Monday, August 13, 2007


How to make a lined tote bag! Its easy, I swear!

1) Assemble your pieces. You'll need two equal rectangles for your exterior, two of fusible interfacing, two of your lining and one long skinny rectangle for your strap with a matching rectangle in fusible interfacing.

2) Using an iron, press your interfacing to the backs of your exterior pieces and your strap.

3) Fold your strap in half lengthwise, right sides facing and sew up a seam (the width from edge to seam will be the width of your strap)

4) Cut off excess from the side of the strap seam and use a saftey pin clipped to one end of the strap to invert it so the right sides are facing out. Press.

5) Place 1 panel of your exterior fabric right side facing right side to a panel of your interior fabric and sew a seam up the top. Repeat with second set of panels.

6) Flip the panels over at the seam so right sides are facing out and press.

7) Lay out your seamed panels right sides of exterior facing and right sides of interior facing. Pin right sides to right sides, being especially careful to pin up the seam area (the top of the bag) so it will match up when you're done with the next step.

8) Using a template cut from cardboard and tailor's chalk, trace one tote bag sized rectangle on the back side of the exterior fabric (you will essentially be tracing on the interfacing) and a matching rectangle on the back side of the interior fabric.

9) Sew along the chalk lines, leaving a few inches unsewn on the bottom of the interior fabric panels.

10) Trim the excess fabric outside the seams closely, leaving a bit more excess along the unsewn bit of the bottom interior panels.

11)Flip the whole lot inside out (which will end up making it all right side out!) and press where needed. Sew up the gap at the base of the interior lining panels with matching or coordinating thread.

12)Cut the ends off of your strap piece so they're nice and clean and clip the corners. Fold about 1/2 an inch in and press the fold.

13) Sew the strap down on the inside of the bag in a nice square (the stitched square will show from the outside of the bag, so make sure its a neat one!)

14) Wear bag out. Some useful phrases are "What, this little thing? I just whipped it up last night" and "Hm, I suppose I could make one to match every outfit!"

Listening:  Small Faces- "Itchycoo Park"

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