Sew Everything Workshop: Hobo Bag

Sew Everything Workshop Hobo Bag
Sew Everything Workshop Hobo Bag

So far the Sew Everything Workshop sewing book (by Diana Rupp) has been a great resource for learning how to sew. It outlines sewing techniques in the nitty gritty detail that I (as a complete novice) need. Since I have a few sewing projects under my belt, I decided to try one of the daunting three-spools-of-thread rated projects: the Sew Everything Workshop Hobo Bag.

The Hobo Bag project uses a self-drafted sewing pattern rather than a pre-made sewing pattern printed on tissue paper. As noted by the Colette Sewing Handbook you can use freezer paper to draft patterns. I used freezer paper to make the hobo bag pattern, and it worked like a charm.

Keep in mind, this is a somewhat big bag. As a hobo bag, it folds in on itself along the vertical center, making its size less overwhelming. It is big enough to accommodate a laptop. You will need 3/4 of a yard each lining and main fabric. Of course my fabric had some fraying issues, so I had to use a different cutting layout than suggested. It still worked fine, I would be careful with directional fabric..

The great thing about this pattern is that even though I was unsure about several construction details (and made poor material choices), the bag turned out better than I expected. I was expecting for this to be a failed sewing project, but I can happily keep and use this bag!

Sew Everything Workshop Hobo Bag
My dog loves this bag!


  1. For this bag pattern, you are instructed to make various marks on the fabric and on the zipper, and to line them up in such a way that the zipper hangs off the fabric in a specific way. Lining up the zipper with the marks made on the pattern did not make sense to me. Maybe my zipper size was off: I bought a 20″ zipper as instructed, but it had one extra inch of material on it. Never having examined a zipper before, I didn’t know how to make the adjustments correctly. I just sewed it in and I am happy with the result.
  2. Why do you need to have the end part of your zipper unsewn and unattached to the bag?
  3. I was a little fuzzy on what to do with the unsewn end of the zipper when attaching the lining to the main body of the bag. I ended up just trying to make the lining, main fabric and zipper lie smooth while I sewed everything in place.
Added pockets to bag linging
Patch Pockets in the Sew Everything Workshop Hobo Bag

To help visualize some of these problems, I tried looking up this bag to see how more experienced sewers dealt with my questions. Think Liz made the Sew Everything workshop hobo bag. I am not sure but it looks like she made the bag a little bit smaller, and it looks super cute. (EDIT:her bag is the regular size– my mistake!)  Plookiss’ Threadware made this bag and included some great step-by-step pictures to help you along in making this bag. Stitching Sewlo made the hobo bag in a cute black and white print.

And in conclusion…

I am very glad I made this bag! I even added patch pockets to the inside for extra organization. As with all larger bags,you can lose your stuff in a seemingly bottomless pit if you are not careful.

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