Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Week Six Craft: Tote Bag Translated!

Raise your hand if you have this bag pinned and thought to yourself "Someday I will take the time to figure this pattern out".  Me too!  My pin a week challenge finally encouraged me to get off my butt and give it a go.

Not too bad if I do say so myself.

Here's what you need:
1 1/4 yards each of two fabrics.  The original bag looks like canvas and that is what I used. You should be able to get two bags out of this.
7/16" grommets (large eyelets)
30" material of your choice for handle (leather, rope or cording)

My bag ended up being about 18" tall by 14" wide and I used a 1/4" seam allowance.

1. Cut your lining so it is 36" by 15".  For the exterior cut two pieces that are 13" by 15" and one piece of contrast that is 10" by 15".  

NOTE: If you are using fabric with a pattern (like my sailing ships) you need to make sure you rotate one piece 180 degrees.  After all, you don't want your pattern to be upside down on one side.
2. Sew the contrasting base to the two exterior pieces as shown in the picture above.

3. Cut your "flaps".  I made each flap 2 1/2" deep and 7 3/4" wide (at the widest part of the flap).  The angles were cut at 30 degrees.  

4. Fold your exterior in half (right sides together) and sew together.  Repeat for the lining, but make sure you leave an opening of about 4" on one side for turning your piece.

5.  With the "wrong" side out fold your bottom as shown.

 Mark 2" up from the tip and draw a line straight across.   Use the line as a guide and stitch.  Repeat for the lining.

6. You should now have two bags - one your exterior and one your lining.  Place the bags right side together and stitch.  Depending on the style of handle you use this is where you will do things slightly differently.

a) If you are using a leather handle as shown in the original pattern sew around the entire top.  

b) If you are using a rope or corded handle make sure you leave two openings (each directly across from where you will place the grommets) to insert your rope/cording through.

7. Clip your corners and turn your bag right side out.  

8. Install your grommets (also known as large eyelets) per manufacturer instructions.
As  you can see from the photo they are placed in the middle of the flap (both top to bottom and side to side).

9.  Adjust the handle to the length you want (mine ended up being about 26" so I could throw it over my shoulder).  If you are using a leather handle it looks like the original pattern used rivets; install those per manufacturer instructions.  I chose a covered cording handle because I thought it would be more comfortable.  
 Here's a photo of the cording.  You can find it in the upholstery/drapery section of your favorite fabric store.  I made the cord casing out of the same fabric as my lining.  

With the bag still right side out slide your rope/cording into the opening you left. Pin in place to the exterior fabric only.

Slide the rope/cording through the grommet opposite the opening. 

Carry the rope/cording over the top of the bag and slide the end through the other grommet.  Make sure you slide it from the exterior to the interior as shown.
Insert the end of the rope/cording through the opening on the side opposite the grommet you just went through and pin to the lining fabric only.
Using the opening you left on the side seam of the lining turn the bag wrong side out.  Stitch over the openings you slipped the rope/cording through.  Stitch again to secure the rope/cording in place.  Turn the bag right side out again.

10. Edge stitch the top of the bag.  This ads a decorative touch and also helps secure the handles.

11. Slip stitch the opening in the lining and you are done!

12. Stand back and admire your work.

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