Saturday, December 31, 2011

How to make a simple tote bag.

Here's a tutorial to make a really simple tote bag. It  has pockets inside and a magnetic closure.
All you need
From exterior fabric
1 piece 26x16 inches (bag)
1 piece 26 x 8 inches (pocket)
2 pieces 26 x 4 inches (straps)

For Lining
1 piece 26x16 inches
2 pieces 6x2.5 inches (tab for magnetic closure)

I made my bag from home decor fabric and used a 1/2 inch seam allowance throughout.

I started by pressing in a 1/2 inch fold along the ends on both of the straps.

Next press in a 1/2 inch fold along the long edges of the pocket piece. Then press to make a double fold along the top edge of the pocket.

Interface the 2 tab pieced and then press then both in half.

Mark the position of the magnetic clasps. I place mine 3cms up from the folded edge.Then mark the place you need to cut to push the clasp through the fabric.
I use a seam ripper to slit
the position for the clasp.

Fold the tab in half, right sides tog and sew
along the long sides. Turn the tabs right
sides out and press.

Fold the straps in half and sew along both long edges.

Sew along the edge of the double hem on the pocket.
Place the pocket centrally on the lining. I marked a vertical line along the centre of the pocket and also some vertical positions to make smaller sections on the long pocket. You could have a section for your phone and maybe a pen pocket. Its your choice.
Sew along the lines you've just marked and also along the bottom of the pocket.
Next I pinned the straps and tabs in place along the top of the bag.Mark your can see I have used my marker to show the centre. From this mark I placed the straps 2 inches away. From the sides of the bag I placed the straps 2.5 inches in from the edge. (1/2 inch extra for the seam allowance).
Then centre up the tabs. Place them clasp faced down.

Place the lining piece on top of the bag piece, right sides together. Use plenty of pins to hold all together.

Sew along this edge.

This is what your bag should look like now!

Fold your bag in half, in and sew along the bottom and sides of the bag. Don't sew along the bottom of the lining.

Turn the bag rightsides out.

Press under a 1/2 inch fold along the bottom of the lining. Pin the edges together and sew close to the edge to seal up the lining .

Push the lining into the bag and sew 1/2 inch down from the top edge. This strengthens the straps and defines the top of the bag.

You could leave out the magnetic closure if you like. This tutorial forms the basis of a simple tote bag. Another idea would be to make a patchwork for the outside section.
I hope you enjoy making this bag.If any of the steps are confusing please let me know.
Funny though....I can make a bag in probably half an hour and it's taking me pretty much all day to do this tutorial!!!....

1 comment:

Grandmamoy said...

Love the idea, love the fabrics..found the instructions confusing but will keep reading them

Grandmamoy, Wales


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