Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Basic Fabric Tote

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In the spirit of Spring cleaning (assuming Spring ever comes, that is), I have been slowly purging my closets. Gone are the jeans I’ve been hoarding (that haven’t fit since High School) and the tees with holes in them that I’ve been claiming to be “weekend housework shirts”. But not all of my purging has been so easy; I have been nostalgically using and keeping a Vera Bradley bag that I bought my first year of college. It was my book bag, my weekend bag, my purse, and for the last two years, my work bag. This bag is a wreck. So I decided to replace her by making a tote the same size and shape.

What you will need:
2 different fabrics – half yard each
batting – half yard
The Usual Suspects: sewing machine, thread, scissors, iron

Step One: Cut your fabric pieces; two pieces of each fabric – 15” x 15”. Cut two pieces of batting 15” x 15”.

Step Two: Make two ‘sandwiches’ with outer fabric | batting | inner fabric. Press these sandwiches.

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Step Three: Put two ‘sandwiches’ together, inner fabric to inner fabric. Sew seam along two side edges.

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Step Four: Turn bag so that inner fabric is facing out. Sew additional seam along same two side edges.

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Step Five: With bag still inside out, sew seam along bottom of bag.

Step Six: Box your corners. Do this by pinching side seam and bottom seam together (I chose to pinch 2.5 inches along both seams) and sew corner off.

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Step Seven: Snip off the corner distal to the seam.

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Step Eight: Turn your bag right side out. Here is what your bag should look like thus far:

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Step Nine: Cut a 30” x 2” strip of the outer fabric. Press so that edges meet in the middle on wrong side of fabric. Then press in half so that edges are tucked under. (If you are totally lost, check out the instructions for the handles – same process)

Step Ten: Fold edging over top edge of bag and sew seam around bag. Finish by tucking end over before finishing seam.

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Step One:  Cut two 30” x 3” strips of inner fabric (I had to cut several 15” pieces, hence the seam).

Step Two: Flip strip so that wrong side is up; press edges into center of strip. I didn’t bring them all the way in here, but just enough to make the edge clean. Then press in half. Repeat for other handle.

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Step Three: Sew seam along both long edges of handle.

Step Four: Attach handles in inner edge of bag.

Voila! New tote!

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Thanks for stopping by!
Bridget XOXO


  1. That's a great idea! Love it! Thanks for sharing at Pinworthy Projects.

  2. So lovely!!! Love the colors and fabrics! Thanks so much for sharing the great tutorial! Would love to have you visit me sometime.
    Have a fabulous weekend!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft