Sunday Stitch – How to Line a Bag When You Don’t Sew

I’m not sure this makes for a “real” Sunday Stitch but it is a Sunday, and this is what I’m working on. Also, I promised to show my cheater-cheater way to line a tote bag. So I’m shoehorning that into today’s post!

If you don’t sew, don’t sew well, or just like to cheat (who doesn’t?) then you may find this useful.

A quick recap of how I made this bag:

I started with old bed sheets. Those were cut up into strips and turned into yarn.
Once I had the “yarn”, I started crocheting the bag, working from the bottom up.
I finished it off with a flap, a pretty button, and a pair of handles.

Now I’m working on the liner. All bags need liners. At least I think so. Making liners is a real pain. At least I think so.

I don’t own a sewing machine. Even if I did, I would not be very good with it. No, no i wouldn’t. I can say that with utter confidence because I’ve had more than one sewing lesson from more than one seamstress. Those lessons never go well. I can never pick up a knack for it. So when I need a liner for a bag…

I use an old pillow case! Old pillow cases already have seams you know. Just pointing that out. Those seams are straight and double stitched (usually) and best of all, they are made by someone else. Ha!

If I practiced with a sewing machine for a month I couldn’t make a seam that perfect.

I made my tote bag with this particular pillow case in mind. I purposefully made the bag slightly smaller than the case. Crochet fabric stretches. It stretches quite a bit. Woven fabric, like the pillow case, does not. I wanted to be sure that as I filled up my bag, and it stretched out, I didn’t exceed the size of the lining inside. That may make for a lining with a few folds and wrinkles in it but I promise you, the liner will last longer this way.

(And who sees the liner in your bag anyway? Just you!)

How I Made a Liner from An Old Pillow Case

1) I cut the pillow case so that it was the height of my bag, plus two extra inches.

2) I folded those extra two inches down and then tacked into place with a few tiny stitches. I used 100% cotton covered poly hand quilting thread for this. I wanted those stitches to be as invisible as possible.

3) Then I turned the case inside out, so I would not see the seams when I looked into my bag, and hand stitched it to the top of my crochet bag.

To stitch the top of the liner to the top of the tote bag, I switched to a thicker thread; crochet cotton thread, size 30. I used a running stitch… sorta. It looks like a running stitch on the liner side.

But on the crochet side, I thread the needle around/underneath the legs of my single crochet stitches. This makes for a very strong seam.

That’s my cheat. That’s how I line a bag without touching a sewing machine, or cutting out a liner pattern, or pinning edges, or basting seams, or any thing! Hope you found it helpful.


16 thoughts on “Sunday Stitch – How to Line a Bag When You Don’t Sew

  1. Wonderful..thank you so much. Another “cheat” for you: for anything that needs a bit of hand stitching and sturdy, use dental floss. I have buttons I sewed on stuff 15 years ago that are still firm. To match color, magic marker!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ingenious sizing the bag for the pillowcase! As a decent seamstress (own 2 sewing machines lol) and a practiced cheater I have also discovered that pillowcases are a Godsend for us cheaters. But a bag lining. ..brilliant. Beautiful work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!

      I got the idea from a tutorial (I’m sure there is more than one) explaining how to turn an old pillow case into a grocery bag. If it can be a bag, it can be a bag mining, of course!


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