4 Patch Rag Bag Tutorial

4 Patch Rag Bag Tutorial Collage


Today we have a 4 Patch Rag Bag Tutorial for you.  We shared it a month or two ago over at Riley Blake Designs and today we are bringing it back home to Simple Simon!












Hello!  Today I get to share with you how to make a 4 patch rag bag.  It’s one of the first things that I learned how to sew and years later I still love and make them often.  They are perfect for cute, quick, handmade gifts.  (Especially when filled with special surprises!)

I, by the way, am liZ from over at Simple Simon and Company and as always am happy to be here at Riley Blake Designs.  Now….let’s get started!  Here’s what you’ll need to make these fun tote bags:


a sewing machine


14 pieces of felt cut into 5 inch squares

14 pieces of fabric cut into 5 inch squares

8 pieces of felt cut into 5″ x 2 and 1/2 inch squares

8 pieces of fabric cut into 5″ x 2 and 1/2 inch squares

Step #1

Lay out your fabric squares in the pattern you like best for your bag. (You’ll need 4 squares each for the front and back, 2 squares for each side, and two squares for the bottom. Each handle will be 4 rectangles long.)

Step #2

Sew your squares together.

(Sew your front and pack panels together.  Sew your side and bottom panels together.  Sew them together just like you had them laid out.)

NOTE: When sewing the squares together you will put WRONG SIDES TOGETHER—this is backwards to how you sew most items but for this bag we want all seams on the outside. Also EACH fabric square must be sewn with a felt piece underneath it. (It’s like your making a little felt sandwich…Every time you sew something on this project you will be sewing through: fabric, felt, felt, fabric.)

Step #3

Sew your handles.

Sew them short sides together. Sew 4 of them together in a long strip. You will make 2 long strips.
NOTE:  Remember to put a piece of felt underneath each piece of fabric when sewing AND remember to sew them wrong sides together so that the seams will be on the outside.
When you have your two strips sewn together sew a stitch line using a 1/4 to a 1/2 inch seam allowance down each side of each of your handles.
Step #4
Its time to connect all the pieces.
The easiest way is to start by sewing the front panel to the right side panel. Then sew the bottom panel to the front and right side panels. When you are done it will look like this:

Now sew the back panel to the left side panel. And then finally sew that piece to the piece in the photo above. Now you have your bag!

Step #5
Attach the handles.

To do this you are going to sew a stitch around the entire top edge of the bag. At the corner of each front and back square you are going to attach the handle.  Do this by sliding the handle inside the bag a generous half inch and stitching them together as you stitch around the top of the bag.

On the inside it will look like this:


Step #6

Clip, wash, and dry.


Clip about every 1/4 to 1/2 inch along ALL of you seams. But be careful not to cut through the seam or else your bag will have a hole in it.

When you are done clipping put your bag in the washing machine on the rinse cycle then dry in the drier.  This will make your bag cute, fluffy, and ready for use!


Thanks for sewing along with us today and for more ragged fun head on over to our blog and check out some other simple projects!

-Simple Simon and Company

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  1. Sarah Helene says

    HOW COLORFUL & CUTE: 4 Patch Rag Bag tutorial! FAB idea as it’s practical & stylish, INDEED! In only 6 E-A-S-Y steps… Done! Mix of colors: turquoise, red, olive, pink, gold &white in a variety of prints. I plan to sew a couple for my grandnieces as birthday gifts. thanks for sharing. Sarah in Minneapolis

  2. Sue says

    Felt is a magnet for crumbs, threads, etc… I think I would put another piece of fabric on the inside. Would this make it too thick?


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