Monday, 21 March 2011

The Deborah Tote Bag - And how to make it

I made some tote bags for the last show that I did, but my friend Deborah suggested some changes that she would like to see in the next bag and not only that she gave me an early Christmas present - labels so that I can try and spot them out on The Broadway.

Am also featuring this on Wendy's Handmade Monday Blog

Preparation is everything when you are making anything, if you get everything together before you start, it makes your life so much easier, so you will need to gather up the following:
  • Fabric for outer and lining
  • Webbing (1.5" wide)
  • Cutting equipment, shears, scissors, mat etc
  • Sewing machine
  • Cotton
  • Iron and ironing board (your new best friend for any sewing project)
    Your fabric - both outer and lining - heavy cotton 
    works really well
    Your cutting kit, including rotary cutters, mat, ruler, 
    pinking shears and small scissors
    Remove the selvedge and cut the bag to size, for a 
    medium bag,  you need a outer and lining measuring 
    14"(width)  x 28" (length) and for a larger bag 
    16" x 32"
    Fold the fabric in half (should measure 14" for the small 
    and 16" for the large, with the printed sides together, 
    seam both sides with a seam allowance of 5/8"
    Press open the seams of your fabric so that it will lay flat,
    now remember in school when they told you that knowing
    about angles will come in useful - today is that day!

    You need to create a right angle (the corner of a square
    and get the seam to bisect it at 45' (which should be slap
    bang in the middle, just like this picture).  Fold the top of 

    the seam down to make a little triangle.
    Measuring 5/8" sew across the seam as above.  Do this for
    both sides.
    Now trim off the triangle with your pinking shears - you
    have now made the base of your bag, so that it will sit
    Now repeat these steps with your lining fabric to exactly 
    the same dimensions
    Cut out a piece of fabric which matches your bag to
    make an internal patch pocket, it can be the same fabric
    or a contrasting pattern, you will need a piece 8" x  6".

    Fold over the top of the fabric 5/8" and seam it.
    Now place the pocket with your seam at the top,
    4" below the top of your lining and equidistant from the
    sides of your bag.  
    Stitch around the left, bottom and right hand side 
    of the pocket.  Then top stitch another seam 
    3" from either of the side seams to make a pocket for
    your phone.

    Now fold together the lining - making sure that the 
    pocket is on the inside.  Sew a 3/4" seam - I know this 
    is a bigger seam than the outside fabric but it means 
    your lining will fit snugly.

    Seam the sides and go to the top of the maths class and 
    do the triangle work again - Thank you Miss O'Reardon 
    who taught me the joy of angles, so useful in piecing 
    I then stitch a label on mine over the side seam

    Your bag is now ready to go!

    So there you go, a tote bag, a maths lesson and you are
    now ready to shop!


Rachael said...

Very nicely put together (the tutorial) (and the bag!)

Ali said...

What a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing (now all I have to do is learn how to sew in a straight line!)

Wendy said...

Excellent detailed tutorial - I think anyone could follow this.

Thank you for taking part in Handmade Monday x

PuppyFly Boutique said...

Beautiful fabric! Makes me want to dig out the sewing machine. Thanks for the tutorial :) x

Unknown said...

Thanks for the comments, the fabrics (inc lining) come from IKEA... it still freaks me out to pay by weight rather than length!

cj- catmumdo said...

Great blog post, thanks for sharing :)

Glitz and Glamour said...

Wow, what detailed instructions. My sewing machine does not come out often enough, I only tend to use it for dull things like hems nowadays. Thanks for sharing, I may just give this a go.

Silver Thistle Beads said...

Thanks for the post about making a tote bag - very well laid out and clear pictures too :-) Think I might have to break out the sewing machine now ! :-)

Pop over to my blog for my Handmade Monday post :-)

Francesca x

stylesofcooking said...

Great, detailed tutorial, well done. Bag looks great too!!
I've only bought IKEA material once before and was amazed how they weighed it, fascinating.

Suzanne said...

Great tutorial and tote bag. Thanks hugs Sue x

Kimberleymjw said...

Want to make it, want to make it, want to make it :)

Unfortunately it would just be another thing to finish on the list lol

Thanks for visiting my blog, mayb we could run a competition on who has the most unfinished items each week lol

Kimberley xx