How to Make a Bag Handle

How to Make a Bag Handle

Learning how to make a bag handle is an important step when you're sewing a purse. It may seem that they're simple, but there are some details that will make them look great. Here are the 8 steps to making pretty, resistant and professional looking purse handles!

Making the Bag Handle

  1. To make your handle you'll need to cut a rectangle like the one below. Make length parallel to the selvage direction to make it more resistant. The handle we'll be making has a 3/8" seam allowance on all sides.

    How to Make a Bag Handle

  2. Cut a rectangle of fusible interfacing. Make it the same length as the handle but only half the width. Leave the seam allowances without interfacing to reduce bulk.

    How to Make a Bag Handle

  3. Apply the interfacing with the heat of an iron.
  4. Iron the seam allowances towards the wrong side of fabric. Use a sheet of paper to protect the interfaced part from the heat. Otherwise, the interfacing might stick to the iron or get wrinkled.

    You can use pins to hold the seams in place, but remove them before ironing. If you leave them, they'll make marks on the fabric.

    How to Make a Bag Handle

  5. Fold the handles in half with the wrong side towards the inside and iron.
  6. If you want to make closed end handles:

    • Fold the handles in half with the wrong side of fabric outside.
    • Sew the short edges closed. Make sure the seam allowances from the long sides are folded towards the wrong side of fabric.
    • Clip the corners in a diagonal line.
    • Turn the handle so that the right side is outside.
    • How to Make a Bag Handle

  7. Topstitch the open long edge, then topstitch the opposite one. (If you're making closed end handles topstitch the short sides too).
  8. Optional: Sew lines parallel to the edges. This will give your handles extra strength and it also adds a nice finish.
    How to Make a Bag Handle

Ta da! You're done. If you want to learn more, I suggest you try Design Your Own Handbag. It's an online class where you'll learn professional tips every step of the way, from planning your bag's unique shape and fabrics to adding finishing snaps and straps. You start with a basic handbag shape that can be adapted into an endless variety of styles, including a tote bag, slouchy hobo bag, and curved top bag. Then you'll pick up more advanced skills such as constructing zipper pockets, creating pleats, and attaching hardware. You get to choose your own process and create a chic, custom bag!

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