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arrow_circle_down How to use our Large Appliques to make a Bag Closing Flap

How to use our  Large Appliques to make a Bag Closing Flap

How cute is this Giraffe Bag Pauline made!!
I've shamelessly copying her idea to show you how you can do it

I'm not sure our Koala bag is quite as cute as Paulines, but this blog will give you a 'high level' view of how you could use many of our Large Animal Appliques to create something similar

You can download full instructions to make the Koala Bag at the end (includes fabric measurements)

 Large Cat applique design

Design Considerations

You could choose just about any Animal design - you need to stitch One complete Animal, then one extra 'head' piece.   

 You need to use a design, where the head potion is completely stitched separate from the body - ie our large Cat would not be suitable as the head portion in this design stitches under the Cat's paw

I've linked some Designs below, that I think would be suitable 

Could you use a pre-made bag? you sure could - if the bag is already lined, you could undo the lining, attach your completed animal, then add your completed Bag Closure as you re-stitch the lining.  This blog shows how I created the closure, as I made the bag.

The key to adapting  the bag flap closure to make it work for any  bag size, is the extra flap that you add to your animal head.  You can make the flap any width and size.  This enables you to place your animal design exactly where you want it to be on the bag.  

I love Pauline's idea of using the contrasting fabric and making the flap a feature of the bag.  In hindsight, my next bag will have a wider flap


Applique Koala Bag

 Applique Giraffe Bag

For the purposes of this blog, I have detailed the steps to make and add the Bag Flap which is then sewn into the bag when you attach the lining - just as you do with bag straps.   

I'm sure you crafty Ladies will be able to adapt this idea for any bag style/size you would like!

Our detailed instructions for our Koala Bag - a very simple lined, boxed corner Tote Bag, using the 5x7 Large Koala Applique, are included with our Large Koala Applique, or

Step One - Create Large Applique Animal

Stitch one full animal design as pictured, plus one head as per Design instructions

Step Two - Attach Applique to Bag Front

Place, pin, then stitch the Animal to the Bag Front

When placing your design, make sure you allow for your seam allowance at the top, and bottom, and/or box corners 

Place Koala on Bag Front

Not sure how to attach your design?  click here to watch us attach the Koala to the bag front

Completed Bag Front

Step Three - Make an extension Flap 

 Extension Flap Front  Extension Flap Back

To make your head into a functioning Bag Closure, you need to add an extension flap to the top of your head, and a button closure at the bottom

To do this, we add a backing to your embroidered head - this will also give the flap more strength and body

We used felt as our backing fabric - you could use any non-freying fabric

 To make the extension flap, decide on the width and length you would like (make it longer initially, to give you 'wiggle room' for differences in seam allowances)

You can make the flap as simple or fancy as you wish - I was lazy, and used a piece of my bag handles as a flap - in hindsight, I would have made the flap wider. 

 Fold flap 1  completed flap
 If you are stuck for ideas, my simple method is:
  • Decide on  the finished width size you would like
  • Double it and add 1 inch 
    • ie 2 inch wide flap - width to cut is 5 inches
  • Length - this will depend on how far down you have placed your animal on your bag front
    • measure the distance, and add 2 inches 
  • Fold in 1/2 inch towards wrong side on each side and press
  • press in half again - wrong sides together
  • stitch together close to the edge

Step Four - Align Bag Flap 

This is the critical step - you need to align for the design you have chosen, not the centre of the animal head.   (some heads are on an angle) 

To make sure you add the flap in the right place so the head matches exactly, place your 'head' on top of your Koala on the Bag front, then place your extension flap and button closure.

Aligning Bag Flap

Keeping the flap and closure in place,  pin onto your backing fabric (felt)

Add felt backing

As before, stitch the Head to the felt piece 

Cut away excess felt as close as possible to the edge

Completed Extension Flap

Step Five - Align to Bag Back

When you stitch your bag together, the flap is stitched from the Back, so it flips over the front

From the Bag Front, as pictured, place your head exactly on top of your stitched Koala.  Mark the top edge of the extension flap, and pin the sides

Mark for Back

As pictured, line up your Bag Bag, so:

the flap is centred on the back in the same place as the front

the flap is facing inwards to the bag back

you've matched the top edge

Pin securely in place

 Place on Bag Back A  Place on Bag Back B

Step Six - Complete Bag Construction

The extension flap is attached when you stitch your Bag Lining.  I won't go into detail in this blog, as you can use any method you are comfortable with.  If you want to see the detail, please

Suitable Animal Designs to use 

Tags: How to  Large Applique  Bags  

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