Freebie Friday! The Raven Hobo Bag

I don’t mean to confuse anyone, but today’s project has nothing to do with birds >w< Many companies give their items cute girl names, for some reason this bag made me think of a raven x3 so I added the dark wings to bring the idea home.

This burgundy denim is leftover from another bag I made some time back, while the contrast black vinyl I had used to make some belts for a costume. The two seemed to go well together in sort of a 90s goth kind of way, so I thought I’d go for it 😀 And I had an extra zipper lying around that matched perfectly. That and when I realized I hadn’t made a hobo bag in my huge collection of bag projects, it seemed like all the ideas came together!


This uses a bit of an intermediate method of inserting zippers, plus attaching the gusset is a little tricky.
Makes one bag that measures 13” wide, 12” tall, and about 5” deep.

Materials & Tools:
• ⅔ yd. of medium to heavyweight fabric for main bag (canvas or denim would be perfect – I used twill)
• ½ yd. of medium to heavyweight contrast fabric for sides and straps (canvas or twill would be perfect – I used vinyl)
• ¾ yd. of lightweight fabric for lining (I used quilting cotton)
• 10” long zipper (at least)
• Four 1” wide metal rings
• Matching sewing thread
• Basic sewing tools (sewing machine, scissors, iron, needles, pins, fabric marker, seam ripper)
• Complementing fabric paint for the wing motifs OR:
Appliqué supplies:
• 6” x 12” scrap of appliqué fabric (cotton, felt, etc.)
• 6” x 12” 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. Before we get underway, the first step is the to get the wing motif on the front of your bag. I chose to go with fabric paint to get the look that I wanted, you can see how with the tutorial I wrote. But if you’d prefer appliqué, this is where you would fuse your appliqué fabric to the front of your bag using the pattern guidelines. Then sew it in place if you desire 😀

2. The exposed zipper look that I achieved on the front of the bag uses a technique that’s a little beyond beginner. It’s made by sewing kind a window in the fabric. You’ll do this by layering one of your pocket pieces over your bag front with right sides together. Match up the zipper placement boxes exactly, then sew along the outline of this box so the two pieces are sewn together.

3. Following the guidelines that run inside the box, cut open the inside of the box, getting as close to the corners as possible without accidentally snipping the thread. Turn the pocket to the wrong side of the bag front using that opening you just cut. It will feel a little strange, but if you smooth out the seam lines from the box you’ve sewn, you’ll see that you can turn it right side out with just a little bit of finagling. Press it firmly so the edges look nice and crisp.

4. If you’ve turned the fabric properly, it should look something like this. The two fabrics sewn together from that rectangle forms a little window. Once that area is firmly pressed, lay your zipper behind it and hold it in place with pins or tape as I’ve done here. Then you’ll want to sew all the way around the rectangle, making sure that you’re also catching the zipper tape, and the slider of the zipper is pulled to the middle of the window so it’s secured completely. Be careful when sewing over the zipper; you’ll want to do it slowly and perhaps only use the flywheel if necessary. Trim the excess zipper tape when you finish.

5. To complete the pocket, fold back the main bag fabric and focus on the pocket section that’s now connected to your zipper. Take your remaining pocket piece and line it up with the first pocket piece by matching up all the raw edges with right sides together. Sew around the entire perimeter of the square, and that completes your pocket! Since it’s part of the lining, there’s no need to turn it right side out or anything like that 😀

6. When you’re finished, your pocket should look something like this. This will all be hidden by the main lining of your bag when you finish.

7. With the front of your bag all complete, now you can sew on the sides. With your bag sides piece, match up the square markings that appear in the corners with the square markings that are on the sides of the bag front. Match up the raw edges as you go around the sides and bottom of the bag. You might want to clip into the seam allowances of the bag sides to help it curve over the edge. As you continue, the other end of the bag sides should match up with the remaining square marking on the bag front. If it all matches up properly, then you are free to sew it in place.
When you finish, repeat this with the other long edge of the bag sides and your bag back piece. At this point you’ll want to go back and repeat this step with your lining pieces as well, except remember to leave an opening in the bottom of the bag as the pattern indicates for turning it right side out 😀

8. With both the lining and the main bag done, you’ll want to sew them together along the top edge. Nestle the main bag into the lining with right sides together and match up the upper edge. This includes matching up the extensions at the top of the bag as well as the top edges of the side pieces.
When everything is all lined up and pinned, you can sew along the top edge, being sure to pivot at the corners where sides meet at the bag front and back. Go around the entire perimeter.

9. When you finish it should look something like this. It’s an odd shape, but if you manage to get through all the pivoting it’ll look perfect when you turn it inside out.
From here you’ll want to clip all the corners and curves – especially the convex corners where the bag sides meet the bag front and back. Then turn the bag right side out from the opening in the lining and even out the top edge, poking the extensions with a chopstick to get them back out and all that. Iron this top edge really firmly so it looks crisp.

10. To keep it looking crisp, edge stitch around the top edge, pivoting at all the corners and what not just as in step 8. When you finish with that, you’ll want to go back and sew up the opening left in the lining either with a hand sewn ladder stitch or an edge stitch done by machine. And that’s pretty much the main body of the bag! Give yourself a pat on the back, and next we do the straps ^-^

11. If you’re using a lighter weight fabric, you’ll want to create your straps by folding each edge under by ⅝”, then folding the whole strap in half with wrong sides facing, then edge stitching the folded edges together.
Mine was a little different however. Since I was using thick vinyl, it doesn’t fold as cleanly or easily. In that case it was best to fold the strap piece into thirds and sew down both edges.
Whatever fabric you’re using, you’ll want to repeat this with your other strap piece.

12. To attach the metal rings, you’ll want to loop one through one of the bag extensions at the top edge. Then fold the extension down upon itself by about 1½”. Sew the overlapped area in place with a box stitch. Repeat this with the other 3 extensions and remaining metal rings.

13. Then lastly you’ll need to attach the strap to the other half of your metal rings. Loop the end of one of your straps through a metal ring on the front side and fold it over on itself just as in the previous step. Sew it in place with a box stitch. The other end of your strap should go through the remaining metal ring on the front side. Be sure that the strap doesn’t get twisted along the way.
Once you have one side complete, take your other strap and repeat this with the back side of your bag. Now fill it up with your favorite stuff because YOU’RE DONE!

I’m not usually a fan of hobo bags, but I think I might have to make an exception to this one. I just love the silhouette not to mention all the hardware and the color combination.
What do you think? Are there any bag styles that you love/hate more than anything? Let me know 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!

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4 thoughts on “Freebie Friday! The Raven Hobo Bag”

  1. Okay, that is seriously a cool bag. I’m totally on my way to my sewing machine to start making one right now!!!

    1. Oh wow! It looks fabulous! And I’m glad you were able to get your feet wet working with pleather ♥ Your blog is amazing, and the projects you make turn out so wonderful. Thanks for giving my tutorial a try and I hope I’ll get to see more of your great work! >w<

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