Today’s blog post will show you step-by-step instructions to make a quick and easy purse with my printable free mini hobo bag pattern.
The free pattern works equally well for a child’s or adult purse. It is also an excellent project for a beginner sewer.
Too much fabric? I think the phrase you are looking for is too small of a sewing room.– Unknown
This is a reversible bag you can create in a myriad of styles. You will love how EASY and adaptable it is.
You do not have to reverse it, but if you choose a lining fabric you want to show off, you can switch it up whenever you want to match your outfit or mood.
PLUS, it comes together remarkably quickly, and you will love the design. It’s a TOTAL WIN.
Printable Free Hobo Bag Pattern
To get the free downloadable pattern, subscribe to my email list.
You will receive an email (in about 15 minutes) with a link and the password to log in to the free library. This will give you access to this pattern and all project downloads.
When you enter the library, look for the thumbnail photo of the hobo purse and heart appliques. Click to open the PDFs, then click the download icon to download the patterns.
After you download and print the PDFs, return to this post and scroll down to read the instructions in more detail with photos.
Hobo Bag Features
You can make many simple modifications to change up this bag. Let’s run through your options.
Using different materials will create entirely different ways to visualize your bag.
Consider a large print in a geometric or floral or a small print stripe or animal print.
Because we are approaching Valentine’s Day, today’s hobo look is “cute.” I chose a sweet fabric print that would be perfect for a young girl.
But when you change up the fabric, watch it transform into a grown-up bag. It would work for a night out, a beach wedding, a ladies’ lunch, or really any special occasion.
For example, imagine velvet material, a satin, nubby polar fleece (think Lululemon), or using old jeans for a retro look.
How about a cool block print on heavier fabric like canvas (like Lotta Jansdotter) or a cute floral cotton print? There are so many options!
(Stay tuned for my next edition hobo bag. I have something up my sleeve for a more sophisticated style.)
Choose your favorite length for the straps. If you make one with a short handle, you can tie in a knot that looks like a bow, and the purse becomes a small satchel.
With a medium-length strap, your purse becomes more of a tote bag or market bag design.
Make the straps longer, and you have a shoulder, sling, or crossbody bag style.
Increasing the depth of the body of the bag creates a big bag with extra space inside and completely alters the look. This gives a relaxed modern vibe but makes it functional even for a diaper bag!
Width of Purse
To create a more slouchy look, increase the width of the pattern.
The center will slouch down to make a boho bag style.
As I mentioned, this purse is automatically reversible, meaning you can turn it inside out and enjoy two completely different looks.
What Size Hobo Bag Should I Make
You do not have to narrow it down. The purse is so easy to make you should make different sizes. One of each!
Make all the size combinations to see which one you like best. Then, you can vary your handbag style from a clutch to a carryall or make it a shoulder bag. See below for more details.
I think it’s great to start with this small version and see how easy it is to master. Then work your way bigger.
Here are the materials you will need. Affiliate links are underlined.
Sewing Scissors HERE or
Rotary Cutter HERE
Cutting Mat HERE optional
Iron HERE optional
Free Hobo Bag Pattern subscribe
Fusible Web for applique, optional
How to Make a Hobo Bag
Okay, let’s get started. I will walk you through this simple process of making a hobo bag. It’s truly easy enough for beginners.
Once you have purchased your materials, pre-wash your fabric.
Use the drying technique you plan to use going forward. (air-dry or machine-dry.)
You want the fabric to shrink before you cut it out. This will prevent unwanted shrinking in the future.
Prepare the Pattern
Download and print the pattern. To download the free hobo purse pattern, subscribe to my email list.
You will receive an email (in about 15 minutes) with a link and the password to log in to the free library.
This will give you access to these mini hobo purses and heart appliques. Plus, you can use any of the other project downloads if you are interested.
Then, follow the pattern markings to connect and tape them together. Cut out the paper pattern.
Cutting the Fabric
1 Cut two identical pieces of the exterior fabric. Next, cut two pieces of bag lining fabric. (You will have four pieces total)
If your pattern has a directional print, confirm that it is facing the correct way before cutting the fabric.
Also, pay attention if there are pattern markings on the material you want to show up or center on the front or back, etc.
Sewing your Mini Hobo Bag
Finally, it’s time to sew!
I have included a 1/4-inch seam allowance in the pattern. If you prefer a deeper seam allowance, add it to the perimeter of the pattern piece.
Body of Bag
2 With the right side together, sew the two panels of the Exterior Fabric (A) along the side seams and bottom with a straight line stitch. (Leave the top arc open.)
Now, do the same with the Lining pieces. For these, leave a 4-inch opening in the center of the bottom seam. (You will use this slot later to turn the bag right side out.)
3 & 4 To form a slight bottom for the bag, flatten each corner, and stitch it closed (on the wrong side) 1/2-1 inch from the outside edge. Backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching to reinforce. See the picture for reference.
Do this to all four corners, two corners in the Exterior Fabric (A) and 2 in the Lining Fabric (B).
I like to press all the seams at this point. First, press all seams open and then press the purse body. Clip/cut edges and curves so everything lays nicely. It is infinitely easier than waiting until the end.
Put it all Together
5 The next step is to combine the two parts. So, with the right sides together, nest the lining inside the exterior fabric piece.
Straighten out all of the strap pieces and align the raw edges. Pin.
6 Keeping the right sides together, stitch continuously, starting at the top of one strap. Next, stitch down the curve of the bag and back up to the top of the opposite strap.
7 Turn the bag right side out at the bottom opening. Pull out the straps and the corners using a turning tool or a chopstick as necessary.
8 Press and top stitch along the edges to give the purse a neat and professional look.
This step is optional. However, if you want to add an applique shape to the purse, I have included many heart shape options on a pattern PDF.
You will need a Fusible Web (affiliate link) to create an applique. Then, follow the instructions on the package to apply it.
You can iron the heart on before you sew the bag together or after it is complete.
I added a machine topstitch around the edge of the applique heart, so it looks like it is sewn on, but it is just ironed on. 😉
See this home decor applique pillow project for an example of easy applique steps.
A pocket is also optional. I did not add a pocket in my examples, but if you want to, I have included a few shape options on the pattern pages. Cut 1 of these.
To add a patch pocket, press under all sides of your fabric pocket piece 1/4 inch.
Pin in place on the front Exterior Fabric (A) purse panel before sewing the purse.
Top stitch the lower three sides of the pocket. Backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching to reinforce.
How to Tie a Hobo Bag
Knot the top 2 straps as you desire. For example, if you cut the straps with a curve top, you can create a bow look by tining a simple big knot.
If you prefer a loose knot with hanging ties, cut the ends straight and leave 2-3 inches of a tail on both ties.
You can also connect the handle with this design for a completely different look.
You now have a finished bag. Congrats!
I can’t wait to hear how you design a beautiful bag using this hobo bag sewing pattern. Enjoy all of your design options!
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