Do you like how crazy and edgy today’s pattern looks? 😀 This project is a tribute to my favorite musician of all time, Ringo Shiina. Ringo is a Japanese musician that’s been making music since about 1998, and her style ranges from punk, alternative, jazz, ska, funk, and even some hip hop. Her diversity is what I love so much about her. She even manages to fully integrate Eastern music styles with Western ones. It would not faze her one bit to use a shamisen for a rock song, or do a hard core punk version of a traditional Japanese ballad. She was also part of a group called Tokyo Jihen for many years, but during that time she mellowed out to just basic rock. Her solo stuff I always thought was infinitely better.
Ringo’s had countless guitars over her career, and they all look really awesome, but the one I had the fabric to make was her silver sparkle version of the Duesenberg Starplayer TV. Don’t get me wrong, if I had the fabric I would have made so many more of her guitars! I’ve seen other patterns for guitar bags online, but I really wanted to try my hand at making my own so I could make some personal adjustments. Firstly, the bag has some depth from an added gusset, it zips at the top, it has the guitar neck attached to the pickups as a strap, and of course it’s shaped like Ringo’s guitar! Even though it’s not sparkly, I had some leftover crushed velvet from a Christmas gift I made a few years back that I thought did a decent job of mimicking the finish of the silver guitar. I’ve added the star decal in the corner as it shows up in her Gunjou Biyori video and I thought it was an adorable touch 😀
This one is a little more intense. The basic construction isn’t hard to get your head around, but getting the pieces together can be tricky because of all the curves.
Makes one bag that is about 12” wide, 16” high, and 4” deep
Materials & Tools:
• ½ yd. of medium to heavyweight fabric for main bag (denim or canvas would be great – I used an interfaced crushed velvet)
• ⅓ yd. of 60” wide or ½ yd. of 45” wide medium to heavyweight fabric for contrast sections: sides and strap (denim or canvas would be perfect – I used twill)
• 1 yd. of lightweight fabric for lining (I used quilting cotton)
• 3 yds. of matching bias tape (store bought or handmade is fine)
• Matching sewing thread
• Fourteen ¼” eyelets
• Two ⅝” silver snaps
• 12” matching zipper (at least)
• 2” wide square ring
• 2” wide strap adjuster
• Basic sewing tools (sewing machine, scissors, iron, needles, pins, fabric marker, seam ripper)
• 5” x 10” scrap of silver appliqué fabric (cotton or felt) for bridges & star
• 7 x 10” scrap of black appliqué fabric (cotton or felt) for pickups & decal
• 10” x 10” scrap of light or heavy duty fusible web
Before you begin:
1. Print out the project pattern here
2. Assemble the pattern pieces, see the page here for more help
3. Lay out the pattern pieces on your fabric and cut them out
4. Mark the fabric pieces with the markings from the pattern
1. We start first with making the strap. You assemble it by folding under ⅝” of only one short side of the strap piece, ironing it flat. Then fold under each long side as well, ironing those too. Fold the whole thing in half lengthwise, ironing it yet again, and sew the folded edges together very close to the folds. You’ll see I used a bit of interfacing on my straps because my twill was a bit stretchy. If your fabric is quite sturdy, it’s not necessary.
2. Next we attach the raw end of your strap to the bag, right where it would be if it was a real guitar neck. Line it up with the placement of the topmost pickup so that it’s about ¼” underneath the appliqué. Baste the edge of the strap in place here.
3. Now for the rest of the appliqué. Adhere your fusible web to your appliqué pieces, then place all your other appliqué bits on the front of the guitar following the pattern guidelines: the pickups, bridges, and decals. Sew them on however you like, either straight or zigzag stitch to hold them in place. Even ironing or gluing them on is fine, just be sure that the guitar neck is fully sewn on beneath the pickup. I did a combination of zigzag and satin stitches here, in order to make the silver border on the pickups as you see.
4. After you finish all your appliqué, it’s time to start installing your hardware. Following the pattern guidelines, install your eyelets on the pickups where the little circles are, as well as the two on the side of the guitar. Install your larger snaps (just the caps) where the larger circles are, also on the side of the guitar.
