Braiding- An Easy Bag Embellishment Pictorial

(This post is part of a continuing series focusing on the development of a new handbag pattern from its initial conception to it’s release.)


So… in our last post I showed you our new design, The Guardian all dressed up retro-style in Michael Miller fabric.

And here’s the deal, once the details of a new design are pretty much resolved and the instructions are done, I LOVE being able to take the time to really have fun with the exterior. It’s great experimenting with new fabrics and one of my favorite things to do is to work on creative ways of embellishing the exterior!

For this bag, I felt like the front zippered area would be PERFECT for various piecing techniques and since I’ve had this braiding techinique in mind for some time now, I thought what better time to play around with it?

This technique is SO quick and easy. It only took me an hour or so to piece and braid this front area together and that INCLUDES the cutting time.        Interested? Let me show you how?

First, choose at least three coordinating fabrics, (I chose 6)
then cut strips of 1/1/2″ X 6″.

Next, place two strips right sides together at right angles to each other. 

Stitch together using 1/4″ seams.
Press seams open.

Place your next strip across the seam just sewn. Stitch 1/4″ from aligned edges.

Press seam open.

Keep adding strips in the same way, adding new strips one by one….

and then pressing the seams open, until you have a braided section large enough

to fit underneath the pattern piece for the area you wish to embellish, in this case, the CC Holder.

Now all you have to do is center your pattern piece, cut it out, then use it to make your bag according to the regular instructions.

And now… it’s YOUR turn!
Got any questions or comments for me?
 We actually LOVE comments, 
so please feel free to leave any comments you might have in the space provided below
and stay tuned for our next post in this series when our new design continues to develop!

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14 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. Love, love, love those Polka dot zippers!

  2. Thanks for the tut, I haven’t tried this before, but love the look and it doesn’t look difficult.

  3. I’ve always loved ‘Log Cabin’ quilts… I know why!!! I love this technique..and will be using it my self….and I too, LOVE those zippers!

  4. THANK YOU! I can’t wait to try this and see what I can come up with!!

  5. Love the braid technique…and I’m ready for the Guardian! 😀

  6. I love this fabric! And nice braiding, too.

  7. Awesome! I like the braiding and this fabric is very cool. It may be “retro” but the color range is very modern.
    Still wondering if a full size iPad will fit in the concealed pocket…

  8. Thanks for all the kind words!
    and yes Holly, a full-sized iPad will fit in the back pocket, but it sticks out about 1 1/2″. The safer place to store it is within the bag itself where it fits perfectly

  9. Diane Sinclair Meigs

    Love the purse and design

  10. Lovely design, beautiful purses

  11. Hi there, I got stuck with this bag and loved it instantly. So I wanted to make one right away but can’t find the instructions for the actual bag. Can anyone help me out? Please
    Looking forward to any answers 🙂