Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Holiday Blog Hop: Lish Dorset

Surprise Pocket Holiday Shopper Bag by Lish Dorset!

We partnered up with Lish Dorset, a multi-talented individual who is a sewer, quilter, needlepointer, museum worker, Michigander and the occasional cocktail hand model-er.  Her inspiration for this beautiful holiday bag was her favorite winter coat! It has fleece lined pockets and as soon as she saw our Minky Scarlet Poinsettia print in black, Lish knew exactly how it could be added to a tote - by acting as the surprise lining for a bag pocket, just like the warm lining of her favorite coat’s pockets.

Adding Minky to exterior pockets of a multipurpose tote bag acts as a luxurious surprise every time you slip your hand in, especially on those cooler days out and about. Paired with retro-inspired holiday prints from Michael Miller’s Vintage Holidays collection, you’ve got the makings of a useful and charming tote you’ll want to have with you during the holiday season. And don’t forget - if you forget your mittens, you can always slip your hand inside one of the pockets for a quick warm up! 

Supply List & Cutting List

Seam Allowance: ½” (Unless otherwise noted)

Bag Prep

To get started, cut all of your bag pieces with a ruler and rotary cutter, along with the interfacing pieces. Adhere the interfacing to the bag’s exterior and lining panels, along with the strap pieces.

Strap & Trim Construction

Fold a strap piece in half to create a center mark by pressing with your iron. Open the strap piece and fold the long edges into the center mark you just created. Press again. Top stitch the strap using a slightly longer stitch length. Repeat for the other strap piece as well as the pocket trim pieces, and then set aside. 

Pocket Construction

Take one of your Mini Tree pieces and one Gingerbread Treats piece and place right sides together. Sew along the longer 12” side. Press the pocket piece open. Repeat for the two remaining pieces. This is now the “patchwork” pocket piece.

Next, place one patchwork pocket piece on top of the Minky pocket lining. Secure the pieces to each other with clips along the top and sides. Sew along the top side, but instead of pressing open, press the pieces away (wrong sides) from each by pressing with your hands or a Hera Marker. Repeat for the second exterior pocket. 

Your pockets will be complete once the Gingerbread Cotton Couture accent trim pieces have been added. Clip one trim piece onto a completed pocket piece and top stitch into place, sewing down the middle of the trim. Repeat for the remaining pocket and trim pieces. Trim each pocket piece to 11” tall.

Exterior Bag Construction

Place one completed exterior pocket on an exterior bag piece, aligning the raw edges together at the bottom. Clip into place. Topstitch the front pocket on each side of the front pocket seam, about ¼” away from the seam, backstitching at the top and bottom of the pocket piece. Next measure up 3 ¼” from the bottom of the pocket. Mark a line with your Hera Marker; sew along this line. (This will help prevent treasures from slipping too far into your bag’s pockets!). Once sewn, baste the pocket onto the bag exterior using a ¼” seam. Repeat for the other exterior bag panel and pocket piece.

To attach your straps to your bag, find the center of the bag and then mark 2” away from the center on both sides. Clip your straps onto these marks and baste into place. 

Mark a 3” square in each corner of the bag exterior pieces and cut out. 

With handles and pockets basted onto the exterior bag pieces, it’s time to create the bag shell. Clip the exterior bag pieces together, making sure to line up the pocket pieces on both sides, as well as patchwork seams at the bottom of the bag. Sew together with a ½” seam on all three sides (leaving the square areas open for now), making sure to back stitch at the beginning and end. Press the bag’s seams open.


Finally, box the corners of the bag. Sandwich the square opening together, matching up the bag’s seams. Sew closed with ½” seam, making sure to back stitch at the beginning and end. Repeat for the other side of the bag.

Turn the bag's exterior right side out. Set aside.

Lining Construction

Creating the lining is just like creating the bag exterior. Mark a 3” square in each corner of the bag. Clip the pieces together, right sides, and sew all three sides, making sure to leave an opening at the bottom for turning the bag. Box the corners of the lining just as you did for the bag’s exterior. Press the seams open, but do not turn the lining right side out.

Completing the Bag

Place your bag exterior shell into the bag lining, matching up the seams on either side. (Make sure the handles are tucked down.) Clip your bag and lining pieces together. Sew the exterior and lining together using a ½” seam. Once completed, pull the bag’s exterior through the lining opening, pushing out the corners in the lining as well as the exterior. Sew the lining closed.


Push the closed lining into the bag exterior, making sure the exterior and lining pieces are flush. Press the top of the bag. Top stitch one last time around the exterior bag to complete your tote. 

Follow Lish Dorset on social media:

Instagram: @lishdorset

Our Holiday Blog Hop Continues! Follow along for the next two weeks. Schedule Below

Thursday, Dec 2nd 2021- Sarah Vedeler

Wednesday, Dec 8th 2021- Mitzie from Jittery Wings

Thursday, Dec 9th 2021- Allison Ramsing

(Links will be added on day of post)

Here are a few more Christmas tutorials and Quilt pattern instructions to help you get ready for the holidays!: 



Watch Holiday Wrap Tutorial Here:

Vintage Holidays Letters to Santa Quilt by Susan Emory 

Grand Holiday Quilt by Heidi Pridemore


Free Pattern Download available here:


Follow us on social media @michaelmillerfabrics and our brand ambassador to see more Christmas projects for inspiration!


Happy Holidays and Happy Sewing!

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