Batik Shoulder Bag – Sewing Tutorial

Making your own bags is such fun…and when they’re made from yummy batik fabric, it really makes the perfect project!

This bag is made from a variety of different batik fabrics cut into strips, the same size as jelly rolls. These strips can easily be cut from fat quarters.

The shoulder strap and magnetic clasp should be available at your local sewing store or you can buy online from a variety of sellers on Etsy.


Cut the following from batik fabric:

  • Twenty eight 2.5” by 22” strips (you need 14 for each panel)
  • Two 2.5” by 5” pieces.

You will also need:

  • Two pieces of lining fabric 19” by 17”
  • Two pieces of wadding (batting) 19” by 17”
  • One shoulder strap – I chose a strap that’s 48” (120 cm) long.
  • One magnetic clasp

Please note it’s advisable to pre-wash batik fabrics in a cool hand wash as you may experience some colour run.


1) Create the side panels

Lay out 14 of the strips vertically in a pleasing arrangement.

strips of batk fabric laid out side by side

Sew the first strip to the second strip (right sides facing) along the longest length using a seam allowance of 0.5″. Continue until all fourteen strips are joined as one piece (as seen in the photo above).

On the wrong side, open out the seam allowance and press flat with an iron. You will see that you have quite a generous amount of seam allowance. I’ve done this intentionally as it helps to give your fabric more structure. On the right side, top stitch either side of the seam (0.25″) this secures the seam allowance in place. Trim the fabric so that it measures 19” wide by 17” tall. Place your wadding to the wrong side and sew in place by stitching in the ditch along your original seams.

Repeat for the second panel.

2) Cutting the side panels to size

At the top right hand corner of your panel, measure in 1” and mark, then measure down the side 2″ and mark. Now with a ruler draw a line joining the 2 points together and cut along this line. Do the same on the left hand-side (see diagram above).

Repeat for the other panel.

On the bottom right corner, measure in 2” and mark, then measure down 2” and mark. Cut out this square piece. Do the same for the left corner. This is your bag base. Your panel should look something like the photo below.

batik bag side panel

Repeat for the other panel.

Repeat for the two lining panels.

3) Attaching the magnetic clasp to the lining fabric

Measure and mark the centre point of your lining on the top opening of your bag and mark. Now measure down from that point 2” and mark. Do this on both sides. Attach your magnetic clasp at this central point. I have included a piece of double-sided fusible foam to give more strength to the fabric at the clasp point. (The strong magnet can cause the fabric to rip when pulling open). Be sure to back one side of this foam with a scrap of fabric as you only need one side to be fusible. Apply it to the wrong side of the lining fabric where your clasp is being attached, with a hot iron.
See more photos and guidance for attaching the magnetic clap here on our website.

4) Making the side loops for the shoulder strap

Take your two 2.5” by 5” pieces and fold one in half with right sides facing. Sew along the longest length with a 0.25″ seam allowance. Turn right sides out and press flat with an iron. Fold in half to form your loop.

Repeat for the second loop.

5) Constructing the bag

Place your two bag panels together with right sides facing. Sew along the two sides with a 0.5″ seam allowance. Sew along the bottom edge. Press seam allowances out. Line up the bottom corners and sew together, also with a 0.5″ seam allowance.

Turn the bag right side out.

On the top right side seams place one loop so that the raw edges of the loop line up with the raw edges of the bag. Sew in place with a 0.25″ seam allowance, this is to secure your loop in place, it will look like your loop is hanging upside down!

Repeat for the left side seam (as seen in the photo above).

Place your two lining panels right sides together and sew the side seams with a 0.5″ seam allowance (see photo below). Sew along the bottom but leave a big gap in the middle as you will need this to turn the bag out later. Sew the corners.

Do not turn out yet.

6) Joining the lining and outer fabric

blue lining fabric

Place your outer bag inside your lining fabric, you should have right sides facing and the wrong side of the lining fabric on the outside (as shown in photo above). Make sure your bag loops are tucked into the bag sandwich. Sew along the top edge of your bag with a 0.25″ seam allowance.

Gently pull the outer bag through the hole you left in the lining. Push your lining fabric into the bag and iron flat.

Top stitch around the top edge of your bag with a 0.25″ seam to give you a crisp edge. Below is a close up of the magnetic clasp to secure your bag.

magnetic handbag clasp

Your bag is now complete. All you have to do is attach your shoulder strap and you have a lovely large shoulder bag.

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