Makeup Bag Tutorial

tutorial pic

We are always thinking of projects to display in the shop to hopefully inspire those who come in, and in turn we are also inspired when our customers bring in their finished projects to show us! I made this makeup bag to use as a store sample, so I thought it would be fun to share this project on the blog! There are plenty of ways to go about creating a travel makeup bag, but these are the dimensions I wanted and the design I had in mind.

Step One: Pick out some beautiful fabric! I chose three from Jennifer Paganelli’s Good Company collection. I bought a 1/2 yard cut for the outside/inside of the bag and another 1/2 yard cut for the pocket pieces. I bought a 1/4 yard for the pocket binding and ties. I had just enough with a little left over to use on another fun project!

Materials Needed:
Two pieces 12×21″ for inside and outside of makeup bag
Six pieces 6×13″ for pockets
Three pieces 2.5×12″ for pocket binding (optional)
Two pieces 3×21″ for ties
One piece 12×21″ fusible batting
Three pieces 6×13″ fusible interfacing for pockets

Seam allowances 1/2″ unless otherwise noted!

Start by ironing your fabric so that it’s easier to work with. Also, press as you go in order to keep everything neat and easier to manage!
Next, fuse the batting to the wrong side of one of your 12×21″ pieces.


Set this aside for now!

Next, fuse your interfacing pieces to the wrong side of 3 of your 6×13″ pocket pieces.
Take your fused pocket piece and place it right sides together with an “unfused” pocket piece.


Sew the pieces right sides together but remember to leave a space on one of the short ends in order to pull the insides out. I will sometimes put a couple of pins where I plan on leaving the gap so I don’t forget! Sometimes I just sew on through all of my sides, but then I quickly realize that it’s impossible to turn something inside out if all sides are sewn together. Then I get my BFF, the seam ripper. So just make a mark so you remember where to stop sewing and then everything will be right with the world.


Here’s the gap I left.


Clip the corners then turn the pocket piece inside out.


Press this with the iron!

Also, press the raw edges to the inside so you will have a nice clean closure.

Topstitch this part as closely to the edge as you can. I like to use the inside of my foot as a guide!

You actually won’t see this part anyway, so don’t be afraid or upset if it looks a little wonky.


Repeat these steps for all of the pocket pieces.
The next part is optional. You don’t have to use a pocket binding since your edges are nice and clean already, but I thought the binding would be cute. I also wanted my binding and my ties to match. But you are the designer, so it is all up to you!

If you choose to use the pocket binding, here’s what you do!
Take your 2.5×12″ piece and press it in half, wrong sides together. The iron is your best friend when you sew. Also, the seam ripper. Let’s continue!

Take your binding and pin/wonder clip the raw edges to the top edge of your pocket piece.


Sew these together using 1/4″ seam allowance.

Once you’ve done this, flip the binding to the other side and pin.


Sew as close to the edge of the binding as possible. Again, I use the inside of my presser foot as a guide for this.
Once you’ve attached the binding to all 3 pocket pieces, you are ready to assemble your makeup bag!

Center your pockets on the right side of the 12×21″ piece that has been fused to the batting. Evenly divide the distance between the pockets so that your bag will fold nicely. I just eyeballed this step, but you could quickly measure to make sure your pockets are evenly distributed.



Beginning just below the binding (or at the top of the pocket if you didn’t use binding), sew a straight line to the bottom of the pocket piece. I used the lines on my extension table as a guide for this, but it is also not a bad idea to mark your straight lines ahead of time with a marking pen. I like using the pens that erase when you iron over the mark!


Sew to the bottom of the pocket piece.


Use this step to create as many pockets as you wish. You may want some smaller pockets for brushes, or two large pockets, or all small pockets! I chose to make three pockets.
Once you’ve created your lines, sew along the bottom of the large pocket piece in order to close the bottom of your pockets!

I used the inside of my foot as a guide. Stitch closely to the edge.

Repeat these steps for all pockets!

Now for the ties! You can also use ribbon for the ties, so just skip these next few steps if you choose to use ribbon!

Take your 3×21″ piece and iron in half.


Fold the two sides in again and press.



Fold over again and press.


Then, take the ends and fold them in twice. Press.
(You can also tuck this end to the inside of your ties to have a cleaner look, but it works both ways!)

Beginning at one end, top stitch down one side as close to the edge as you feel comfortable. I used my foot as a guide!


Stitch down the other side.



Done with the ties!
Now take your ties (or ribbon) and pin at the top of the right side of your main pocketed piece. Take your other 12×21″ piece and pin right sides together to your main pocketed piece. Make sure that as you sew you are catching the ends of your pocket pieces inside the seam.


Sew all sides together leaving a gap on the bottom end to pull the insides out!

Make sure your ties stay on the inside as you sew.


Here’s the gap I left at the bottom end!
Go ahead and clip your corners and trim your seam allowances by just a bit. Be careful not to cut into the seam allowance.

Pull the insides to the outside!


Turn under the raw edges at the gap and press.

Topstitch close to the edge from one end to the other of this bottom edge.


Give the bag a good press and then you are done!



I hope you had fun making your fold-over makeup bag!