The Retreat Bag 2.0 - Now Available in 2 Sizes!! FREE Pattern.

12/10/2015 01:14:00 PM

If you have been following along in the Emmaline Sewing Patterns Group, you are already familiar with my free Retreat Bag pattern… and you may already have your updated version - the Retreat Bag 2.0 - I hope so!  If not, I'll show you how to get that new download here, describe to you a couple of differences between the old pattern and the new, and give you a pointer or two to make it open and close nicely.

So here it is… the new Retreat Bag set! I've used some Art Gallery Fabrics for this set - Wonderland by Katarina Roccella. Such a beautiful collection.

You may be noticing that there are 2 sizes now. The smaller size has not changed, and still requires the same wire for the opening, except I'm now calling that wire - Style A. The newer, Large size is assembled in the same manner, has larger fabric pieces,  and requires a different wire frame - Style B.

Because the new frame has right angles on the corners, it opens up to more of a large rectangle than the smaller version, and the ends fold down neatly to the sides when closed. It can take a bit of steam and maneuvering to get that to open and close smoothly, and I'll mention that in just a bit.

Here are the dimensions of the bags when closed:

  • Finished Size Small: Length: 8 1/2” Height: 5” Width: 4” 
  • Finished Size Large: Length: 11" Height: 6 1/2" Width: 7 1/4"

When open, the larger size is actually 8" tall!  I think it would be cool to try it without the zipper too, and it would make a nice big tote for storage… I have to try that!

The Large version will use a large piece of fabric for each side: 18 1/2" x 12" - so you can really feature a beautiful print, but remember, some of that is going to be wrapped to the top, bottom, and sides of the bag. It's nice to position the pattern you want to feature, somewhere in the centre or just to the right or left of centre.

I promised you a tip on getting that large one to open and close nicely.  First, close your wire frame like you are going to zip it up, and use your finger tips to push up the areas that need to bend under the frame. Get you iron, and with full steam, hover over the pouch and steam it over the ends and sides of the bag.  Let it sit now, and cool to the shape you are wanting. After this, you can open and close it a few times, and really work those bends in. After it's been used a bit, or filled and kept close, it will work very well!

If you would like to try out this new version…. 

I can't wait to see all of your Retreat Bags, please use hashtag #retreatbag on instagram or #emmalinepatterns so I can check out your pics and have them show up on my website. I love to see your bags in the Facebook group too!


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  1. Thank you for your beautiful free Retreat Bag. Love making your NCW which I purchased last year :-)

  2. Thank you for the Retreat Bag pattern. I've been trying to figure out how to make a bag with this opening. My Dad had a dopp bag similar to this years ago and I've wanted to make one for my husband and son. Thank you

  3. I just happened upon this pattern via an Instagram post, and it could not have been more timely! My son's teacher asked for a large makeup bag at the end of last school year and I didn't have any good ideas of how to make a boxy pouch large enough. This looks like it will fit the bill. Now to wait for the frames to arrive in Dallas from Canada... ;)

  4. Hey Janelle, thanks for the free pattern. Do you happen to have any note about adding straps, so it can be used as a handbag?
    thanks in advance...Deborah


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The contents of this blog, including text, original photos and ideas are the sole property of the author. If you intend to use my text or images, please link back to this blog and give credit to Emmaline Bags & Patterns. A notification email would be greatly appreciated too! Please do not ever republish an entire post, any tutorials, or post photos of my family. Thank you, Janelle