It's Monday and my kiddos are home from school. They are currently sipping hot chocolate trying to warm up from a morning of doing things like this...
While I take a few minutes to publish this tote bag tutorial.
You will need:
2 15" x 15" squares of fabric for the lining
2 30" x 6" pieces for the handles
2 15" x 15" squares of fabric for the body of the tote (I used home decor weight cotton fabric)
Note: You can piece the outside fabric any way you like. If you want to make it just like mine I used two 15" x 5" pieces for the top band (red) and two 15" x 11" pieces for the bottom portion of the tote.
For the handles:
Fold fabric for the tote handles in half lengthwise. Press. Open and fold in and press one inch from each side.
Topstitch along both edges of each handle with a 1/8" seam allowance.
Place fabric for the body of the bag, right sides together, and sew along the sides and bottom with a 1/2" seam allowance.
Note: I used home decor weight fabric and this tote is pretty sturdy but if you're using quilting cotton you may want to iron fusible interfacing to the backside of the fabric before sewing it together.
To create the flat bottom of the tote you need to square off the corners. Do this by pulling the bottom and side seams open. Pinch the corner and match the bottom and side seams. Mark off 1 1/2" from the point and pin. Stitch straight down. This bottom seam will be perpendicular to the side seams.
Mark off 1 1/2" from the point and pin. (close-up)
Stitch straight down. The bottom seam will be perpendicular to the side seams.
Repeat for the other corner.
Trim off corners, leaving a 1/2" seam allowance.
Turn bag right side out. The bottom will look like this. Easy-peasy.
Now we're working on the lining. Place the two pieces of lining fabric right sides together and stitch down both sides and bottom - leaving a three inch opening in the bottom seam for turning the bag later. (see photo)
To create the flat bottom of the lining you need to square off the corners just like you did for the outside of the bag. Do this by pulling the bottom and side seams open. Pinch the corner and match the bottom and side seams. Mark off 1 1/2" from the point and pin. Stitch straight down. The bottom seam will be perpendicular to the side seams. Repeat for the other corner. Trim off corners, leaving a 1/2" seam allowance.
You lining will look like above photo.
Now place the bag handles where you want them on the right side of the tote. I like to measure in about 3" from either side. Do the same with the handles on the other side of the bag. Pin the handles in place.
Place the bag lining (wrong side out) over the bag (right side out) with the handles tucked in between the two layers. Make sure the fabrics are right sides together and the top raw edges are even. Check to make sure the side seams of the lining fabric match up with the side seams of the tote fabric. Pin the layers together. Take out the pins you used to pin the handles in place earlier and reposition them with the lining on top and the handles in between. (see photo)
Sew all around along the top edge with a 1/2 seam allowance. Go back and reinforce all four handle ends by stitching over the seam several times.
Now it's time to turn your tote! Do this by pulling the tote out through the opening at the bottom on the lining.
It will look like this. Next sew up the opening in the bottom of the lining by hand with a blind stitch. Push the lining back down into the bag. Press the bag with a hot iron, paying special attention to the top edge.
All done! Enjoy you new tote.
Ribbon bow (simply tied around handle) optional but so much fun.
I must go because my kiddos are done with their hot chocolate and I believe I just heard the words pillow + fight coming from the other room. Oh, Mondays! Have a wonderful (mon)day everyone!