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Trim It Tote

Pick a great base fabric, such as this black-and-white print designed by M’Liss Rae Hawley for Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts Stores. Have fun with ribbons and other trims to make your bag unique. M’Liss combined velvet, silk, chenille, and grosgrain ribbon, selected from May Arts Ribbons, with appliquéd leaves and knotted sheer silk for textural appeal.


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Assemble Bag Body

1. Join bag panels along top edges with a 1/2" seam allowance, machine-stitching with a regular-length stitch (10–12 stitches per inch) for 1/2" at the beginning and end of the seam and machine-basting in between (Diagram 7).

2. Place joined bag panels right side down on a terry cloth towel (to protect dimensional trims) and press seam open.

3. From bag panels’ wrong side, center and align zipper facedown on pressed seam allowance. Using a zipper or cording foot, sew zipper to joined bag panels through all thicknesses. Remove basting stitches. From right side, open zipper.

4. Join bag panels along side edges with 1/4" seam; sew bottom edge with 1/2" seam to make bag body. Press seams open.

5. To shape flat bottom for bag, at one corner match bottom seam line to side seam line, creating a flattened triangle (Diagram 8). Measuring 2-1/4" from point of triangle, draw a 4-1/2"-long line across triangle. Sew on drawn line. Trim excess fabric, leaving 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat with remaining corner.

6. Following manufacturer’s instructions, press 4-1/2"x7" piece of fusible web onto 4-1/2"x7" piece of heavy interfacing. Peel off paper backing. Align interfacing, fusible side down, with flat bag bottom; fuse. Allow to cool. Turn bag body right side out and press.

7. Turn one end of handle under 1/2" and thread an additional 1" through a D-ring. Stitch folded edge to handle. Repeat with the other handle end and D-ring on opposite side of bag.