The Swing Bag – A Scrap Dance Pattern

Wouldn’t you love to have a great travel bag for the holidays, or any travel weekend?  This weekender bag is compact yet packs a punch. You won’t believe how much you can fit into it, and still have organization!  It will hold enough clothes and toiletries for a weekend getaway, just Swing it over your shoulder and dance off to the beach or the cabin in the mountains.  The construction isn’t hard, just follow the steps one by one. The great majority is constructed flat, so it is easy to handle. Use up scraps by making a larger piece of fabric and cutting your focus piece from it. Use charm squares, jelly roll strips, layer cake squares, crumbs or orphan blocks, your only limit is your imagination!

After the initial bag was done, I showed it to some friends who suggested a few improvements.  So, the pattern has several options for extras in pockets and details.  The Swing Bag Pattern is available on Etsy. I really appreciate any purchases as that is the way I pay for the costs of the blog, so I can bring more great free patterns, giveaways and projects to readers.  I also invite new readers to follow my blog for a wide variety of subjects, crafting and cooking, sewing and quilting, gardening and photography, mountain living and more.

And have fun with the  Christmas In July blog hop which will have new posts every day for 12 days.

Here are the participant blogs, have fun!!  And read down below for the giveaway!

Friday, July 14th
From My Carolina Home– You are here!


Saturday, July 15th


Sunday, July 16th


Monday, July 17th


Tuesday, July 18th
Wednesday, July 19th 


Thursday, July 20th


Friday, July 21st


Saturday, July 22nd 





Are you starting on your holiday sewing yet?



Finished or Not Friday

232 thoughts on “The Swing Bag – A Scrap Dance Pattern

  1. Lesley Gilbert

    Thanks for the chance to win some Christmas fabric – it will be interesting to see what the other bloggers post about 🙂

  2. Judy Sanders

    Thanks for Christmas in July. I have followed you all year and plan on in future. this time last year is when I found you. Was looking forward to this year.

  3. Carole S

    First, let me say that I am not a fan of bag-making, but your tutorial is so clear, I think I’d have to really work to be unsuccessful at this one. I just bought the pattern and have yet to check it out, but I think I’m really going to like this! Thank you!!

  4. Rebecca Chianese

    I love the travel bag! I will share with my friends if that’s ok! Your directions are fab! I AM already working on Christmas gifts. I am making a mitten quilt for my sister. An idea I’ve been working on in my head. I want to embroider her name and her husbands and all thd kids and grandkids in them. Thanks for the chance to win! Rebecca

  5. Julie in Ga

    Great bag pattern, and I love the sewing-themed fabrics you used for yours. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial!

  6. Pam Bonstead

    Your instructions and pictures are very well done. Thank you for this opportunity to gain project ideas for Christmas and the chance to win great fabrics!

  7. Cocoa Quilts

    Your pictures show how easy this bag is to make. They are laid out so well. Thanks for Christmas in July.

  8. Liz Horgan

    I made a bag like this when I was in high school-many, many years ago-thanks for bringing back memories!
    Have a great weekend!

  9. *Thank you* for all you do, Carole, to teach, encourage, and inspire!
    I just downloaded your pattern at Craftsy!… Thank you for the extra pictures in it, and the extra details! (That makes your great directions very clear to even beginning sewers.)
    Pat T.

  10. Roma NC

    Nice project. And thanks for the fun.. Love your blog.. I live in Western NC too.. been here for 28 yrs.. So we do call it home..

  11. Susan

    Nice looking bag. I will have to give it a try. I enjoy reading your blog and have been following for several years via email.

  12. What a great bag, as usual Carole! Christmas in July starts next Friday for me at the Quilt Show, when the shopping frenzy of visitors to the show begins! One of my bees I belong to is doing a Christmas in July project in 2 weeks. I am cutting 5″ squares of holiday fabric for a swap, but I don’t have any idea what our project is going to be yet. Just gathered my fabrics for Pat Sloan’s Grandma’s Kitchen project. Decided on 1930’s reproduction. Felt that it was appropriate for my generation and memories!

  13. Amy L

    Your bag would be a good one for toting toys too. I’m currently doing birthday sewing, and then catching up on some sew-along blocks. With the high temperatures, quilting in the basement is the perfect weekend activity.

  14. PS – I just downloaded the pattern , and I LOVE all the extra photo’s and details you included!!! Worth much more than the minimal $2 investment! Going to “share a link” today with my Queen Bee friends on facebook and send them to the blog & to the Craftsy store.

