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How to make a tote bag

kenichi
Okay, in case anyone here is bored out of their tree and wants to learn/see how to make the tote bag, I went to the trouble of typing up a tutorial complete with photojournal pictures! LOL It was for the Quilting LJ community, but I may as well post it here to have for my own files.



1. I used squares that I had lying around. In this case, several months ago in a fit of I-Don't-Know-What, I'd ordered a bunch of pre-cut bubblegum themed squares off eBay. Ten of each. It's an odd number, and you can't do much with ten squares. Luckily, I had six, so six times ten, is a decent sized tote bag.
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2. Sewed the whole mess together such that when I folded it in half, it was about the size of a big grocery bag.
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3. I pinned my topquilt to a liner fabric, wrong sides together, then cut it roughly. I was not being careful or taking measurements.
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4. I then 'quilted' the two layers together (note, no quilt batting) and just did the basics to hold it together. Note I have the cheapest Singer you can buy with one or two 'fancy' stitches (LOL) so that's what I used in a grid formation.

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5. Then I trimmed the edges of the secured two-layer piece using my rotary cutter.

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6. Then I cut and pressed the binding from the same fabric as the backing, and I used the binding method to connect the two sides of the tote bag. Looks like I made them about 2.5" wide, although I was just winging this, and not being particularly careful with measuring anything.

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7. If you are not familiar with this style of binding, either google it or type "quilt binding" into YouTube for a tutorial. It's dead easy once you get the hang of it. You straight stitch the rough edges together (right sides together) then flip it over and wrap the binding around, and zigzag.

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8. I wanted a flat-bottomed tote, so while it was inside out, I sewed the corners so it would lie flat. Again, I was kind of loosey goosey with the measurements, but I did try to make the right side the same as the left. LOL

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Turned rightside out, the bottom corners now look like this:

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9. To do the strip of fabric that was going to secure the handles, I attached two pieces using the angle method for when you do binding. Again, google if you are unsure or check YouTube for tutorials. I learned how to do this from watching YouTube.

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10. To make the handles, cut two strips of matching fabric (approx 3" or 4" wide), and press so that there are no raw edges. Sew with a decorative stitch, but not the one I used. It's butt ugly. LOL

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11. To connect the handles, run the facing around the front edge of the tote bag with the handles placed where you want them. Again, sew a straight stitch, raw edges together. Then you can turn the facing down and topstitch, then zigzag for a neat finish with no raw edges showing.

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12. The finished product! You can cut cardboard to size to make a stiffener for the bottom if you like, and cover it in fabric too.

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I hope that was helpful or straightforward. Like I said, I'm pretty new at this, and I just did what looked neat to me, and it came out pretty nice. I am hoping it's strong enough to hold cans when I go grocery shopping, and I hope the fact that there is no batting isn't too much of a big deal.

Anyhow, happy TOTING!!

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
yellow_freshia
May. 3rd, 2009 06:23 am (UTC)
That bag is absolutely adorable! I love it. Great job!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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