sewing a Pyramid WIP bag

I learned to make a pyramid WIP bag. I have one made by a friend of mine who is an accomplished sewist. It was my example and I used a bunch of tutorials on the net.

My bag:

Shell fabric is linen. I love linen.

My zip is 22 cm long. It will be 24 centimeter eventually. Plus 2 x 1,5 cm SA means the short side of the rectangle will be 27 cm.

This equals 1,73 where the long side will be 4.

27/1,73 times 4 = 55,5 plus 2 x 1,5 cm SA = 58,5 will be the long side of the rectangle.

Ack, I have a fat quarter and it’s 50 cm wide. I’ll have to reverse the math to determine how long the shortest side of the rectangle will be.

50 – seam allowance = 47 cm

47/4 = 11, 75 cm

11,75 x 1,73 = 20,4 cm  = the measurement of the short side that will carry the zipper. I will shorten the zipper at the bottom as needed. Add seam allowance to the side = 20,4 plus 2 x 1,5 = 23,4 cm.


  1. Cut two rectangles of 50 cm x 23, 4 cm.  One is outer fabric, one is lining.
  2. cut batting, slightly smaller (47 x 21 cm). Add batting to outer fabric with seams in another direction than parallel to the longest side. I did waves to avoid sewing over the kitties.
  3. make strap/handle from a rectangle folded in on itself. I used red thread for a bit of accentuation. And I made sure the kitties were positioned in an interesting way. Next handle must be longer: 40 cm.
  4. gave the top of the zipper a nice edge. With this you can make up for the difference in length between zipper and fabric. Working with the print and red thread for accent.
  5. attach zipper. 3 layers: top, zip, inside. Because my zipper extended quite a bit at the bottom, I was able to topstitch the second part of the zipper in one go.
  6. close bottom. The bag is turned inside inside out (yes, twice). Make some kind of butterfly to find the exact opposite points of lining and shell fabric in relation to the zipper. I sewed an extra time over the seam  to make it sturdy. Now I have some sort of batted cushion cover with a zipper in the front and the top open. I use a double sewn seam, for sturdiness.
  7. close the back seam, with the handle in between, but only sew the outer fabric (RS together. Leave the lining alone for now. Leave the zipper open for this part, otherwise problems with turning back right side out.
  8. sew the lining shut, first from the WS then from the RS. Make sure to catch it onto the top for a bit, because it needs a bit of support.

The slippery lining, the shell fabric with batting attached, the topped zipper and the handle:
cat fabric pyramid WIP bag sewing

Attaching zipper in between lining and shell fabric RS together:
cat fabric pyramid WIP bag sewingcat fabric pyramid WIP bag sewingcat fabric pyramid WIP bag sewing

The back of the top stitching of the first part of the zipper:
cat fabric pyramid WIP bag sewing

Now fold and do the other side, remember to keep the zip open:
cat fabric pyramid WIP bag sewing

Determine the under seam, making sure the zipper is in the middle. Sew shut, encasing the end of the zipper:
cat fabric pyramid WIP bag sewingcat fabric pyramid WIP bag sewingcat fabric pyramid WIP bag sewing

cat fabric pyramid WIP bag sewing

Now fold and do magic to determine how to sew the other seam/top part of it. The idea is to make some sort of butterfly shape and keep the lining inside outside in:
cat fabric pyramid WIP bag sewing

It was fiddly and I can’t describe what I did exactly. But the top came out beautifully:
cat fabric pyramid WIP bag sewing

Just like the example bag I have:
cat fabric pyramid WIP bag sewing

My handle wasn’t long enough so I couldn’t sew it at an angle so it would point upwards (making the bag hang straight down when on my wrist). But other than that this bag is very nice.

cat fabric pyramid WIP bag sewing


  1. This time I used slik, slippery lining. It would be better if I caught it in some of the corners onto the shell fabric. Now it’s easy to pull the lining through the opening when I take something out of the bag. Other bags, with quality cotton for lining, stay in shape.
  2. The handle was too short to give it the right angle for wearing. It’s now at a right angle to the seam. The bag won’t hang straight when worn on the wrist but at least the hand can go through the handle. Next time: handle at least 30 cm long instead of 26.
  3. The whole bag can be bigger. This is a nice bag though, from one fat quarter with a print that is directed top to bottom. It’s sides are 25 cm long. It’s 21 cm high. It has 4 triangles that are all identical in size and shape, all perfect three sided triangles.

The fabric came from a gift I got for my birthday last year:

Isn’t that a nice idea for a crafty person? It has made me do little handsewing things all year. And now I knew I had the skill set to do the fabric and the zipper justice, they’re both from this jar.

These are the tutorials I used and the sewing steps I did:

I used this Flemish tutorial to learn about the proper measurements: link

I used this tutorial to learn about adding batting: link Loganberry Handmade

I used these tutorials to learn about nice endings of the zipper: link Het Leuvens Stiksel and link Ricochet and Away. (That last one shows you can add any length of zipper to any length of fabric.)

This tutorial again for sewing sequence: link  Loganberry. I found this to be the best tutorial.

This tutorial for turning things inside out: link Sofilles

and I used all three of them to learn how to make the bag. It’s a compilation of tutorials because one uses squares, another rectangles but no zip endings.


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