  15. Darlene H

    Nice bag. We are always looking for dance bags and soccer bags and overnight bags, this is a great Christmas idea, different for each grandchild. Thanks

  16. Jean

    Thank you for the very complete tutorial. I don’t need another thing on my to do list but…..I do follow your blog and enjoy your very different seasons from here in Wisconsin.

  17. Hi Carole,
    Yes. Yes, I would love to make a new bag for traveling. Either for later this year or for an upcoming cruise – and a CUTE bag at that. Thank you for sharing all the details. How could I not do a fabulous job by following this tutorial – you’ve guaranteed success. ~smile~ Roseanne (And you’re on WordPress? I will follow you!)

  18. JennyM

    Great bag pattern…now if I could just get over my fear of sewing in zippers! Thanks for sharing.

  19. I started epp in June and my son has asked for a Christmas quilt… he asks every time i’m working on those EPP if i’ve finished his quilt yet. i Love your bag tutorial. This might have to sneek in on my list!

  20. Fabulous bag. I must try this one day. I can see how useful and attractive it would be. Like the idea of making a large piece of fabric from scraps – that would make a very jolly bag, absolutely unique.

  21. Lori Smanski

    ohh this bag is wonderful. thanks for sharing where it is. I wont be doing Christmas sewing this year, at least nothing planned now.

  22. Julia - Vintage with Laces

    That’s a lovely and very practical bag, Carole. Thank you for sharing the pattern!

  23. Allison Evrard

    I love the bag! It looks so roomy. And thank you for the chance to win some of the beautiful fabric.

  24. Brenda Bouchard

    Thank you for the Christmas in July Blog Hop and the chance to win some exciting looking fabric. I’m recovering from a complicated leg break and this will add some much needed fun for the week to come!

  25. Pat Evans

    You always have such great projects and clear directions. Thanks for participating. Haven’t even thought about Christmas projects yet. Maybe the blog hop will get me motivated.

  26. Melody Lutz

    Great bag project! Zipper? Sure…let’s give it a try! I got an order yesterday for 8 hostess sets of table runners and pot holder’s – so glad it wasn’t ordered in November!

  27. Sandra Jantzi

    What a well written tutorial. I am bag challenged when it comes to making bags, but with your pictures and well written instructions I believe I can make this one! Thank you!

  28. Eileen Maher

    Right now, I’m busy making 3 baby quilts! But I will definitely try your bag pattern, great for a beach getaway!

  29. Ashley

    Thank you for sharing such a nice tutorial as part of the blog hop! I’m already Christmas shopping and looking forward to starting some Christmas sewing next week!

  30. TIRZAH


  31. Sherry V.

    What a great bag! Thank you for the tutorial. I know you mentioned it as a getaway bag. . . .but I am thinking that this would be a great way to carry my “Show & Tell” and other items to guild. I usually look like a bag lady with any number of totes . . . but this might help me streamline a bit.

    Have a lovely day,

    Sherry V.

  32. Although I’ve made a few of them, I’ve never really loved making bags. With this tutorial, you’ve got me thinking that I can do this one AND enjoy it. 🙂 Thanks for always sharing your awesome talent. I am never disappointed when I stop by your blog.

  33. Beth T.

    Wow–what a clear tutorial! I’m not a bag-maker, but your tutorial made me feel as if I could do this. 🙂 I’m finishing up some Christmas quilts, trying not to add too many things to my list in bursts of unrealistic enthusiasm.

  34. smilesfromkate

    It’s a great bag, you make it appear very simple with your excellent instructions, thank you for sharing.

  35. Lovely tutorial! I am participating in the TATW by Sarah with a bundle of Craftsy’s Colonial Manor in red and cream, but enlarging the strips to 3.5″ wide and making 6 strip sets to make a queen size quilt. Thanks for hosting!

  36. Melanie

    Oh, how fun! I absolutely love bags of every size and shape, color and form. I’m the original bag lady, I think. LOL Thanks for the wonderful tutorial and pattern, Carole. Have you also seen the lace zippers for smaller, cosmetic type bags? Oh, I’m having fun with those and making gifts for the holidays and for our guild’s boutique next year. :o)

  37. Domestic Felicity Creations

    You’ve made the bag construction seem so simple! Thank you for the wonderful tutorial!

  38. Charla B

    I am definitely going to make this travel bag! Thanks for the tute. I am currently finishing a mystery quilt and working on a baby quilt for our pastor and wife

  39. Very nice travel bag – love the pockets on the ends, which are great for those little things that need grabbing instantly. And thank you for the tutorial on making it!

