Swoon Sheena Tutorial

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Here is a quick photo tutorial for Swoon Sheena.  Sheena is a lovely medium sized hobo bag measuring 16″ wide, 12 tall, and 5.5″ deep.  Just to give you a visual, 16″ is about the size of your forearm/fist.

Sheena is a pretty fast sew-4 hours if you don’t make any grave errors.

I would rate Sheena as a 2 out of a 4.  Not particularly difficult, but I would recommend having sewn a simple bag or be very familiar with sewing in general. Not a project for a brand new newbie.


1/2 yard exterior fabric (more if using directional fabric)
2/3 yard contrast fabric
1 yard lining fabric
4 yards woven interfacing (Pellon SF 101)
2-5″ or longer exterior pocket zippers (#5 bag zippers recommended)
1-17″ or longer main zipper (#5 bag zipper recommended)
2-1 1/2″ O-rings
1-1″ swivel clip (big enough to clip onto O-ring)
All other sewing paraphernalia
Snacks *very important*

I purchase my bag zippers from Zipper Island.  I have heard ZipIt is awesome as well.


Print out your pattern pieces at 100% or “no scaling”.


3 of the pattern pieces need to be taped to glued together. Line up the letter boxes like such and glue, tape, or staple together.


If you’d like to have the exterior panels contrasting or just sew together for the ‘look’, then cut 4 panels out of the entire pattern piece. 2 pieces are mirror images.


If you would like your exterior panels solid, then fold the pattern piece under at the ‘fold’ line and cut 2 pieces on the fold of the fabric.










I like to cut out all of my SF101  (or any other interfacing) and adhere it to my fabric. THEN cut out my fabric pieces.










In addition to the paper pieces, you will need:
Strap: 4×30″ (44″ if you want a longer strap) 1 fabric and 1 interfacing
Zipper tabs 1.5″ x 1.5″ Cut 2 exterior, 2 lining, and 2 interfacing

Pieces you should have:

Strap: 1 Fabric; 1 interfacing
Zipper tabs: 4 Fabric, 2 interfacing
Exterior Main Panel: 2 exterior (on the fold) or 4 exterior (2 pieces mirrored) not on the fold.  Interfacing will be the same as your fabric.
Lining Main Panel: cut 2 lining on fold and 2 interfacing on fold
Pocket Panel: 4 lining and 4 interfacing 2 of each should be mirror images
Gusset: 2 for exterior; 2 for lining, and 4 interfacing
Connectors: 2 to match exterior main panel fabric and 2 to match exterior gusset fabric and 4 interfacing
Slip Pocket: 2 lining and 2 interfacing










If you cut the exterior panels on the fold, skip the next 3 photos.  If you did not cut on the fold, place two of your mirror image exterior panel pieces right sides together and sew along the straight edge at 1/2″.  Repeat for the other 2 mirror image exterior pieces.


Press the seam open.



Stitch each side of the seam allowance down at 1/4″ from each side of the seam.



Take your two exterior gussets and 2 internal gusset pieces. Sew together on the bottom edge (where my fingers point to) at 1/2″.



Same as before, press the seam open and stitch down the seam allowance on each side of the seam at 1/4″ (I could cry that my plaid does not match)



Decide what style of zipper you want to sew. Using an Xacto knife, cut your paper pattern pieces along the zipper lines.



Lay the pattern piece down on the wrong side of one exterior main panel.  Draw inside the zipper hole.


If you want a zipper on the right and, flip your patter piece over and trace on the other side as well.

IMG_3232Flip your front main panel over to the right side. Find a pocket panel that looks like this when wrong side up. Place the pocket panel so the straight edge is 1/2″ away from the center seam and 1″ up from the bottom.


IMG_3233Pin pocket in place right along the edges.


IMG_3234Turn back over to the wrong side and sew along the box you traced.


IMG_3235In the middle of your box, measure 1/2″ from each end an place a dot with a pen.  Draw diagonal lines from the dot to each corner then draw a line from dot to do in the middle of your square.  Take extra care if doing the curved zippers.


IMG_3236Very carefully cut along the lines you just drew.
Now push the pocket panel through the opening and press well. Place your zipper wrong side up along the zipper opening so the zipper pull is closer to the top of the bag.  I highly recommend gluing the zipper in place.  If doing the curved zipper, make 1/8″ snips on the zipper tape  along the convex portion of curve. Make small notches on the zipper tape along the concave portion of the curve.  This will help the zipper take the curve more smoothly.



One the glue is dry, flip over to the right side of the panel, and sew the zipper in place right along the opening.



Flip back over to the wrong side and pick a pocket panel that is the mirror image.  Place pocket pieces right sides together.  The pocket panel should be the same shape.  Pin only the pocket pieces together.  Do not pin the main panel!


Sew the pocket pieces together make sure to move the main panel out of the way while sewing.

Repeat for the other side of the main panel for the second zipper.


Find both interior slip pocket pieces.  Place them right sides together and pin along the top curve.


Sew along the curve at 1/4″ SA.  Notch the allowance along the curve.


Flip the panels wrong sides together and press the top curve smooth. Top stitch the top curve and baste the sides and bottom at 1/4″.


