Ladies Carpet Bag

Ladies Carpet Bag

This is a handmade carpet bag that was used by ladies to carry their personal items.  This one is a small bag that is 13” wide, 12” high, and 5” depth.  It is lined with 100% cotton muslin and has pockets for small items.  The button closure is wooden.  The outer fabric is tapestry.  Original carpet bags were made from a carpet like fabric that resembled today’s tapestry material.  There are also larger carpet bags that were used to carry ladies garments while on trips during the Civil War.  Today, you can find these bags at reenactment events.

This one was made with tapestry and cotton muslin lining, but I could not find a pattern anywhere.  Searched the internet and all the places where I normally purchase clothing patterns.  So, I decided to make my own pattern from non-fusible interfacing.  I own the smaller version of a carpet bag, so I laid this on the interfacing and traced all sides of the bag (side, bottom, front, and back).  This gave me a pattern.  Inside on the bottom is a wooden piece to give the bag shape.  There are also two wooden handles that can be easily removed.  I removed the handles and bottom insert and my son made these for me.  Once again, I searched everywhere for these handles, but I am assuming that the sutlers at events also have these made, or make these themselves.  I used the same pattern to cut both the outside pieces and the lining pieces.  I added a few strips for the pockets on each inside piece.  Followed the sewing lines on my carpet bag, and this is what I created using a handmade pattern.