For those of you who read yesterday's post, you'll remember, I was making a tote bag and for those of you who haven't yet read it, I highly recommend heading over to it so you know where we're up to. If not, these are the first two steps:
Step 1: Measure out two large rectangles of your chosen fabric to your choice of size along with two plain rectangles to be the backing. Wadding can also be used in between to make the sides of the bag stiffer.
Step 2: For the handles I choose to cut two long lengths of fabrics measuring 6in width by 30in length. These are going to be doubled over lengthways but before cutting, make sure they are the right length.
Yesterday, I left off just after cutting out all of the pieces needed for the tote bag and I finished it today. As I said yesterday, they are very useful to have around and mine goes everywhere with me. Today, I started with Step 3 of my method which is outlined in my previous post.
Step 3: Fold each handle so that the right sides are together and sew along the seam. Turn the right way around using a tool such as a bodkin or how I do it, with a pair of tweezers, a hot cup of tea and a lot of patience. Repeat with the other handle. There is no need to secure the ends as they will be inside the sides of the bag and will be secured even further near the end of the process.
Step 4: Place one handle between the right sides of a pattern piece of fabric and a plain one. Leaving about 1 1/2in sticking out of the top. Sew around the two large pieces of fabric, leaving a gap at the bottom to turn the right way around. Repeat with the other side.
Step 5: Turn the right way around by gently pulling the handle out from the inside and pushing out the corners. Secure the bottom with an invisible stitch.
Step 6: Reinforce the handles on either side of the bag by sewing an 'X' shape (you can find this type of reinforcement on a lot of commercially made bags) and this helps to allow the bag to carry heavier items.
Step 7: Finally, with the patterned sides together, sew a seam around the two sides and bottom and turn the right way around once more.
If you've never heard of an invisible stitch then don't worry, it can also be known as a ladder stitch and there are lots of tutorials on how to sew it. I struggled at first with it but I now use it most of the time for joining seams, so it is definitely worth learning.
Also don't worry about making any mistakes whilst sewing. Whilst making this bag, I realised that I had put one of the handles on the wrong way around (the seam was at the front and not at the back) so using my 'Sewing Best Friend' a.k.a my seam ripper, I took apart the seam to turn the handle around and re-sew it.
This is a very simple way of making a tote bag and can be changed however you want by adding a pocket or adjustable handles. Or if you're skilled with other crafts, you could add some personalised embroidery for example.
I'll put this bag on my Etsy at some point over the weekend and I'll post the link to my Etsy shop at the bottom of this post and thanks for reading.
My Etsy Shop.