Monday, May 30, 2011

My First Tote Bag!!!

So I'm still learning how to use a camera.... sorry.

I've always wanted to make a tote bag, but could never really find the right pattern. I decided to make one 'my own way' by combining a bunch of things that I've learned from various sources.

I made this bag quickly. Here's a 'sort-of' tutorial.....

~I cut out two large rectangles. One for the lining and one for the outside.
~I added two pockets on the outside (picture below). Instead of using two cut pieces for each pocket I made a large rectangle and folded it, placing the raw edges at the bottom. The less seams there are, the better!
~I added one pocket to the lining using the same technique.
~Then I used some fusible fleece and fused it to the outside fabric
~Next I stitched the lining to the fusible fleece. (Now I'm left with a rectangle that has two right sides and unfinished edges.
~I trimmed the edges and added a small binding to the top/bottom of the rectangle. (The shorter ends.)
~Next I sewed up the Sides using a "french seam" (as I'm told). I first matched the shorter ends with OUTSIDE sides together (lining facing out) (small binding touching at the top/ and a fold at the bottom). I stitched up both sides with a 1/4" seam allowance.
~THEN flip the bag inside out LINING sides together. Sew down the sides again about 1/4" from the edge. This gives you a 'finished' edge. Now the raw edge that you first created is tucked inside. You'll have a bit that sticks out, almost like a cording, but no raw edges.

~I made my own binding by cutting a very long strip that was 4" wide.
~I folded it in half and ironed.
~Then I opened it up and folded both sides to the center and ironed again.
~I used 1 inch wide twill tape to reinforce the straps. I put the timtex under the right fold and then put the left fold on top. I topstitched about 1/8 inch from the edge the whole length of the straps.
~I then stitched the straps to the entire bag.

~I made my bottom corners. I made a 'triangle' and then stitched it.... I can find a better tutorial for you if you need it.... I cut off the triangle and then zigzaged the edge to finish it. BUT SOON I'll have my new serger and I won't have to zigzag stitch things over and over again.

Now all I have to do is make a sturdy bottom for it. =)

Double Pocket

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