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All Well Full Moon Bag - Design Detail Inspiration

by Amelia Greenhall - 10/25/2019

Amy and I just released another All Well sewing pattern: the Full Moon Bag!


Since making the All Well Bucket Bag pattern (our very first), we kept this idea in our mind as a fun riff on the inset circle design. So exciting to be able to offer a pattern with all of the quality of our other sewing patterns completely for free – that is totally thanks to all of you and your encouragement and support as we've grown.


Amy's samples show canvas, and I made mine out of an old pair of jeans, but there are so many interesting design details that could make it different and cool. Luckily, circle bags - though always a classic - are in a bit of a moment phase. My two favorites are from Baggu ($188) and Lotfi ($150). But there are versions abound in Ready To Wear land - so there are a lot of places to look for inspiration for design details.

All Well - Full Moon Bag - RTW Design Detail Inspiration - rope straps - double straps - centered zip

First of all, that Lotfi bag has a lot of cool ideas. Cotton cording for straps is a classic: inexpensive and something you might have left from other projects - could use that for straps! It's also a good example of another common thing I've seen in circle bags: close the outer pocket with a zipper. The double strap look is neat, especially threaded through the piping - that seems unique to Lotfi and looks esp. cool with the contrast fabric.

All Well - Full Moon Bag - RTW Design Detail Inspiration - grommet straps

The Baggu bag also has an example of a great design detail that many bags have, done super well for the circle purse: thread the strap through a grommet for a higher end looking finish. If you learned how to set grommets from the Bucket Bag pattern this could be another good place to practice.

All Well - Full Moon Bag - RTW Design Detail Inspiration - fanny pack straps

Wearing as a fanny pack or belt bag - just switch the straps so they're the right length and have some sort of clip on and off. You could also sew a patch pocket style tube on the back circle to thread the strap through horizontally, like the back of the Adidas example shows. I'd probably also reduce the thickness of the bag a bit (maybe I'd go to 1 or 1.5 inches).

All Well - Full Moon Bag - RTW Design Detail Inspiration - material choice

Material choice is an obvious one always, but I just wanted to show how different the bag looks in a graphic print or gingham. I also think it would be super fun in a stiff mesh, scuba fabric, or acrylic plastic if you ever happen upon scraps of them. (Seattle Fabrics is my local go-to, but I could also imagine finding old bags to take apart.) Also: DENIM! Thick jeans can be cut up to make a nice purse - you can place your pattern pieces on the legs to see if there's enough room.

All Well - Full Moon Bag - RTW Design Detail Inspiration - leather

Leather is definitely it's own thing to sew, and more than I want to take on right now, but some design details that are leather-specific that have stood out to me over time:

  1. Using brass studs as a closure for the outer pocket. This wouldn't look great on canvas/fabric, but you could sew a buttonhole and use a cute button. I think a pearly one with a shank would look really cute.
  2. Adding small hand straps. The stiffness of the straps is part of what makes them look good.
  3. Sewing the leather strap onto the outside of the bag.

All Well - Full Moon Bag - RTW Design Detail Inspiration - hand straps

Another example set from Lotfi to show the concept of making it a bit more handbag-like by leaving off the shoulder strap and adding hand straps or tote-like side straps. If you made a variation like that, you would want to attach the straps to the circles first, then sew both of the pockets on so they're placed on the outside of the bag.

All Well - Full Moon Bag - RTW Design Detail Inspiration - piping

Piping (using the same fabric or a subtle contrast) can add structure and detail, but would be really tricky to sew. Still, a cool enough look to call it out.

All Well - Full Moon Bag - RTW Design Detail Inspiration - quilted

Finally: if you have extra quilted fabric left over from something else, it's possible to create quite a LOOK! Chanel and Gucci etc make expensive leather quilted purses, or a soft quilting is neat. The super fast fashion-y example in the lower left looks hastily made and has less pretty proportions, but I included it to show an example of just quilted pockets.

Anyways, hope this gives you some ideas/examples for hacking the Full Moon Bag FREE pattern. It's such a classic purse archetype, so many possibilities!

— Amelia Greenhall