10 Bag Makeover Tips from Nancy Zieman

Featuring Trace ‘n Create Bag Template “Town & Country Collection” Metro Bag

Guest Blog Posting by Nancy Zieman

I’m excited to be the guest blogger in the first of Clover’s Bag Makeovers Series. Throughout the month of May, we’ll be sharing the latest bag making techniques and notions. Plus I’ll be sharing my favorite tips for quick and easy bag-sewing methods along with the inside scoop on how I give my bags the couture-look.

Clover and I introduced the Trace ‘n Create Bag Templates—the Town & Country Collection in 2008. With the two template that are included in the package, there are six style options. The bag featured below is the Metro Plus Bag. It’s a chic bag that’s an ideal size. The easy-to-sew darts provide perfect shaping–the liberal-sized tab closure makes a fashion statement.

Metro Plus B Original

Since the template’s launch, new products and fabrics have been introduced, giving this bag even greater possibilities. For the makeover, I selected a trendy floral and paisley print laminated cotton from the Verona fabric collection by Riley Blake Designs. The lining and piping are coordinating cottons from the same collection.

Start with Clover’s Trace ‘n Create Bag Templates Town & Country Collection: Metro Plus Bag style. Gather the fabric and notions listed on the package back. For additional designer touches, I added one package Clover’s 3/16” Wrap ‘n Fuse Piping, and used two packages Clover Glossy Nickel 1” D-Rings.

Follow the Town & Country Collection instructions and trace, interface and cut out the Metro Plus Bag – Style D. The instructions will guide you through the easy steps of bag assembly.

Nancy’s Bag Makeover Tip #1

Trace the Bag Template onto paper and cut out the bag shape. Move the cutout around the fabric to “fussy cut” the bag front and back.

Tip #1

Nancy’s Bag Makeover Tip #2

Select a Teflon Foot when sewing on laminated cottons and vinyl fabrics.

tip #2

Nancy’s Bag Makeover Tip #3

Give your bag body. Cut a layer of Pellon® Peltex® Ultra Firm Sew-in Stablizer.

Instead of stitching a traditional dart, you’ll cut on the marked dart lines and remove the wedge of Peltex.  Set sewing machine for a zigzag stitch and bring edges together as you stitch the seam. Repeat for the bag back.

tip #3

Nancy’s Bag Makeover Tip #4

The secret to achieving a couture look lies in the bottom. Cut a layer of Clover’s Shape ‘n Create  and a layer of Pellon® Peltex® Ultra Firm Sew-in Stablizer for the bag bottom. I use Clover’s Double Sided Basting tape  to “baste” the layers together before stitching.

Nancy’s Bag Makeover Tip #5

When layering the outer fabric to the Peltex, use Clover’s Wonder Clips to “pin” the layers together. The clips are easy to use, yet securely hold multiple layers together.

Nancy’s Bag Makeover Tip #6

It’s easy to add a designer touch with contrasting strap lining. Cut 1-1/2” strips, thread them through Clover’s 3/4” Bias Tape Maker,  and press. Instant trim!

Nancy’s Bag Makeover Tip #7

Another designer accent is easily added with piping accents. I make my own piping with Clover’s 3/16” Wrap ‘n Fuse Piping and 1-1/4” fabric strips.

Nancy’s Bag Makeover Tip #8

Attach a zipper foot and add piping accents to outer tab prior to stitching outer tab to lining tab.

Nancy’s Bag Makeover Tip #9

Add piping accents to bag top prior to stitching tab to bag top.

Nancy’s Bag Makeover Tip #10

Add drama to your bag by using two D-Rings per strap connector.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the 10 tips that I used to create my new Town & Country Metro Plus Bag. Let me know what tip is your favorite!

For all the latest and greatest  is sewing, quilting and creating visit my blog.

And connect with me on Facebook, facebook.com/nancyzieman

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman


Get convenience and style all in one pack! The new Trace ‘n Create Bag Template Sets are just what you need to complete your bag creations. From rings, piping to strap interfacing — Nancy has you covered!

The set includes: Trace `n Create Bag Template (Town & Country Bag), Shape `n Create Bag & Tote Stabilizer (White), Create-A-Strap 1” X 2.2 yds., Snap Closures 3/4” (Antique Gold), D Rings 1” (Satin Bronze), Double-Sided Basting Tape valued at $47.00.

79 thoughts on “10 Bag Makeover Tips from Nancy Zieman

  1. it seems incredibly easy to make this purse, I’d like to try someday!
    thank you so much for this beautiful giveaway! ^^)

  2. I have ordered some like this from Nancy’s Notions years ago. They are easy, work up nicely and are fun to make. I made them for Christmas presents one year.