5. With the front of your bag looking good, we’re going to baste it to its corresponding lining piece so they act as one. Layer the lining and main bag pieces together with wrong sides facing each other, then sew along the perimeter of the piece within the seam allowance. Be sure to move the strap out of the way as you sew around. Repeat this with the back side of your bag as well.
6. Next we’re making the tab for the other side of your strap. It’s made similarly to the strap. Fold under ⅝” of two opposite sides of the square (it doesn’t matter which two, just make sure they’re opposing), and iron the folds down. Then iron the entire tab in half, bringing the folded edges together. Sew these folded edges together with an edge stitch.
7. With the tab done, we’re attaching it to the bag back. Grab your tab and loop it through your 2” square ring, folding the tab in half so the raw edges meet up. Then line up those raw edges with those on the bottom of your bag back, following the pattern guidelines. Baste the tab in place, sewing within the seam allowances, and now your bag will be ready for when we assemble and finish the strap!
8. Now we’re starting to assemble the sides of your bag, the part that gives it depth. Grab your zipper, and layer it between one of your bag top pieces and its corresponding lining piece. Sew the three layers together along the zipper tape, using a zipper foot (if you have one – if not a regular foot is fine). You’ll notice the seam allowance is about ¼” to accommodate the width of the zipper tape. Press the fabric away from the zipper when you finish. Repeat this with the other side of the zipper and the other two bag top pieces.
9. When you complete your zipper section, you’ll next need to sew it to the rest of the bag sides. First, make sure your zipper slider is moved towards the middle of the zipper. Take one of the short ends of your top section, and layer it between the bag bottom and its corresponding lining piece with right sides facing. You might notice that either your bag top or bottom is wider than the other; this is usually due to the width of your zipper tape from the previous step. Feel free to trim one piece or the other to make them the same width.
Line up the raw edges and sew through them, being very careful when going through the zipper. Press the fabric away from the zipper. Repeat this with the other sides of your top section and bag bottom pieces. When you finish you should have a ring.
10. This part starts to get tricky. We’re attaching the sides of the bag to the front and the back by sewing the long edges of the bag sides around the perimeter of your guitar shape. There are a lot of curves, so you’ll want to clip your bag sides about ½” in along the raw edges, this allows your piece to stretch and curve more easily. Start lining up your bag sides along the edge of your bag front, being sure to move the strap out of your way so you don’t accidentally sew it. The seams from your zipper section should line up with the two circle markings near the top of your bag front/back. The center of your bag bottom (which may have a notch if you copied the pattern, or maybe just a crease from your fold line) should match up with the circle marking at the bottom of the bag front/back. Sew around the entire perimeter of your bag front, trying to get these markings to line up as closely as possible, and remembering to bend and stretch your bag side piece so it fits. Make sure your zipper is at least part way open, then repeat this with the other edge of your bag sides and your bag back.
11. Next I’m binding the raw edges of those seams so the inside of the bag looks nice. I used some leftover store bought bias tape and wrapped it around the raw edges (so there would be no fraying), and sewed it in place. You can choose to finish your seam allowance in another way.
12. I found what really helped give my bag some definition was to edge stitch around the perimeter of the bag front and back. Turn your bag right side out and really pinch the edges of the seam you just made so they’re well defined. It helps immensely if you can manage to press that seam, such as by using a towel inside the bag to press upon, then ironing from the right side to get a crisp edge. Fold that seam you just made then edge stitch about ⅛” in from the perimeter of the bag, going all the way around (again, being sure to not sew the strap). Repeat this with the bag back, and your bag will have a much more defined shape when you finish!
13. Lastly we’re assembling the strap. If you’re not familiar with assembling strap adjusters, you might want to find a quick how to. It really is easy once you get the concept. For this bag, you’ll want to slip the free end of your strap (the end that should have the finished edge from step 1) through your strap adjuster, then through the ring at the bottom of your bag, back up and through the middle bar of your strap adjuster again. Fold this edge over upon itself and line up the edges, then sew the layers together with a box stitch. Hopefully it’s not too hard to see here, but you’ll have to move other parts of the strap out of the way to get to it.
Now rock out, because your bag is DONE!
Wow! Probably one of the hardest projects I’ve given away to date. Hopefully you all didn’t run into many problems with it!
Do you have any musicians that inspire your work? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
And if you do try making the project, I’d love to see it! And I’ll send you exclusive free patterns as a reward!