  40. Bonnie Browne

    Thanks for the neat bag pattern. I think I just found the gift for one of my hard to find something for friends.

  41. Kathy E.

    I really need a new travel bag, so the Swing Bag would be a super one to make (and not drive me batty with so many details). I don’t usually make Christmas projects yet in July, but I am thinking about Halloween with a bundle of fabric that I’ve got. It never hurts to get a leg up on any holiday!

  42. This blog hop is gong to be so much fun. Thanks for your tutorial on such a handy bag. It would be perfect for our weekend trips in our camper.

  43. Kathy h

    Great tutorial. Usually I have to read through directions several times until I understand them. But your tutorial (and pictures always help me) seemed to make it look easy. Thanks very much. Such a cute bag.

  44. inquiringquilter

    Wow what a cute bag! Your tutorial is so clear. I don’t have time to make this right now but I’m saving the instructions so i can do it later. Awesome job!

  45. sharon schipper

    Sent this one to my daughter: she can make a diaper bag out of the pattern to go with the baby quilts! thanks dear lady.

  46. Loris Mills

    What a great pattern and tutorial! Guaranteed success with those instructions! Thanks for joining in the 12 Days of Christmas with Sarah. This is going to be a fun hop!

  47. Heather

    Thanks for the tutorial! I’m off to wander you blog and see what other goodies you have to read about! Thanks again!!!!

  48. Cathy Wilson

    I’ve made a couple of bags and this one looks great! A perfect size and very clear instructions, I’m going to have to try it!

  49. Rochelle Summers

    Thank you for a great pattern and the instructions to go with. It is a very nice looking bag and I love the round ends.

  50. Lisa Marie

    This looks like a great bag! Thanks for the tutorial and for the bargain priced pattern offer.

  51. Bev

    I love blog hops as I discover new blogs I can follow and new things to make. The bag looks great. I like the use of the pictures aswth meeting a beginner it makes it easier to understand. Thank you for the blog hop.

  52. farmquilter

    What a fun bag and your directions make it seem like something I could actually make!! Love bags!!! Thanks for the link to the pattern offer!

  53. Leslie K.

    This bag definitely looks like a bag our daughter would love…your directions look so well written that I may have found the first Christmas gift to make this year!

  54. dezertsuz

    You really did make that seem very easy! Thank you for the tutorial here. I hope you sell lots of patterns – can’t imagine you won’t, with it being so easy.

  55. Sandi

    Thanks for the cute bag pattern and tutorial. I hope to make one soon but need to finish up a few things as my sewing room is a mess. I love doing Blog hops and thanks for participating in it.

  56. Gorgeous bag and a wonderful tutorial—you always make instructions so clear and concise. I’m leaving Tuesday for nearly a week away on retreat—I wonder if I can get a bag finished in 3 days? hmmmmmm…….I missed so many of your blog posts—just coming off a 6 week bout of pneumonia and a head-on car collision….I was the hittee—-not the hitter. Good to be back…I’ve got some catching up to do on my reading!

  57. Deb W

    Wow it really is Christmas in July! Love the bag and look forward to sewing it! It will come in real handy this fall when I have my quilt retreat in NH.

  58. cindy m

    Love this bag! As usual, another outstanding project by one very talented lady!! ice job Carole!

  59. Mary Carter

    I rarely carry a purse (walk with a cane) but this one looks like it would work. Thanks so much

  60. Susan

    Very nice bag! I made an overnight bag for myself and another for my husband. I wish that the straps were sewn all down the sides like this one, looks good and is so much more supportive.

  61. annehaun

    I love your bag – this is my first blog hop and I am excited – all these great ideas are spinning in my head!

  62. Susan Grancio

    Cute bag pattern- ideas for using orphan blocks and project bits are always welcome. Not starting anything new just now as I am wrapping up the final prep for my European adventure. Lots of wip’s and plans for afterward. 😀

  63. annalutzbrown

    Very cool made me want to skip work stay home making one…Love the fabric too…. happyness04431 at

  64. Laura

    it’s so interesting to see what people are working on. Lovely bag and great photos of the in progress. Thank you.

  65. Debbie

    What a GREAT bag pattern. Thank you for sharing! This is my first time “on the hop” and I’m really looking forward to all the fun!!

  66. What an amazing bag, thank you so much for sharing it! The pattern will work well for a charity our guild does, which is bags full of bathroom supplies for the women’s shelter.

