Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tutorial: Reversible Tote Bag

This is by far the most popular item I sell in my etsy shop, or locally. It's functional, practical, cute, machine-washable, reversible, totally lovable! I call it the "Momma Tote". When I got back into sewing about a year and a half ago, I started in with bags made out of home-decor weight fabric. There is a local store near me that sells it for 3 bucks a yard!!! 3 bucks! Crazy! It is sturdy enough to hold a good shape with-out interfacing. Most big box craft stores carry it, (just not for the crazy price of 3/yard!)

Choose two corresponding fabrics, we will call them outer and inner. Cut 2 rectangles 16"x18" of each outer and inner. Cut 1 rectangle 8"x12" of outer and inner. These will be pockets. Cut one 4"x 44" length of outer and inner. This will be your strap.
Fold each pocket in half right sides together, and sew around three sides, leaving a spot for turning. Clip corners, turn and press.

Turned and pressed pockets.
Top stich along one shorter edge of pockets (merely decorative), and attach 3 sides to one side each of outer and inner. Be sure to stitch back and forth a few times along the top where it attaches, this area will see a lot of pressure.
Sew outer together, right sides facing. Repeat for inner. I used a 5/8" seam allowance.
Sew strap along one edge, with right sides together. Open up and press seam to one side. Press one side up by 1/2".
Press remaining side in 1/2" to meet other side.
Press the entire strap very well. Sew each side with a 1/4" top stitch.
Miter corners. Do this by popping open the bag with one hand, pressing the bottom flat. I measured 3.5" from side to side and marked. Sew back and forth along this line several times. I serged the edges after sewing. You can also just trim.
Serged edges.
At this point my assistant got a little fussy. I let her help. She's very demanding.

Turn outer bag right side out, and stuff into the inner bag, right sides together. Pin strap into place, with the right sides together. The strap will be inside the bag "chimichanga". That is where it belongs. Have faith. It will all come out the right way.
Stitch around the entire bag with a 1/2" seam allowance, leaving a gap for turning.
Pull the whole bag out through the opening (I love this part!)
Stuff the inner bag back inside the outer bag.
Press and top stich 1/4" away from top edge. Congrats! Take it to the beach! Or the pool, if you live where I live...

Enjoy- Feel free to comment with any questions! -S

1 comment:

  1. What a great tutorial... thanks for posting it, I will definitely be trying it. And I gotta know where that place is that sells the fabric for 3 bucks.. I live in Tucson, but it would be worth the drive there for that price!!