Plastic bags are the stuff of Satan, on that we can all agree. Also, making your own tote bag means you can go full crazy on the fabrics. Unicorns anyone?
This bag is great for using up off cuts and leftovers. Jazz it up with some Ric Rac or some pom-pom trim and go to town.
Here’s a basic tutorial for a pattern and how to whack it together. Enjoy!
You will want to cut a pattern piece measuring 14inch x 13.5inch square for the bag.
Plus a pattern piece 4inch x 22inch for the straps.
Using these pieces cut x2 bag pieces in your lining fabric, x2 bag pieces in your outer fabric and x2 strap pieces in whichever fabric you would like to use for the straps.
Straps first. Get the iron out. Fold them in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and press.
Unfold. Fold in either side to the centre and press.
Then fold it in half again and press.
Sew down both sides of your strap along the long edges, close to the edge but still catching both sides. Repeat for the other strap.
Then, back to the bag. Place your lining fabric, right sides together and clip (or pin).
Sew down the long side (14inch), across the bottom (13.5inch) and back up the other long side (14inch), using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
When you get to a corner, lower your needle into the fabric.
Lift your presser foot. The needle is down so the fabric won’t move.
Pivot the fabric around the corner. Lower your presser foot and continue to sew. Repeat for the other corner.
You will now have three sides sewn. Repeat for the other outer pieces of fabric.
You now need to sew the corners to get the squared off edge. Pull the pieces of fabric apart at each corner, until the two seams come together. Then measure down 1.5inch from the corner seam and sew straight across, reversing the start and end of the stitching.
Repeat for the other corner of the lining. Repeat again for both corners of the outer fabric. This is what you should have.
Turn the lining pieces right side out, and place it inside the outer pieces. Match at the side seams and clip (or pin) together. Then take your strap pieces and place them inside, sandwiching them between the lining and outer bags, raw edges up. Place the straps in approx 2.5 inches from the edge, and clip (or pin) around the top. One strap on either side, obviously. Make sure not to twist your straps on the inside.
Sew around the top edge, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. MAKE SURE TO LEAVE A GAP OF ABOUT 3 INCHES TO TURN THROUGH. Your choice where you leave the gap.
Turn your bag right sides out through the hole.
Push the lining down inside the outer section. You now need to top stitch round the edge, to seal the hole and finish it all off. You can either do a normal straight stitch, stitch with a twin-needle or do a decorative top-stitch like me.
Enjoy your brand new bag!! Remember, it’s totally reversible so when you get bored, flip it through!
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