Helicopter Library Bag by Jodie Stewart

This month Jodie Stewart from Adelaide Sewing Centre has made this adorable library bag. “When is a baby rattle not a baby rattle? When it’s a helicopter. Your budding pilot will love toting their books around in this brightly coloured library bag.”


  1. AccuQuilt GO! Cutter or GO! Big
  2. AQ55038 GO! Lullaby
  3. AQ55177 GO! Simple Shapes by Edyta Sitar
  4. AQ55092 GO! Carefree Alphabet Set (optional)
  5. AQ55099 GO! Carefree Numbers (optional)
  6. AQ55112 GO! Cutting Mat 6” x 12”
  7. AQ55137 GO! Cutting Mat 6” x 6”
  8. 1m of Cotton Drill or similar for bag body
  9. 35cm of cotton fabric for straps
  10. Assorted bright coloured fabric scraps for applique shapes
  11. Iron on Fusible Webbing
  12. Tearaway Stabiliser
  13. General sewing tools
    Photo 2

Cutting Instructions

  1. Using the assorted bright coloured fabric scraps, cut the scraps large enough to cover each of the shapes required and press the fusible webbing to the back.
  2. Using the GO! Lullaby die AQ55038, cut the shapes required for the body of the helicopter, window, skids, skid supports and centre of the rotor blades.
  3. To cut the rotor blades use the smallest chubby leaf from the Simple Shapes by Edyta Sitar die, AQ55177. Refer to photo2
  4. If you would like to put a name on your bag, cut the letters required using the GO! Alphabet die, AQ55092.  You may like to use the GO! Numbers die AQ55099 to put numbers on your bag instead of a name.
  5. To cut the window of the helicopter, mark the circle with a disappearing pen and cut as per
    Photo 3
    photo 3. You may also like to shave 3-4mm off the skid supports.
  6. Cut one 41cm x 100cm rectangle from the cotton drill for the main body of the bag.
  7. Cut four 8cm x 110cm strips for the straps of your bag.

Sewing Instructions

  1. Overlock the long edges of your bag body rectangle.
  2. Fold in half, right side out, matching the top short edges together and press.
  3. Remove the paper backing from your applique pieces and place in the required position using the photo as your guide. When placing your pieces onto your bag don’t forget to take into account  your 1.5cm side seam allowance and 10cm allowance for your top casing. Press into place.
  4. Place the tearaway stabiliser behind your applique design and stitch around your shapes using a decorative stitch, I used blanket stitch. To stitch the column from the top of the helicopter to the centre of the rotor blades use a satin stitch approximately 3-4mm wide.
    photo 4
    Photo 4
  5. Once your applique is complete, tear away the stabiliser from behind. You are now ready to assemble your bag.
  6. Fold your bag rectangle in half, with right sides together, matching the short raw edge. Starting 3cm from the fold, start stitching your side seam, using a 1.5cm seam allowance, and finish 10cm from the top raw edge. (Photo 4)
  7. Press the side seam allowances open all the way to the top of the raw edge, including the unstitched section of the side seam. Starting from the top raw edge stitch down the open seam allowance 6mm from the folded edge till the beginning of the side seam stitching, leaving your needle down in your fabric, pivot and stitch across to the other side of the seam allowance and stitch back up to the top raw edge.  This anchors your side seam allowance in place for when you make your casing.(Photo 5)
    photo 5
    Photo 5
  8. To make the casing for your straps, fold the raw edge down 1cm and press. Then from this new pressed edge fold down 4cm and press again. Repeat this step for the other side of your bag.   Pin into place then stitch using a straight stitch 1-2mm from the bottom folded edge.  You have just finished the casing for your straps.
  9. Stitch two of your strap pieces together with right sides together and short edges matching. Press open.  Repeat for the other two strap pieces.
  10. Fold each strap in half (lengthwise) with right sides of fabric facing out. Press a crease in it. Fold the outside edges into the centre fold and press into place.  Fold along the original centre crease, with all the layers sandwiched between, and press.  Cut each strap so it
    photo 6
    Photo 6
    measures 1.75m in length.
  11. Using a safety pin in the end of one of your straps, thread the strap through the casing on the right hand side, out through the end and back around through the casing on the left hand side.(Photo 6) Match up the two raw ends of the strap and insert, from the right side, into the 2.5cm side seam opening near the fold of your bag. Turn the bag so the wrong side is facing out and make sure there is a 2.5cm section of the two strap tails poking out from the side seam.  Stitch the opening in the side seam closed.  I stitched this twice to make it nice and strong. (Photo 7)
  12. Repeat the above step for the second strap from the other side of the bag. So you have straps both sides of the bag.
    photo 7
    Photo 7
  13. Sit back and admire your handiwork.

Congratulations on finishing your Helicopter Library Bag!

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