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  • Writer's pictureCraft Cotton Co

Child's Round Safari Bag

Project by Helen Bowes

When we saw this fabric from Craft Cotton Co, my daughter immediately wanted something made from it. We had a look around and settled on a round bag she could use – apparently you can never have too many bags. Hopefully this tutorial will take you through the process of making it so you can create your own

What you need

  • Fat quarters

  • Bosal 8” roundabout bag single sided fusible

  • Bosal In-R-Form single sided fusible foam stabiliser

  • Zip

  • Cutting mat, rotary cutter, scissors

  • Sewing machine, needle and thread

  • Iron and ironing board

  • Pencil or pen, ruler

  • Clips or pins


Step 1 - Make the circles

Using your iron, bond the Bosal circles to the wrong side of the fabric that will form the outside of the bag. Once bonded cut around the circle giving yourself a ¼ inch border. Now you can use this as a template to draw round the circle onto the wrong side of the fabric that will form the lining of the bag.

Place the two fabrics so they are right sides together forming a layered circle of Bosal on top, outside fabric in the middle and lining fabric on the bottom. Stitch along the line of the Bosal with a gap between the Bosal and stitch line the width of the sewing foot. Leave yourself a gap through which you can turn the circles. Before you do turn, clip the edge as far as but not over the stitch line. This helps the circle be crisper and have less ruffles once turned the right way round. Pull the outside through the gap you have left and press flat. Using ladder stitch or top stitch close the gap. Repeat this process so you have two circles.

Step 2 - Make the gusset

Decide on what depth you want your bag to be; we settled on 4 inches. From the lining fabric and the fabric for the gusset (this can be the same as your outside fabric or it can be different) cut out two strips that are 4 inches wide by 14 inches long. From the Bosal foam stabiliser cut out a piece that is 3.5 inches wide by 13.5 inches long. Bond the Bosal to the wrong side of the outer fabric and then place this on top of the lining fabric with both right sides facing together and sew down each long edge. Once sewn, you will need to turn it, so the Bosal is enclosed between the two layers of fabric. Top stitch the two raw edges and trim.

Step 3 - Attach the gusset

Find the middle point of both your gusset and one of the circles, with the lining fabrics face up. Using clips or pins, attach at this point. From there attach each side following the curved line of your circle. This generally needs lots of pins or clips to hold it together. You now want to sew along this join as close to the edge as possible to capture all layers.

When the first side is attached it should look like this:

Now repeat the process to attach the gusset to the second circle:

Step 6 - Create zip panel

Chose a zip of an appropriate length – I had a 30cm zip in the house, so I used this and cut it down a little to fit the remaining gap. To make the zip panel, cut out two 2x12 inch strips from the lining fabric and two 2x12 inch strips from the same material as the gusset outer. Lay one piece of gusset outer fabric right side up. Next place the zip so it lies on the fabric with the zip closest to the middle of the fabric and the edge of the zip material is on the edge of the gusset outer fabric. Once positioned lay the lining fabric on top right side down and pin along the zip tape at the edge. Using a zip foot, sew as close to the zip as you can.

Step 5 - Create the handle

Choose how long you would like the handle to be. I decided I didn’t want an overly long one so settled on two strips of fabric cut from the gusset outer material measuring 18x2 inches. I joined the pieces in the middle and pressed the seam flat. Following this, I cut a piece of fusible foam stabiliser slightly narrower and shorter and bonded this into place on the wrong side of one piece of fabric. Placing the fabrics right sides together, sew around the edge of the foam stabiliser leaving one short end unsewn. Turn the piece the right way round by thread itself through the open end of the tube. Top stitch the end closed and cut off any excess fabric left at the end.

Step 6 - Attaching zip panel and handle

This is probably the fiddliest section of the bag so make sure you have plenty of pins or clips to hand!! Ensure that the bag is inside out at this point, so the lining fabric is uppermost. To sew the handle into the seam you need to place it in the bag and then pin each end onto the gusset. Next, with the lining fabric uppermost, clip or pin you zip panel into place the same way you did when you did the gusset. You need to leave the zip slightly open as you will be turning the bag through the zip.

Now the fiddly part, the sewing. As with the gusset you need to sew along the pins as close to the edge as possible. Once sewn, turn the bag the right way round by bringing it through the hole in the open zip.

You have now made your own custom circular jungle bag. Go out and enjoy using it!

Made by Helen Bowes for The Craft Cotton Co 2021

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