Tote Bag: Show Me How
Hi I'm Linda Augsburg, Executive Editor at American Patchwork & Quilting and on todays show me how video is brought to you by Baby Lock Crescendo machine. We're going to show you how to make this easy and sturdy denim tote. To get the instructions for the project go to www.allpeoplequilt.com/showmehowtote let's get started. So what you need to have is two rectangles, 15'' by 20 '' of your bag denim and then four strips 2.75'' x 45'' for your handles. Now once you've downloaded your pattern and your instructions, you'll print that pattern out and you'll see its marked place on fold, so you'll fold those 2- 15x20 inch rectangles in half so there 15x10, place this edge on the fold and cut out the bag front and the bag back. Once all your pieces are cut, you're ready to sew. So the first thing you're going to do is sew the two side seams of your handles, so you're going to put your two handle strips right sides together and sew the long sides with a quarter inch seam allowance then you're going to want to turn them right side out, in order to do that you can either put a big safety pin in and feed it through like you would feeding elastic through a casing. Or If it's easier for you, you can run a big basting stitch right across the end , and then use something like a yard stick or some other pushing tool a dowel rod, carefully of course; safety first, to turn it right side out. Once you've turned your strap right side out press it firmly and do the same with the second two strips. So you'll have two separate handle pieces. Now I'll want to mark the handle placement lines on my front and back bag pieces and I want that on the right side of those bags. I'm using a chalk pencil in a pink color because in my dark denim I'm going to have a hard time seeing other marking tools. The handle lines, this is 2 ? inches from the center to the first handle line on both sides, or you can follow the placement lines on the pattern piece itself. So a few things about your denim bag, I just worked a quick zig zag stitch on the edge of my denim front and back pieces and the reason for that is, this bag is going to get a lot of use and it's not lined so I'm going to make sure it doesn't ravel. And my seam allowance is going to be ? inch so as long as my zig zag or whatever you want to use to finish that edge is within that ? inch amount you'll be fine. Second I've pinned my handles down you can see where my chalk lines are right here, I've pinned those handles and I've stopped about an inch from the top of the bag, the reason I did that is I'm going to want to turn that edge down later so I don't want the handles attached at this time over where I'm going to turn it down. Now I'm going to work a wide zig zag stitch so I've gone to both my widest and my longest length, and I'm just going to sew that outer edge and inner edge of that handle using that zig zag stitch; It's decorative and also holds it in place. Now at the end I'm going to take a few tacking stitches just to hold that zig zag in place because going back and forth with a zig zag will not really knot those ends off so that's why you want to make those few stop stitches at the end. So now I'm going to sew the front to the back, I've pinned the right sides together the handles are sandwiched between and I've made sure here at the bottom that all the handles line up perfectly. Again with a ? inch seam going to do a little back stitch in the beginning just to secure that seam and then sew a ? inch seam all the way around the bag. I've tucked the handles inside the bag so that they don't get caught in the seam and this is why we stopped if you remember we stopped an inch from the top, we want to have enough room to fold this down and stitch over top stitch our hem without catching our handles in this step. So now you can see I've turned under that top edge about a quarter inch and I've folded it under twice and pinned it in place, I'm actually going to start sewing under one of those handle seams so that the place where I begin and end won't really show because later on I'll be zig zagging those handles up over it. I'm just going to sew right along that edge, try to keep it as straight as possible, because you want to have that top stitching looking good, again if you have matching thread it'll show less than here when using contrasting thread. The contrasting thread just kind of adds a nice little touch. If you've got a free arm on your machine, this is a great time to use it. You want to be able to slip that bag in so a free arm or a moveable base so you just have this little bit to sew on really will help a lot; we've taken the insert out of our cabinet in order to make this easier. And the final step is just to zig zag again zig zagging from about a little bit below where you did before so zig zag over those original zigs and then up and around the handle on each side of the handle so that you've finished off this handle in the same way that it's attached to the bag, just gives it a nice finishing touch and if your fabric is thinner than mine it gives it a little more stability. It's really that easy to make this tote so make up a few you'll love having them around they're a great size to carry along with you. Again for the instructions go to AllPeopleQuilt.com/ShowMeHowTote. Thanks for joining us!