So here's the tutorial I promised.
First, you need your fabric. The black/white print is a home decor cotton fabric. The blue is a broadcloth (I think). You don't have to make the lining/reversible side. This was totally my call as I wanted a more finished look.
What You'll Need
1 yard of home decore cotton fabric
1 yard of liner fabric
Bone folder or utensil for pushing out corners
Fabric starch (optional)
Disappearing ink pen
1) You need to cut your fabric.
Cut two pieces of the following:
- 20" by 21" in decor cotton (The top and bottom of the tote will be the 20" sides. This matters especially if you have a fabric with a nap or design.)
- 20" by 21" in lining fabric
- 5" by 26" in decor cotton for the handles
- 10" by 10" in decor cotton (for the pockets)
- 10" by 10" in lining fabric (for the pockets)
2) Make your pockets.
Now I made mine with black/white fabric on one side and the blue fabric on the other. You can make the combo for the pockets any way you want.
Press the right sides of the fabric together. Sew around all sides, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Be sure to leave a small (2 to 3 inches) opening for turning the pocket.
Clip the corners. Then turn the pocket right side out and push the corners out. (I use a bone folder.)
Press the pocket, making sure the seams are folded and the 2- to 3-inch opening is turned in. (Pressing it makes sewing easier.)
Topstitch 1 inch down on the side opposite the opening. This is the opening of the pocket, what will be the top of the pocket, the unattached side.
Repeat the same for the interior pocket if you've decided you want one.
3) Attach the pockets. Place the (now) 9" by 9" pocket on one of the 20" by 21" pieces (exterior fabric or interior fabric). Make sure the pocket top (where you topstitched one inch down) is lined up with the shorter 20" sides of the bag. Then pin the pocket in place.
Seam the three sides of the pocket in place using a 1/8-inch seam allowance. Be sure to secure the opening of the pocket as you're sewing. Double (or triple) stitch to secure the pocket well.
Repeat this step for the other pocket.
4) Sew main panels of outside and inside fabrics together.
Sew around all three sides, using an 1/4-inch seam allowance.
If you have a serger, serge the raw edges of the two sets of main panels together. If you don't, use a zig-zag seam. Since you'll be lining this bag, you don't have to worry about any unsightly raw edges. Yippee! You're just looking for extra hold.
5) Make the handles.
Press both 5" by 26" pieces. Then fold it in half and press again.
Then open the fold and fold in one side of the handle to meet in the crease of the previous fold. Repeat for the other side, and press to create a new crease.
Repeat this for the second handle.
With an 1/8-inch seam allowance, double or triple stitch along each long side of the handles. (Get as close as you can to the side without missing all the pieces.)
6) Make the gussets.
With the wrong sides still out, take one corner of the bag and open it.
Feel for the seams of both the bottom and side pieces, lining them up with your fingers. You want the seams to be in line with each other, then pin the gusset in place, making sure the seams on the bottom fold to the same side.
Measure 2 1/2" from the point and draw a line across. Sew (at least) a triple stitch along this line. You can cut off the extra material too.
Repeat these same steps for the other corner of this bag and for the corners of the liner.
(Now comes the part I hope I can remember...) :)
7) Put the handles in place.
With the tote still inside out, create a 1 1/2-inch hem along the top of the tote. To do this, fold down the raw edge 1/2 inch. Press with an iron, then fold down the hem another 1 1/2" and press again. Do the same for the lining.
Lay out the handle, being sure it's flat and ready to be attached.
Flip the inside fabric (the blue in this case) out, so the inside pocket is now on the outside. Slide the outside fabric (the black/white fabric in this case) into the inside fabric. Both wrong sides should now be touching.
Slide the inside fabric (the blue) under the 1 1/2" seam from the outside fabric.
Measure about five inches from each side of the tote, then tuck each handle under the hem. Pin in place, and repeat these handle-placement steps for the other side.
Triple stitch along the bottom of the fold (where the straps are tucked), then fold the handles up (like you are holding the bag) and hem the top. Be sure the straps are caught when you're sewing so they'll be most secure.
Then flip the bag whichever direction you want it (inside out or outside in or can you tell the difference?) And enjoy! (And enjoy making all the ones you'll want to make when you see how easy this great all-purpose bag is!)
Got any great bags you've made or seen lately? I'm looking for some new ones to try.
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