots of pieces, closures… poppers, buttons, zips…

Designing the bag often takes me hours. Then the entire plan can go out the window during construction because I’ve got something wrong, got a piece mixed up, sewn something the wrong way round or simply okayed a completely impossible  construction technique. Here’s my scribbles (you can’t see rubbing out when you draw on the iPad!)

I figured I was ready, so got my fabric out & started cutting. I had named my pattern pieces, written how many of which fabric and marked pockets/ poppers etc.

First I put together each panel. Then laid them out how they would be sewn.


And inner…

  • basted the backing to the zippered pockets
  • glued the backing to the plastic zip pocket.
  • Hemmed the pouch pockets & basted on.
  • basted elastic to inner side pieces.
  • outer flap: 28cm x 18cm. gathered to 18 x 18cm. Zip attached to top & stitched onto Outer Flap Side Panels.

Then I got on a bit of a roll and didnt take too many pictures!

I put together the inner bag first. Then the outer bag, followed by the flap.

To keep everything neat, I drew on my seam allowances, especially the corners. I stopped and started my stitching from the seam allowance each time. This made it easier to keep everything square, particularly when putting the sides in. 

I sewed the flap on, joining the outer to the inner. This bit had a zip right on the seam (blame the designer) so I wanted to get at it as best as I could.

Then I tucked the flap in and the lining and pinned all round the edges. I realised at this point that I had forgotten to include the tabs for attaching a strap. On the plus side, it was coming up a pretty good sized clutch, so maybe the strap option was overkill…

 Don’t ask me why, but I chose to leave the centre front open for turning out. Not a nice invisible part of the lining. But there it is. What can you do? I’m certainly not unpicking this crazy fabric.

Also, I didn’t put the poppers on until I just had that tiny hole to do it through. This was a big oversight. However, jimmying my ‘press on snap tool’ through that little opening did bring back pleasent memories of playing OPERATION as a kid.

Anyway, it didn’t stitch down too shabby at all. I’m really pleased with the finished result and can’t wait to gift it this friday (the penultimate day of her 2 week test).

Until next time, happy sewing!

Notes to self:

  • Not only name, but NUMBER pattern pieces.
  • Mark and attach ALL closures before main construction.
  • Mark stitching line to butt-up sharp corners.
  • Don’t draft a zip on a seam again.
  • I LOVE my walking foot!