The first time I sewed a bag with a lining inside, I found myself thinking, “this will never work”. It just didn’t make logical sense to me. But <voila!> it did work and I loved the finished product! There are a couple different ways to do this. One method involves inserting the lining into the bag and sewing the raw edge with a binding, but this is not the method I have used. The pattern for the bag below, is the “Mama’s bag” from Handmade Home, by Amanda Blake Soule.
Here are my 3 assembled bag pieces, from left to right: lining, straps, outer fabric (both lining and outer fabric are inside-out)
Turn the outer fabric right-side-out and sew the straps to the outside. The raw edge of the straps and bag should meet evenly at the top and the curves should face down, toward the bottom of the bag. (In addition, I have a piece of lace ribbon attached to the middle, which will be a little tie for the bag.)
Now place the outer bag, as it is, (right side out) inside the lining fabric (wrong side out). Smooth it out, making sure the straps are still facing down & the side seams match up. When you do this, the outer fabric and lining will have right sides facing each other. Pin along the top.
Sew along the top circumference of the bag, with a 1/2” seam allowance and leaving a 3” opening at one side. Be sure to back stitch at your starting and ending points. Then turn the bag right side out through the opening. You will have to pull on the fabric quite a bit, but once it comes through, it will look like this.
Then, simply push the lining inside the bag, press, and topstitch around the entire top edge, closing your 3” opening.
I am slowly, but surely, leaving behind the stage in my life of carrying a diaper bag everywhere I go. I call this bag, and another one like it, “my book bags” because they almost always carry my current book. You never know when you might get a chance to read a few pages.