Sewing Project

All Terrain Hobo

Fleece is such a versatile fabric; soft to the touch and soft in appearance.

Make this ‘go anywhere’ bag from brightly coloured fleece for everyday use and carrying life’s necessities! Why not make several to colour co-ordinate with outfits!


  • Coral fleece:  76 × 100 cm (30 × 40”)
  • Dark brown leather: 2 × 10 cm (3/4 × 4”)
  • Brown leather handle, fitted at each end with a metal ring 3 cm (1 ¼”) in diameter.
  • Zip (to match fabric)
  • Metal ring 2 cm (3/4”) in diameter
  • Thread to match fabric
  • Strong glue
  • Non permanent marking pen
  • Lobster key fob (optional)
  • Zipper foot for sewing machine

Finished bag measures 34 cm wide by 38 cm high (13 × 15”) excluding handles.

Steps to prepare

Photocopy the half pattern (this can be found at the end of this project) and enlarge to 166%. See diagram below on how to arrange the pattern pieces on the fabric. Be sure to fold the fabric as shown here for cutting.

Mark and cut the following pieces:

4 main pieces
2 handle links 9 × 8 cm (3 ½ x 3”)
1 interior pocket 21 × 16 cm (9 × 7”)

Overlock or zigzag stitch the edges of each piece.

On the wrong side of each main piece, mark the position of the zipper as indicated by the black triangles on the pattern.

2 pieces 1 × 10 cm (3/8 × 4”)

Steps to make

1. Place two main pieces right sides together. Pin and sew the larger edge using 1 cm (3/8”) seam allowance; leave the top (smaller curve) open.

HANDY HINT: As fleece is a knit, use a ballpoint needle to avoid damaging its structure.

2. With right sides together, pin the zip to the tip seam allowances of the bag assembled in step 1; the zip should be open so you can turn the bag
right side out later.

Baste the zip to the allowance, then sew it on using the zip foot and stitching close to the edge.

3. With the wrong side out, fold each handle link strip in half crosswise, bringing the shorter edges together. Pin and then sew, using 1 cm (3/8”) seam allowance, forming each into a tube. Press the seam allowances open. Referring to the drawing, turn each tube right side out, centring the seam on the opposite face instead of on the edge, press lightly.



4 With the seam toward the metal bar, insert each strip through a ring at the end of the handle; fold so the ends of the strip align and pin them together, enclosing the metal bar. Sew a short distance from the edge.

5. Turn the bag with the zipper right side out, folding the top seam allowance to the inside. Curve the handle above the zipper and inserts the loop at each end into the bag, centring the loop on the side seam as shown in the drawing. Baste the loop to the turned in allowance.


Then, referring to the photos and using doubled thread and long straight stitches, gather the open top edge at each end of the zipper by hand; pull the thread to tighten the fabric around the handle link and secure it with a few small stitches; then slipstitch the fabric to each handle link.

6. On the interior pocket, fold and press 1 cm (3/8”) to the wrong side along all edges. Topstitch one of the longer edges 1 cm (3/8") from the fold; this is the top of the pocket. Pin the pocket, right side up, to the right side of one of the remaining main pieces, centring it about 12 cm (4 ½”) above the bottom curve.

Inserts on of the smaller leather strips through the metal ring, fold it so ends of the strip align and then inserts under the edge the pocket about 5 cm (2”) from the top, with the ring extending as shown in the drawing.

Topstitch the pocket in place, making two parallel rows of stitching along the side and bottom edges.

7. To make the lining, repeat step 1 to sew the remaining piece to the piece with the pocket. Press the seam allowance open.

8. Fold and press 1 cm (3/8”) to the wrong side along the top of the lining. Turn the lining right side out. Turn the bag with the zipper wrong side out (through the open zip) and inserts it into the lining, aligning the seams. Pin the top edge of the lining to the zipper tape, being sure to leave room for the zipper slide to move easily. Slipstitch the lining to the zipper (as in step 5). Turn the bag right side out.

9. Insert the remaining strip of leather throughout the zipper pull. Apply glue to the wrong side of the strip ends; let dry for 20 minutes. Then press the strip ends together, enclosing the bar pull.

Clip the key fob onto the ring on the inside pocket if you wish.

Further Information
This bag project has been reproduced from Chic Bags – 22 Handbags, Purses and Accessories to Make by Marie Enderlen-Debuisson / Caroline Laisné with kind permission from Search Press.

The book includes 22 projects for those of us who can’t resist a stylish new bag.  With designs ranging from cotton totes to fake fur extravaganzas there’s a great selection of shapes and styles to suit all occasions. Scaleable patterns and templates are included in the book along with bag making basics showing how to add a variety of closures, handles, hardware and trims, plus clear illustrations guide the reader through every step and the results are professional looking bags with linings, pockets, secure fastenings and stylish embellishments. Detachable purses, key rings and mobile phone cases are also included making this collection both pretty and practical for carrying all today’s essentials. It’s an ideal book for sewers of all levels of expertise and it includes useful tips and techniques throughout including sewing with specialist materials such as coated and textured fabrics. Priced at £12.99 and available from Search Press or any good book store.




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