Welcome back Girlfriends! Can you believe Summer is gone? I’m kind of in mourning but I am loving a schedule. I have 2 boys, my oldest, Zakkery, is 7th grade & almost 13. Yikes! My youngest, Jeremiah, is in 4th grade. School isn’t the only thing that has started around here, but Soccer for the oldest, Gymnastics for the youngest. I work at the elementary school in our village so I had to go back to work too. It’s fun times for us!
Onto our tutorial. I have been eyeing the fabric that is used to make a reusable tote bag or a zippered all essential pouch. I finally bought some a few weeks ago. The pickings is slim, 2 kinds, and I bought both. I was making one & as I was making it I thought this would be perfect for my youngest to take to his teacher on his first day of school with all the requested & suggested class supplies. It’s a small gift to her but a useful one as well.
- utility fabric (bag fabric)
- straight pins
- sewing machine
- serger (optional)
Dimensions of the utility fabric
- 2 – 20×18 (bag)
- 2 – 4×18 (handles)
TIP: You can have it be wider and use the 20 inches as your width,which is what I preferred. Or, you can have the 18 inches be the width. It’s all preference.
- Once your pieces are cut, take your handles & finger press about 1/4 inch seam. Then, press with a warm iron, no steam. Press the other side seam, fold in half & press.
- Repeat with other handles, sew. I also sew along the folded edge of the handle as well. This creates a uniform look.
- With the 20×18 rectangles, determine which side will be your top. Fold a 1/4 inch seam. Press. Fold over again, 1 inch, to hide your raw edge.
- Pin on the edge and in the middle of this fold to hold in place.
- HANDLES. Place one end of the handle 5 inches from the edge. Pin it down so it’s laying on what is the inside of the bag. Repeat on the other end of the handle. The handle is tucked underneath the fold, now bend it up & pin. Repeat on the other end of the handle. Repeat for the 2nd handle.
- Sew along the seam & sew along the top. This will secure the handles in place.
- Serge or sew the side seams first.
- Serge or sew the bottom seam.
- Cut a 4 inch square into the bottom corner of the bag. (this creates the boxed bottom & adds width the bag.)
- Open the square & pin side seam to bottom seam. (refer to picture)
- Serge or sew both corners.
- Turn the bag right side out. Press your seams (optional)
- Feel free to cut any size for the bag or handles. These were the dimensions that I found to be the right size for carrying groceries.
- When I made the first one, I filled it with my sons classroom supplies & donations & gifted the bag to the teacher. It was a small gift she can reuse. A teacher can never have too many bags!
- You can use different kinds of fabric. The utility fabric is stiff, so it holds it’s shape. I use duck cloth for my other tote bags & I line them with muslim.
- If you have questions or are confused on how to do a certain step, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will respond as soon as I can & help you walk through the step in more detail if necessary.
- Have fun with it! Also, email me pictures of your finished products & I will post them on my blog in the future.
- If you just think they are super cute but don’t have the time or sewing skills to sew, Market Tote Bags can be purchased from my boutique.