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Wanderer Bum Bag Tutorial

Wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.

It seems as if this wonderful feeling has been rapidly spreading among more and more people. From exploring around one's city, to taking big leaps into places completely unknown. Travelling is a thought that has become as organic as eating; a necessity. Because of that need to explore and find new places, yet leaving all of our senses free to experience, we created this bum bag. We want to free it from its bad reputation through this tutorial. We incorporated Bijoux by Bari J., a collection from the imagined life of a travelling free spirit. The earth tones make it perfect to create a bag that will seamlessly incorporate itself into a wild adventure. By changing the prints and details into something more minimalist, you can transport with this bum bag into an industrialised setting where you explore an urban area. Ocean blue and palm tree greens will lead you on a tropical getaway. Always with the possibility to have your basic needs at hand, but your hands free.



Here is what you will need:

  1. (2) Two 2 ¼” x 6 ½” strips of Exotic Bandana Sahara (Bijoux by Bari J.)
  2. (2) Two 2” x 6 ½” strips of Caravan’s Light Sunset (Bijoux)
  3. (1) One 6” x 6 ½” strip of Dancing Harvest Wheat (Bijoux)
  4. (1) One 4 ¾” x 3 ½” rectangle of Dancing Harvest Wheat (Bijoux)
  5. (2) Two 4 ¾” x 2” rectangles of Dancing Harvest Wheat (Bijoux)
  6. (4) Four 1” x 6 ½” strips of Coffee Bean (Pure Elements by AGF In-house Studio)
  7. (1) One 14 ½” x 6 ½” rectangle of Coffee Bean (Pure Elements)
  8. (1) One 3” x WOF Strip of Coffee Bean (Pure Elements)
  9. (1) One 14 ½” x 13” rectangle of Crystal Pink (Pure Elements)
  10. (1) One 10” zipper
  11. (1) 36 ½” x 1” strip of interfacing



Start by sewing all the strips together in order to create a rectangular piece (follow the diagram). Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise. Place the template provided on fold and cut.


Take piece #7 and use the same template to cut (also on fold) the back side of the bag.


Take piece #9 fold it in half lengthwise and fold it again crosswise. Align the template to the folded edge and cut. These are the two lining pieces.


Take piece #8 and iron the interfacing strip on top of the wrong side of the fabric ¼” away from the bottom edge. Centre it leaving approximately 3” on each side. Fold it in half lengthwise right sides facing and sew along the long edge. Trace a vertical line in the centre of the strip and sew ¼” from the line to both sides of it. Cut the strip in half following the traced line and turn the two new pieces inside out.


Take the front of the bum bag and place it on top of one of the lining pieces. Align carefully. Using a fabric marker trace a 6” horizontal line and make two 1/2" “arrows” at both ends of the line (follow the template). This will be the opening for the zipper. Hold both pieces with pins and cut on the lines. Fold the cut edges towards the wrong side of the fabrics.



Take piece #4 and iron a ½” x 4 ¼” strip of double-stick fusible on the top edge of the rectangle, fold it and iron again to stick in place. Repeat the same for the side edges, this time add a ¼” x 3 ½” strip. Place the bottom of the pocket (the edge without double sided fusible) 1” away from the bottom edge of the main piece (face-to-face) sew ¼” away from the bottom of the pocket piece, turn it over and now sew in place 1/8” around the pocket (except on the top edge).



Place the two #5 pieces (pocket flap) together and trim the corners at a 45degree angle. Align them face-to-face and sew around the exterior edge leaving the top edge open to turn the piece inside out. With the right side of fabric out sew a 1/8” top-stitch all around. Place this flap on top of the main piece ½” below the zipper line and stitch it in place (1/8" from the raw edge). Press it towards the pocket and create a stitch 1/8” away from the top edge. Sew clasps inside to secure it. You can also add a decorative button to the flap.


Take front and the back pieces and pin them face-to-face. Sew along the top and bottom edge with ¼” seam allowance (leave the side edges open) turn it inside out through the zipper opening. Repeat the previous step with the lining pieces.

Insert the lining in the main piece. Then, insert one strap on each side. Sew them from the inside and pull them out.




Prior to attaching the zipper, clean the raw edges either with a serger or with a zigzag stitch. Open the zipper. Place it on the bottom edge of the opening with the teeth facing downwards. Sew along the edge (make sure that you grab the lining fabric as you are sewing). Align the zipper's edge (opposite to the teeth) to the top-edge and stitch it in place 3/8" away from the edge. Clean the exposed edges with a serger or a zig zag stitch. Insert the zipper in the pocket and do a top stitch all around 1/16" from the edge of the fabric.Diagram-14


Sew a decorative running stitch on top of the Coffee Bean strips by hand.




You are done!

This Bijoux Wanderer Bum Bag already went to the Grand Canyon:


A closer view:


May this simple project ignite a creative adventure that ultimately leads you to go out there and explore the world.

Rock 'n Sew,



Here are the options I mentioned:

The first one is made with Pure Elements and the second one with Nature Elements