Wednesday, July 20

Tutorial - Anthro inspired Denim Farfalle bag

I'm very excited to share my latest handbag creation, a project I recently guest-posted on Someday Crafts. A few months ago I fell in love with this Anthropologie handbag: 
The Farfalle Handbag
Did you know that Farfalle means butterfly in italian? Unfortunately, a three-hundred dollars purse, even this cute, does not fit in my budget. No matter. I decided to make my own. Not in leather but in denim. And here's is how:

NOTE: Measurements account for 1/2inch  sewing allowance around the sides and bottom seams
- Two pieces of 16x12&1/2 inch denim- new or upcycled (new will be stiffer than upcycled)
- Two 3x25 inch strips of denim for the handles
- Two pieces of 6x12&1/2 inch of your choice for the lining, cotton or satin
- One 2x3 inch piece of card stock for the bow template
- 43 to 48 2x3 inch rectangles of denim for the bows
- 1 yard of coordinating blue satin ribbon
- Fray Check
- Sewing machine and sewing supplies
- Glue gun and glue sticks
- Magnetic snap (optional)
- Extra material for inside pocket
- Medium weight interfacing (optional)

How-to steps:
  • Round the edges of your card stock for the bow template 
  • Use the bow template to cut the pieces needed for the bows and apply fray check on the edges
  • Make an accordion with 4 fold "peaks" on the side that will be up
  • With a matching thread, secure the fold by threading through the folds twice 
  • Secure with a knot
  • Cut the pieces of matching ribbon for the center of the bows (1.5" long)
  • Put a dab of hot glue on the back of the bow tucks
  • Put the end of the ribbon on the hot glue let it cool for a couple of minutes 
  • Put another dab of hot glue on the end of the ribbon and fold over
  • You will need roughly the same number of light and dark bows
  • You will save time by stitching all the bows then applying the ribbons in batch of 6-8 bows 

Make the bag shell - I didn't make a detailed tutorial for this part as there are a number of very good existing ones around the blogosphere. There is a very detailed one HERE.
  • Cut the fabric pieces for the outside shell and the lining
  • Sew the outer shell and the lining for a basic bag. 
  •  Tuck in the top corners of the outer shell as shown on the picture below i.e. 2" wide x 3" tall
  • Pin the sides and bottom of the shell
  • Optional step : add one or 2 inside pockets to the lining
  •  Add a pin a the corner of your tuck
  • Top stitch the fold all the way around
  • Once top stitched, the outer shell should look as shown below
  • Optional step : fuse the interfacing to the outer shell
  • Pin the lining and outer shell right sides together along the top of the bag lining up the side seam
  •  Don't forget you will need a hole in the bottom of the lining to turn the bag right side out
  • Stitch along the bag opening with a 3/4" seam allowance and turn the bag right side out
  • Optional - Place a magnetic snap for the bag's closure using the 3/4" fold of denim as support
  • Close the opening in the lining of the bag
  • Cut and fold the straps for the bag  as shown - first in half, then fold the edges in like for bias tape
  • Tuck the short edges in
  • Top stitch all sides of each strap
  • Pin the straps about 1 1/2" from the top corners
  • Stitch the handles on the bag 
  • Layout the bows evenly on the front side of the bag alternating dark and light ones
  • For the layout below you need 43 bows (21 light and 22 dark) 5 across by 9 high (minus 2 at the top corners)
  • You will need more 5 bows for a tighter layout
  • Put a dab of hot glue on each side of the center ribbon 
  • Secure all bows to the bag's outer shell

All done - Good news, it cost under $20 even with new denim and interfacing




  1. THAT is amazing. I love it. Even someone with amateur sewing skills (like me) could make that bag. And I think I'm going to!

  2. Looks fantastic, you have the patience of a saint doing all those bows!

  3. Pure genius! Thank you. My church's United Methodist Women's group has a bazaar every year and every year I try to infuse a bit more items that have been upcycled. My self-imposed task this year was to take one pair of jeans and see how many different things I could make. So far I have a patchwork placemat and a monster softie, I rolled some of the seams to make a trivit and wove the orts into another trivet. I made paper from the bits by the pocket that are too small for much else. Lastly, I made a brooch with the zipper and some felt.

    Now I wanted a WOW project to use the legs on. Thank you x300. This is perfect.

  4. What a cute idea. I have a HUGE pile of my husbands jeans in the basement crying for a little upcycling! I love your ideas!
    - a new blogger from...

  5. You did an absolutely fabulous job! I love it.

  6. I featured this last week here. I did it from your guest post that I loved. I didn't know if I told you or not, so I wanted to double check :o)

  7. Wow!! What a lot of work!! But it turned out gorgeous!! :)

  8. Cute! Love it! I need one now. On my to do list.. Thanks for the idea.

    Jeanna @

  9. Wow! Looks like you have patience! It turned out fabulous!

  10. Great idea! I will use this in the near future.

  11. this purse is ADORABLE! New follower as of right now from boost my blog! :)

  12. such a cute idea...and way better than shelling out 300 bucks! thanks for sharing at fridays unfolded.


  13. Very cute - I've liked that Anthro bag too - great job with the knock-off!

  14. What a great knock-off! I love that you did it in denim!

  15. I can't believe you made that. I have really got to learn how to sew.

  16. I love this bag!! I saw it at Anthropology and fell in love with it. I'll need to give this a try.


  17. This is so brilliant and I love it more in denim than the original. All of your creations are amazing but you have really outdone yourself this time! Thanks for linking up to this week's BFF Open House!

  18. Wow! This is just fabulous! Great Job!!!

  19. Beautiful purse. I am your newest follower.

  20. That is absolutely adorable! I wish I could sew that well!
    I am your newest follow from Relax and Surf Sunday!

  21. Wickedly wonderful! Genius even.
    I would love for you to show this off at my Wickedly Crafty Saturdays! Link is open until 11pm tonight.

  22. Caroline, this is absolutely amazing! So impressive, so pretty. Good for you. I love it when people figure out how to do things and stick with a budget! :-) congratulations.

  23. I know I already I told you I loved your bag but just wanted to let you know that I featured it on my site today. Come check it out if you get a chance:

  24. Oh, yes, this is really cute! All of those farfalles look so awesome.

  25. Beautiful post and great tutorial! Thanks for sharing:) You got a creative space here.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  26. You did a brilliant job. Great purse!

  27. Your bag is beautiful, great job!!

  28. There are not enough words for how much I love this purse! If I wasn't such a chicken I would make one for myself. :P I would be thrilled if you linked this up to my Tuesday Confessional link party going on now:
    See you soon!

  29. I'm so honored that you chose to join the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop. Thank you for adding this special masterpiece to rock my party :)

  30. I'm impressed! I like yours better than the original! Great job!

  31. I love it! you did a great job re-creating it. I am very impressed.

  32. I'll be featuring your bag at Creative Juice tonight. Thanks for linking up last week!

  33. Wow! I love yours and the denim!! I would love for you to link up on Thursday to "It's a Party"!

  34. Caroline, this is so pretty. we love it so much we are featuring it tomorrow on the blog. Do grab the featured button if you fancy so. votation starts tomorrow. have a lovely weekend!

  35. Wow, what a gorgeous purse! Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  36. I am a girl who can appreciate a chic et quirky handbag and YOURS is top-notch! Love this!
    Your newest follower,
    Rikka J.
    Ricochet and Away!


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