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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Reversible Tote Bag

I have said it before, and I will say it again:  "I am not a great photographer."  I didn't have a lot of time to get a good picture of this, but I didn't want to let it prevent me from sharing this fun project.

I found this pattern on Pinterest, and I thought it looked quick and easy.  However, I like a bag that will stand up on its own.  So, I modified the pattern and added a lining.  And. . . it came out great!  I've ordered some additional fabric to make some more of these--maybe I will get a better picture then.

So, follow the instructions found here, with a few exceptions.

You will need two fabric rectangles for the outside of the bag, and two fabric rectangles for the inside lining of the bag.  Cut them 17.5 by 21 inches.

You will also need two 17.5 by 21 inch pieces of medium weight fusible interfacing.  Fuse these to the two pieces of outer fabric.

Follow the instructions to make your outer bag and lining.

For the handle, I used a 4 inch piece that I cut the entire width of the fabric.  This gives you plenty of length to work with.  Make the handle pieces as instructed, but cut 1.5 inch strips of interfacing and fuse it inside of the handle before sewing each side.  This step is optional, but it adds a bit more body to the handle.  (Sorry, I didn't take a picture here.)

Cut two handle pieces measuring 23 inches long.  (You can adjust this length to your preference, but I found that this length allowed me to put the bag over my shoulder easily.)

Line up your handle on each side of your main bag piece 5 inches from the side and pin.  The handle will be facing downward at this point.

I use my quilter's ruler to place the handles.  Just line up with the side of your bag. Be sure that the handles are not twisted!

Now comes the exciting part.  Pin your handle to the main bag fabric so that it won't get in the way somehow when you are sewing the top of the bag.  Turn both the outer fabric bag and the liner fabric bag inside out and place the liner inside the outer bag.  The right sides will be together.  Line up the side seams of each piece well, and pin all the way around the top edge of the bag.

Sew around the top of the bag using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Leave an opening in between the handles on one side.  (Be sure to backstitch several times here so that it won't rip when you turn the bag right side out.)

Now your bag is ready to be born.  Reach into the opening and carefully remove the pins that were holding the handles in place.  Then turn the bag right side out, push the lining down into the outer bag, and press around the top edge of the bag.  As you iron, be careful to turn the fabric under where you left the opening in your fabric.

Lastly, topstitch 1/4 inch around the top edge of the bag.  This will secure the opening and hold the lining in place.

Hooray!  Go buy some groceries or something to tote around!

PS--The prints I used for this bag were Premier Giselle Print in black and Premier Freehand Slub in corn yellow.  They have lots of different fun colors for the giraffe print.  I think my next one will be in hot pink!


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