Thursday, October 15, 2015

Panel Totes

Panels work really great for totes!

The size of your tote will vary based on how 
big of a border you choose.  The tote on the left is made with a 3.5"
border, while the tote on the right, is made with a 1" border.
Both super cute and functional.

You will need about 1/2 yard for borders and 3/4 yard for lining,
plus 1 1/4 yards 2.5" webbing for straps/handles.

To start, we trimmed off the parts of the panel 
we chose not to include.
Make sure the front and the back panels
are the same size.

 Add the size borders you choose in the same 
manner you would add borders to a quilt.

 In this case, I placed my 3.5" strip across the center of the panel, trimming so it is even with the piece underneath. 
 I used a 1/4" seam allowance.

You should end up with a front and back of your tote, 
that are the same size.
Cut your lining to be the same size as your front and back.
Depending on the weight of fabric you choose for the lining, you may need to use some sort of interfacing, such as fusible fleece.  
(I used a canvas like fabric to line this one, 
so I chose not to use an interfacing)

Before sewing any further, cut out a square on the bottom of both,
exterior and lining pieces of your bag.
 On this tote, I cut a 2.5" square.  If using a smaller or larger border, you will need to adjust the size of your squares.

At this point you can make your own handles 
or use a 2.5" webbing.
(For my handles, I used two 22" pieces.)
I placed my straps 5" in from the edges. 
 Baste your handles to your tote.  

Okay!  Now we are ready to put the tote together!
With right sides together, sew the side seams and bottom
of the exterior pieces of your tote.

Square the bottom corners up.  Bring the bottom of the bag 
up toward the side seams, and sew with right sides together. 

Now we turn our attention to the lining.
Repeat the above steps, sewing the side seams, 
but leave an opening on the bottom seam,
 for turning the bag once completed. 

You are almost done!  Turn the exterior of your tote right side out.
Leave the lining of your tote wrong side out. 
Pull the lining onto the exterior of your tote.
Make sure your handles are not twisted.
Sew around the top of the tote.
Turn your tote right side out through the opening
in the lining.  Now, stuff the lining down into the tote.
Press as desired.  
Stitch the opening in the lining closed.
Top stitch, as desired.

"Sew" fun to use or gift!

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