October 11, 2011

make it yourself basics: reversible tote bag

The tote bag is a creative basic that can be used as a base for a number of different projects.  I know many of you will already know how to create your own tote, but for those of us who don't I thought I would offer this simple tutorial.  Also this post will serve as a jumping off point for a number of future creative tutorials.  So without further ado I would like to show you how I create a reversible tote bag.
Cut 4 rectangular pieces of fabric in the same size.  Two pieces will create the lining and the others will be the shell.  The size is completely optional.  You decided how big or small you would like your bag to be.
Take your two shell pieces and pin the right sides together on three sides.  Leave one short side unpinned.  Do the same thing with the lining pieces. 
Sew along pinned edges leaving about a 1/4" seam allowance.

Trim along sewn edges and corners.  Flip shell inside out and flatten seams with your iron.
At this point your lining fabric should still have right sides facing.  Next you will place your shell pocket inside the lining pocket.  
Now we'll move onto the handle.  First you will cut your canvas strap into two 15" pieces.  Next you will shape your handle.  I lay the strap on a flat surface, grab each end and fold it towards myself.  This creates a U shape that will sit nicely on your shoulder.
Carefully place the handle between the lining and shell fabric.  Pin in place.  Repeat on the other side of the bag.
Sew around this open edge.  Be sure to leave a 2-3" gap open so that you can turn out the bag in a minute.  For extra strength and durability sew over the handles a couple of times.
Carefully turn the bag inside out by pulling the fabric through the open gap.
Iron this new edge flat and be sure to fold down the open gap.  Head over to your machine and top stitch around the edge.

And that, my friends, is how to make a very simple reversible tote.
Happy crafting!
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