  3. oh i LOVE this , I just got into wanting to make bags , i’ve bought some patterns and a book but this template looks amazing , I saw it advertized in a sewing magazine before , and on Ebay i think …. but I can’t find it in any store around here , and i really want it , I’d LOVE this kit , and i hope I win **fingers crossed **

  4. I have wanted one of these since they first came out, but haven’t been able to afford them. My mom was planning to get me one for my birthday, but she developed breast cancer and died less than a year later.

  5. This bag set allows even the novice to make a professional looking bag. easy to follow instructions, and fabric suggestions. Learn while you create. Also stirs the creative juices and gives your imaginationa boost, to add details that will make the bag your own one of a kind. Well done putting this together, more to come I hope.

  6. WOW! The kit has everything to make a nice bag that is for sure. It sounds like it would be very easy to make one. I would like to win one.

  7. The tips are very useful to make bags. I can take these tips to make other kind of bags. Thanks to Nancy and Clover..

  8. I just love ordering from Nancy’s notion. It is like Christmas when the new catalog comes! I have bought some purse designs. They are great!

  9. Wow i love that you are updating an existing pattern..Love the piping, would be great to win and try this.

  10. I enjoy all of your helpful tips! I would love to make some new bags from the Trace n Create Bag Template set, I love makeing bags. Love your show and all of your helpful tips!

  11. Would love this to be the next bag that I make. You have the best tips for constructing your bags.

  12. Love that purse! I especially like tip #5, holding layers together with Clover’s Wonder Clips, instead of pinning. Pinning thicker fabrics is hard to do and often distorts the layers. Thanks, Nancy, for the great tips!

  13. I love this post full of great tips from Nancy. I’ve wanted to buy some of the Trace and Create Bag templates for awhile so I would be thrilled to win this one. I think the tip above that is my favorite is the very first one. While that is a very easy thing to do, I’ve never thought about doing that. GREAT idea.
    Thank you for the great tips and chance to win.

  14. Never made a bag but the tutorial makes it look duable. A fun project I look forward to.
    Thank you for all the great ideas.

  15. Love all the little special accents that you can add to this bag to make it a real winner! Nancy, you are always the bestest!!

  16. I’m a handbag crafting beginner with modest sewing talent at best and there is much to be learned and mastered. So many classy tips – tyvm.

  17. It is the first time I visit this place and I decided to stay a little longer. Everything is so nice.
    I’d love to win the pattern of this beautiful bag but do I have a chance living in the South of France??

  18. I’d love to win this package!

    It’s been many years since I had a handbag I liked enough to wear out the lining. Strangely enough, the outside of that old bag is still in decent shape, but the over-all style doesn’t suit me anymore. This set has possibilities… I might salvage that old fabric to make a new bag.

  19. I’d love to win this package! this post is full of great tips from Nancy using Clover products that I am not familiar with but would be thrilled to try. I plan to follow this blog for all the tips given. Thanks Nancy. Thanks Clover.

  20. Pingback: Sewing with My Daughter-In-Law and Granddaughters | The Clover Blog

  21. I love these trace and create patterns! It makes it so easy that I wouldn’t think twice about making the purse or bag that I want, and it’s personalized for me. It would make great gifts too. I just need to figure out how to thread my antique sewing machine. 🙂

  22. You certainly make it look easy. Somehow my stuff never turns out quite like the picture.LOL
    But I keep trying. Maybe if I won the templates it would help.

  23. Love the piping, handles and color of this! I do have some of these Trace ‘n Create patterns but not this one yet 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win.

  24. I love Nancy Zieman products–I’ve purchased many items! I’ve purchased almost every Mary Mulari book you’ve featured on the show. I’d love to win the purse set–I LOVE to make purses!

  25. Excited to go and get the bag pattern and the added helpful tapes and rings..thanks for your blogs! Hope to teach my grand children this summer..what fun we will have,!

  26. This would be a great project to do with my granddaughters this summer. I’d love to win the pattern.

  27. Tomorrow is my last day at the school…no telling where I will be teaching next year….it is in His hands….but I so love to sew and will have some much needed less stressful time to sew again…which I love…these purses are the greatest too…thanks! Susan

  28. I love purses. These templates are amazing. I wish they would let me sew at my desk at work. So many great projects, so little time!

    • why did I received 2 negative rates for my question? I didn’t find the post of the winner name, so I wrote here, none answered, but I received two negative rates with any reason, this is not clear to me! sorry but I don’t understand ^^(

      • Sorry for the negative rates, unfortunately we do not understand as well. We appreciate and value every comment that is posted. As for the winner, they were notified but due to privacy reasons we were unable to announce in the following week’s post. We hope this does not discourage you from entering in any future blog contest.

    • Sorry!!! I was one of the negative votes. Simply hit the wrong hand when voting! Because I agreed, was trying to find the winner myself.

  29. I’m so pleased to see that you chose my “Verona” fabric to use in this great bag make-over! Thanks for giving me (my fabric) the exposure! ~ Emily Taylor

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