Monday, January 19, 2009

How to make a tote bag

I finished my tote bag for the swap today and I think it looks pretty good. And it was a great way to use some of the pretty scraps I have. The bag was easy to make.

1 piece of base fabric (my case the black oxford) 34" x 12"
1 piece of lining fabric 34" x 16" (I use the black oxford inside also)
2 pieces of bottom fabric 3 1/2" x 15 1/2" rounded at the ends (black oxford)
Strap - 34" x 2 1/2"
fabric scraps sewn together to measure 4 1/2" x 34"
interfacing - 2 pieces 34" x 1 1/2", 1 piece 4 1/2" x 34", 1 piece 3 1/2" x 15 1/2" with rounded ends
1 package of bias tape.
leather and buttons for applique

1. Sew the scrape pieces of fabric together to make the bottom band - press seam allowance open. Press the 4 1/2" x 34" piece of interfacing on the wrong side of sewn band.
2. Sew the band onto the base fabric (34" x 12")- press seam up and top stitch down.
3. Sew applique and button on.
4. Sew short end together to make a tube, also sew short end of lining and press seam open.
5. Bast base tube and lining tube together wrong sides together at bottom - sew 1/4" from bottom.
6. Press interfacing on to bottom piece.
7. Put the 2 pieces of the bottom together (interfacing hidden between the pieces) and sew to the bottom of the bag.
8. Trim the seam allowance and then sew on the bias tape. Bias tape tip - there is one side of the bias tape that is a little wider, use this on the wrong side so you make sure you catch it while you sew.
9. Now trim the top of the bag and sew on the bias tape there too.
10. Press interfacing to straps and then press straps in half. Sew bias tape to unfinished edge.
11. Sew the straps on to the bag - each strap should be 3" down from top. I had a selvage edge on one end so I left it showing on the front and then the other end I sewed on the back side and turned up the strap end as I sewed it down.

There you go - a new bag. I hope my swap partner likes it.
Just to let you know how I was inspired to make this bag. It was the fabric - I actually started with a blue stripe floral pattern but I couldn't find a matching fabric but while looking I found the black oxford. I thought it looked good with the black and white cherub print and the red bias tape. So I looked for more fabric to add.
The cherub print is from work - I work at a department store and we buy fabric and garments for prints. Often the garments are cut up so they end up just getting thrown out so I grabbed a bunch. So the cherub print, polka dot and the 2 florals are from work. The pink stripe is from Lilo's bedroom valences. And I had to throw in the little piece of Canada - that fabric was bought for some bibs I was making. And the red fabric is from a skirt I made from my mom - very cute bias cut skirt with sewn in stripes. I'm thinking this could inspire me to make more bags.

I was trying to get a nice photo of the bag so I filled it up with a box of Cheerios, 2 Pringles tubes which now hold pipe cleaners and feathers and 2 containers of Playdough. Then a piece of the black oxford so you don't see the Playdough.


Sera said...

Totally awesome - now I want one!!!

The Valliers said...

Those are some pretty "craps"!
Nice bag - v. earthmommachic

Vone said...

thanks Sara - I guess I didn't proof read very well. I guess that's what happens when you're writing with 2 kids running around - or at least that's the excuse I'm using.

Heather - - said...

I love the bag! So cute! Tote bags are so handy, too.

I gave you an award on my blog:

Deb said...

I love it!

Joan said...

I was in this swap too. Love love love your bag!