Monday, July 4, 2011

return on creativity: shopper tote bag

I love this Kate Spade tote bag.  Its shape is more tall and slim than short and wide.   While this tote is far from Kate Spade, the shape is inspired by her totes; perfect for a day of lunching and shopping with friends.

How to make:

1.  Cut the following:

4 - 17"X16" rectangles (2 from outer fabric, 2 from lining fabric)
2 - 16"X7" rectangles from lining fabric (this will be the bag bottom)
2 - 17"X16" rectangles of Craft Fuse interfacing (optional)
2 - 7"X12" rectangles from outer fabric (for pockets)
2 - 52" lengths of belting for handles
water soluble pen for marking fabric

2.  Iron the Craft Fuse to the wrong side of the outer fabric rectangles.  (This step is optional, but will give your bag more shape.  If you choose a weightier fabric it may not be needed.)

3.  Fold the two pocket rectangles in half to make two 7"X6" rectangles.  Press the fold with an iron.  Top stitch along the folded edge.  I also added another stitch a quarter inch below the top stitch for decoration.

4.  Mark the right side of both outer fabric rectangles like the picture below with a water soluble marker.  This will help in placing and pining the pockets and straps.

5.  Place and pin the pockets and straps as shown below on the right side of the bag.  Stitch as indicated in red.

6.  Fold down the long edge of each 16"X7" lining fabric rectangles a quarter inch.  Press the seam.

7.  Line up the raw edge of the lining fabric with the bottom of the bag outer fabric.  The wrong side of the lining fabric should face the right side of the bag.  Top stitch along the folded edge of the lining fabric covering the strap bottoms and sewing the bottom of the pocket closed.

8.  Put the wrong sides of the outer bag together and sew along three sides leaving the top open.  Use a half inch seam allowance.

9.  Follow the steps below to create a "box corner" for your bag.

Fold the bottom of the bag into a point.

Measure five inches from the corner stitching and mark with a water soluble pen.  Mark a line straight across the corner.

Sew along the marked line.  (Add a zig zag stitch for extra strength if desired.)

Cut off excess fabric.

10.  Repeat steps 8 and 9 for the 17"X16" rectangles of lining fabric.

11.  Turn the outer bag right side out and place inside the lining fabric.  Tuck the straps in too.  Right sides should be facing each other.  Sew the top of the bags together with a half inch seam allowance.  Leave a three inch opening.

12.  Pull the outer bag through the opening and turn the lining into the bag.  Top stitch around the top of the bag stitching the opening closed as you sew.  I added another stitch a quarter inch below the top stitch.

13.  Give your bag a good pressing with an iron and go shopping!


Ange said...

I like this. I like it A LOT!!!!!
You can't have too many totes!

Farah said...

Its a smartest tote Megan... very lovely I like the touch of Polka dots print...
Visit me whenever you can

Unknown said...

Love it, added to must do list. Thanks so much!


totally smart tote..
thanks for the awesome step by step tutorial..
Love ~

Sawdust Girl said...

So cute and looks very sturdy. I like a bag that will stand up on it's own. So handy when you're trying to load it with groceries.

Lisa said...

Love this bag! Oh man I wish I could sew and make me one of these! Great job!

Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy said...

Cute! I would love it if you would link up to my Tuesday Confessional link party going on now: I hope to see you soon!
~Macy from Confessions of a SAHM

Tauja @ Simply Mod Mom said...

This looks AMAZING,FANTASTIC,CHIC! I love it-just not sure that my sewing skills are up to the challenge yet! Great job!

~Rosanne said...

Lovely, maybe one day I will learn to sew. And these totes would be a fun way to practice.

Lynne said...

Love it! I love the shape and the fabrics you chose. So chic!

Brandi said...

Love it! you are so creative. thanks for sharing your tutorial.

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

Incredible!!! I ran over to see the $245 one from KS...Love yours much more!!! No kidding! Kudos. : )

Laine said...

Very nice! Love it!

Unknown said...

great instructions and I love the tote
KAT said...

Following you from Someday Crafts. Would love to have you link this up at my {wow me} wednesday link up party going on right now. :)


Deb said...

Cute bag...found you on Creation Corner!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial. Made one and posted it on my site. I linked them to your tutorial :)

Dawn said...

Great tote! I would love a printable version!

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