The Bloomsbury Bag Pattern

Finally, The Bloomsbury Bag pattern is ready for sale as an instantly downloadable PDF! I know many of you know all about this bag, having seen the bag I originally created back in September and also, many of you having kindly offered yourself up as pattern testers, but for those coming to it anew, here are some details.

The bag is suitable for children and grown-ups and the pattern can be made in a small or large size, with a strap length to suit the height of the wearer (and can even be made as a shoulder bag if you prefer that to an across-body bag). I initially designed this bag for my eleven year old daughter to be a more feminine take on a traditional utilitarian messenger bag. It hopefully retains all the practicality of the classic bag, but with curved edges, contrast piping, a gathered pocket and optional Dresden petals, the overtly functional look is softened.

Both bag sizes feature an elasticated side pocket suitable for holding a phone or, on the larger sized bag, a drinks bottle or compact umbrella.

Inside, the larger bag size includes an internal zippered pocket...with a secret internal zippered pocket within that one! For children it's a delightful detail of the bag and for adults it's a practical place to store small things, such as a ring or watch if you take them off to go swimming. It also includes an open interior pocket and a key holder.  The smaller sized bag has been parred down to include only the interior open pocket and key holder (although my pattern tester for the smaller bag size decided to follow the instructions for the larger bag and include some internal zippered pockets anyway!).

As the pictures show, the bag can be made with or without the Dresden petals. All template pieces needed for the petals are included in the pattern, scaled perfectly for each bag size.

I designed the bag to have quite a bit of structure so that it won't sag when loaded with books and still retains its shape when empty. The pattern instructs on how to create a structured base for the bag, however, if you prefer a more slouchy look or are new to sewing, then this step can be omitted.

Because the pattern includes so many different skills - sewing curves, appliqué, installing zippers, creating piping - it will be a very challenging pattern for a novice sewer. However, if you really love the design and are keen to leap in anyway, I've included a section in the pattern notes as to how you could simplify the design to make it more manageable (such as buying ready-made piping or omitting certain features) - these may also be helpful if you're keen to make the bag but are running short on time. 

So, here's a brief run-down that will hopefully answer any questions you may have:
  • The pattern costs £5 (which is around $8 US dollars or just under €6 Euros)
  • All pattern pieces are full-size and don't require enlarging on a photocopier.
  • It has full instructions and clear step-by-step photographs (small, to be easy on the printer ink)
  • The pattern comes in two sizes: the larger bag measures 12" high x 10½ "wide x 3½" deep. The smaller bag measures approximately 9½" high x 9" wide x 2½" deep.
  • Small businesses and independent online shops are welcome to sell any Bloomsbury bags that they make from this pattern, but please give pattern credit in your selling description.
  • You can download the pattern and print it out at home straight away.
  • Payment is completely secure through PayPal. As ever, you don't need a PayPal account to pay for this pattern - PayPal accepts credit and debit cards. Once you've paid, PayPal will take you to a page where you can download the pattern instantly, by clicking on the link provided. You will also receive an email containing the same link. 

Next week I'll hopefully share with you the beautiful bags that my pattern testers made when they were trialling the pattern for me. If you make a Bloomsbury Bag from this pattern yourself, then I'd love it if you wanted to email me a photo of the finished bag or you can drop it into the Flickr pool here.

Florence x


  1. Lovely! I'm putting this at the top of my list for next time I'm allowed to spend money on crafty stuff - having lost all restraint in the past few weeks!! Your patterns are very reasonably priced, Florence, and I'm currently getting yet more value out of the Slouchy Make-up Bag pattern (3rd Christmas in a row). x

  2. It's a beautiful bag! Congratulations on your new pattern!!

  3. Lovely, thank you. Have just bought my copy - just in time for Christmas present making!

  4. Oh aren't you clever...I have been longing to make myself a bag just like this! You must have been reading my mind! Thank you!
    My current bag keeps hitting my 4yr old twins in the forehead...time for a change!

  5. So happy that it's finally here! Thank you so much! :)

  6. Gorgeous bag, what a clever looking design. I would love to make one but have so many work-in-progresses it would nothing less than sheer madness to undertake one more right now! Perhaps it would be a nice January project (muses). Currently tying myself in knots making a red winter cape. I have cut one piece of the lining out on the wrong side, ie. I have two lefts instead of a left and a right... eek. Gosh I am silly, this is what comes of rushing a project, at night!

  7. This is lovely! I will be buying it shortly. I love the fabric you've used too. It all works really well together. x

  8. I really want to try this, but my skill level ends at throw pillows! I'm a bit nervous to try new techniques, but I'm looking forward to it :D nice design


Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x