The Jimmy Bag pattern – Supplies and cutting

LauraUncategorized10 Comments

The Jimmy Bag is a bag commissioned by my mother. She wanted a bag to put what we Australians call her thongs in while walking her dog, Jimmy, on the beach. Before you gasp and have to block mental images of my 67 year old mother in bottomless knickers, let me explain that thongs in Australia are what the rest of the world calls flip-flops. Here’s my original post. For your pleasure and amusement, and to beg your forgiveness for the aforementioned mental image, here’s how I made it….

The Pattern

This is a quick’n’dirty shoulder bag with a zippered double interior pocket, an exterior pocket and a flap closure. It’s an easy-peasy beginner’s no-pattern pattern, put together fast with a smattering of irony. If you want a serious pay-for pattern – one which you can email and abuse the author if there’s anything you can’t quite manage – head on over to Sew Sweetness or SisBoom or someone with some serious sewing cred and buy one there. This one is in honour of The Bitchy Stitcher, so if you’re feeling brave and want to give this one a bash, take a grain of salt, your calmest demeanour and your sense of humour….

Choosing your fabric

First of all, spend about 30 minutes choosing the following fabrics:
• exterior (shot cotton) (about half a meter but I didn’t measure so don’t send me irate emails. Read the rest of the ‘pattern’ and do the maths then tell me what I should have put here)
• lining fabric (I used cheap batik picked up in Bali for $2.50/meter. You can use the exact same batik and pay $27/m because it’s gone from Indonesia via America to Australia. Your choice)
• feature fabrics (preferably not cat fabric because cats are creepy)
• contrast fabric scraps.

Your feature pocket will end up looking a bit like this (but hopefully straighter), if that helps with your fabric selection.exteriorpocket

Spend 30 minutes debating the wisdom of making the exterior from shot cotton. Ask yourself whether you should you waste shot cotton on a dog walking bag. Point out that you have only 3 meters of it and may have the urgent need to make yourself a – Interrupt yourself when you can’t think of what you may urgently need it for. Chastise yourself – it’s for your mother. She gave birth to you and she deserves shot cotton. Argue back that your mother is not a fabricoholic and will not appreciate shot cotton. Recall that it was only $7/m in Bali and going to the shop to get homespun is going to cost you as much and interrupt the flow of your argument with yourself. Both sides agree that running out of shot cotton is a good reason to go back to Bali and everyone is happy.

Bali fabric shopping

The next step is to consider making a psych appointment to discuss the arguments you are having with yourself. Decide that quilting is better therapy and hunt out the other requirements, namely:
• Zipper
• Zipper foot and walking foot
• Magnetic bag snaps
• Thread


Bag body – inside and out

Cut two 15×14” pieces of exterior fabric for outer body of bag. If it is not precisely 15×14, the world will come to an abrupt end and it will all be your fault.

Cut two 15×14” pieces for lining.

For all bag body pieces, angle ruler from corner of 15” side inch base to 1” in from top on each side, making top of bag 13”.

Inner pocket

Cut one 7×13 of lining fabric and one of lightweight interfacing. Fuse together.
Cut two 3×1.5” scraps for zipper ends.

Outer pocket

Cut 5.5” x 6.5” of feature fabric.

From contrast fabric, cut
• two strips 1.5 x 8.5” (top and bottom strips)
• two strips 1.5 x 5.5” (side strips).

Cut one piece of interior fabric 7.25 x 8.5”.


Cut two pieces of fabric 9.5”x5, plus one piece of fusible fleece and one piece of interfacing.


Cut two pieces of fabric and one of fusible fleece to 2.5” x the length you want.

There. That’s your cutting done. Now go and make yourself a cup of tea or a cocktail, and ponder how on earth you are going to while away the time till the next instalment…

10 Comments on “The Jimmy Bag pattern – Supplies and cutting”

  1. Hi Laura! I love your bag and your post! Happens that I have also NEW bag. Do you know Christine’s link party for bags? I have the link in my today’s post. Hugs! x Teje

  2. Let me see…cats are creepy? You wrote a funny and engaging post (I read all of it). For some reason the thing I remember the most is cats are creepy. Could it be that my sense of right-ness is offended? Just to clarify, cats are so beautiful, such wonderful companions that I just don’t know how to live without them. Now THAT could be construed as creepy… but cats? Definately not creepy. Plus, if anyone looks really closely, they will see that you have cats on the Jimmy Bag. Must be a salute to me, your dearest and craziest cat person friend. 🙂

  3. I’m pondering how Nic and I survived holidays with you. Whilst trying to mind bleach the idea of your mum in a thong…

  4. Just read through your tute posts. Backwards of course.
    Thought I recognised the fabric. Oh and you forgot to mention that the photo was a before shot. Probably just as well you didn’t take an after shot 🙂

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  6. I laughed… especially about arguing with yourself! Sometimes we are frozen with indecision…. and that really gets in the way of actual sewing! (Well, I mean, Me).
    Cheers, Lisa

  7. Pingback: The Jimmy bag – Putting it together part 2 | Quokka Quilts

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