Pin the slip pocket to one of the interior main panels.  Baste the sides and bottom together.  Fold the whole thing in half and hand press to find the middle.  Stitch the pocket and main panel along the middle crease to create two pockets.


Get all the zipper tabs.  Place one of the tabs face down along the top of the zipper just on the inside of the metal zipper stop at the end of the zipper.


Place a second contrasting/lining zipper tab on the other side of the zipper and align both.  Pin in place.


Sew through the tabs and zipper at 1/4″ on the side closest to the zipper end.


Trim the zipper 1/4″ past the ends of the zipper tabs.


Trim the zipper tabs to be the same width of the zipper.


Sew around all 4 edges of the zipper tab.


Starting at the beginning of your zipper tab, measure down your sipper 14.75″-where my finger is. Mark it with chalk.



Right at my chalk mark, I sewed the zipper teeth together.  This helps to ensure the zipper stays together without gapping when you sew it together.


Grab the last two zipper tabs and sandwich the zipper just as before at the chalk mark. See next two images.


The chalk mark is on the left side of the zipper tab.


Pic straight from the instructions.




Get an exterior main panel and your beautiful zipper. If you cut the main panel on the fold, fold the panel in half and mark the center with a pin.  Fold the zipper in half and mark both sides of the zipper with a pin or chalk.  Pin the center of the zipper (face down) with the center of the main panel then pin the ends of the zipper with the top of the main panel curve.  Now pin in between those pins.
Sew in place at 1/4″ if using a zipper that is 1″ wide or less. If using a zipper 1.25″+, use 3/8″ seam allowance..

I’m missing a few photos here! Yikes.  With your exterior panel right side up, take an interior panel and place right side down (right sides together), sandwiching the zipper.  Pin in place as you did with the exterior panel.  Following the same stitching line as before, sew the interior panel to the exterior and zipper.



Press both panels away from the zipper so the wrong sides are together.  Top stitch right along the panel 1/8″ from the zipper.

Repeat the above instructions to sew the main panels to the other side of the zipper.


Pull out one side of the exterior main panel and push the 3 other panels away. Take the exterior gusset and pin the middle center of the gusset to the bottom center of the exterior main panel.  Then pin the each top of the gusset to the top of the main panel.


Raw ends matching, pin the rest of the gusset to the main panel.  If you have a hard time getting the gusset to make the curves of the main panel, make 1/4″ snip on the gusset where it will meet the curve of the panel. Once pinned, sew in place at 1/2″ SA. Trim seams to 1/4″.
Repeat to sew the other side of the gusset to the other exterior main panel.


Repeat same instructions to sew the lining main panels to the lining gusset. On ONE of the lining bottoms, mark a 6″ gap.  This will be left open for turning. Sew from the top to the first mark.  Back stitch then jump over to the second mark, back stitch and sew up the other side to the top.  Trim the seam allowance except at the 6″ opening. Don’t turn your bag yet.


Right sides together, pin an exterior connector to a contrasting connector. (mine are all the same).  From each short edge, 1/4″ from the edge.


Sew at 1/2″ seam allowance from mark to mark.


Press the allowance over to one side and top stitch 1/8″ away from the seam.  This adds strength.

Fold each of the long edges to the wrong side by 1/2″.


From the middle seam (where my finger is) sew 1″ on either side 1/4″  away from the edge.  Repeat for the opposite side.

Capture2It’s difficult to see with my fabric.

Slide an O-ring on the connectors and fold the connectors wrong sides together.  At 1/4″ from the edge,Stitch up from the bottom raw edges to where you stitched your 1″ stitching above, sew across the connector to the other side, meeting your 1″ stitching mark and sew down the connector.
Repeat all the above steps with your other 2 connector pieces and O-ring.


Your bag has not been turned yet.  Tuck the lining into the exterior.  Slide one connector (ring first) into the open top ends of the bag where the main panels meet the gusset, matching raw edges.  The connector is between the right side of the exterior gusset and exterior side of the zipper tab.  If you used contrasting fabrics, ensure the same fabrics are matching.  If you have a difficult time getting your hardware through the end, you can slide it through the 6″ opening along the lining bottom.




Squash it all together and sew along the raw edges at 1/2″ SA.  Lots of back stitching. Sew this multiple times.  Repeat for the other connector and other to end of bag. Trim seam allowance just a touch to make them even.  Don’t trim too much off!


Turn your bag through the 6″ lining opening.  Press seam where the connectors meet the main panels well. Top stitch along the bag seam through all of the bulk (where my fingers are)
Sew lining turning hole closed.


Handle! Almost done!  Long edges matching, fold handle in half and press the entire length.


Open and fold each long raw edge to the middle crease.  Press and then fold again on original middle crease, hiding the raw edges in the middle.  Top stitch down both long sides of the handle.


IMG_3405Put one end of the handle through the left O-ring.  Fold raw end under 1/2″ and then again at 3/4″.  Press and sew end in place.  I typically do 2-3 rows of stitching for strength.



Take the last raw end and loop over and through the other O-ring.  See pictures above and below.


IMG_3406Grab your clip and place raw end through clip end, fold and sew as you did with the first raw end. Clip onto the left O-ring!