  67. Susan

    WOW! I wish I had this wonderful tutorial years ago. My first husband wanted me to make a bag for him to carry his medications with him. He had to carry inhalers for asthma and some others. Any manly bag was too large and boxy. So I found a pattern from a major pattern company. He used it and it wasn’t what he wanted. I don’t think I did anything that really pleased him. If I had this tutorial, I could have cut the pattern down with the size of the circles. I think he wanted a barrel bag as I made, but much smaller. This is wonderful because it gives such clarity that I think a person could modify it sizewise easily. Thanks, Thanks, Thanks!!!!

  68. Dawn F.

    Thanks for the bag tutorial. I haven’t ever tried a bag like this before, but it looks to be a great size and convenient to take on little trips. I will have to bookmark it…. we are moving in a few weeks so unfortunately I am taking a little sewing hiatus while we pack and organize. I will be back at it soon, though!

  69. I’m into making bags lately so this falls right into my lap at the right time. Can’t wait to get started. Now to organize my fabric choices….

  70. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts: Christmas in July Has Arrived-Day One | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  71. Sharon Brown

    I enjoyed your weekend travel bag tutorial and your directions were very clear. A couple years ago, I bought a bag pattern that looks similar but was way too complicated for me so it sits in my pattern box, unused. I think I may have to make a couple of yours, one for me and one for my daughter. Thank you for sharing this.

  72. Joann ONeill

    Thank you for the great tutorials on your blog. I look forward to creating my own little bag. Good luck to all

  73. Jan

    You make it look so easy. Thanks for the detailed instructions. I am working on a Christmas tree skirt for my daughter and am almost done. I have tried machine embroidery for the first time on its crazy patches. Fun! This weekend I am celebrating my husband’s 60th birthday.

  74. Hi Carole! A mini version of this was one of my very first sewing porjects in my high school sewing class!! I STILL have it too. I’m taking a class next week to make some vinyl zip pouches for all the women in my family as Christmas presents. 🙂

  75. Debra Ash

    Wonderfully, clear tutorial. Love your choice of fabrics also. Thanks for participating in the Blog Hop!

  76. Patti McGarry

    I love your bag tutorial, it will make a great gift! This is great inspiration to get working on my Christmas list!

  77. Such a great travel bag! I love the easy to follow instructions. Thank you for sharing, and Christmas in July…I love it. Great giveaway as well.
    Best to you,

  78. Shelley Nelson

    Thank you so much for the bag pattern. I love duffle bags and your instructions are so clear!

  79. Wendy

    Cute bag! I just got back from a weekend getaway….wish I would have had a handy bag like this. Thanks for the tutorial!

  80. Barbara Kaup

    I follow your blog all the time–enjoy all your neat quilting ideas as well as your tablescapes and recipe ideas. Would love to win the fabric bundle also.

  81. Karen Jautaikis

    Need to bind three quilts then I can begin my Christmas sewing. Love to make bags and totes. Adding yours to my must make list. Thank you!

  82. Delissa Crellin

    Thank you for your participation in the blog hopper Christmas giveaway. Not only is it a great chance to win some gorgeous Tula Pink fabric, but it introduces me to new bloggers I may have not come across before. I love seeing new patterns and learning new techniques.

  83. Gwynette in NW Arkansas

    Just purchased your Swing Bag pattern and I’m delighted with the detail. So many details I missed on the blog. This will be a delightful gift for my high school aged granddaughter. But I will be making it from heavier fabric and a metal zipper for her. Also plan on making one for my quilting buddy, Carol (without the “e”) and one for me. I never seem to get me one made. Thanks for spending your time designing and offering this pattern. Now to peruse my stash for the perfect fabric.

  84. adreamandastitch

    What a great idea for the hop. It would be a great bag to use for the holiday travels or to use as a gift. I can imagine a group of young cousins all with matching, but unique bags that they all use when getting together. 🙂

  85. Melissa Meinhard

    Nice! I love sewing circles. It’s a challenge to get them to lay right, but so satisfying when they do

  86. Kelly O.

    bag making is not my thing at all but my daughter is desperate to try it! this one looks like a good one!

  87. Sarah J

    Great bag- wish I had somewhere fun to go with it, lol! I’m hoping to finish a quilt I started last year for my sister and brother-in-w

  88. Helen Glover

    Is this where you enter the giveaway? I am a little confused. But I love this bag. So cute. And thanks for the tute. Great fabric giveaway too!

  89. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts: The Day After Christmas in July | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  90. Lori Smanski

    such a fun and pretty bag. i do like the pockets on the sides. thanks for sharing the pattern.

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