Today I’ve teamed up with over 100 other bloggers for the #HandmadeHolidays blog hop, we have all created awesome do it yourself gifts to help you create fun handmade presents for friends and family this holiday season. I decided to make a fun tote that as my husband put it “I thought that came from a store”, its a great size, large enough for everything a girl could need. The finishing touch is the faux leather handles that make it look especially gift worthy. Keep reading to get all the instructions and make one yourself, I know you’ve got a mother, sister or friend who would just love a bag like this!
DIY Tote Supplies:
-1 yard of your outside fabric. I used THIS clock fabric and because I cut out specific clocks I needed a yard and a half.
-1 yard of lining fabric. (just a note I always over-estimate with fabric because I’d rather have too much than too little, i’m pretty sure you could make this with only 3/4 yd)
-2 yards of very stiff fusible interfacing
-2 faux leather handles, I purchased mine at JoAnns
Cut your fabric. You will cut the following out of the top fabric, lining fabric and interfacing:
4- 10″x10″ squares
2- 19″ x 8.5″ rectangles
*A note when cutting, If your fabric has a directional print you’ll want to pay attention to where you are cutting the pieces out. See the diagram below to understand how the pieces will be sewn together and what direction each piece should go.
After cutting each piece out fuse your top fabric pieces to the interfacing. Then start sewing. Sew the squares together first and then sew them to the rectangle, see the diagram above to see placement. Use 1/2″ seam allowances. Because the fusible interfacing is so stiff I like to iron the pieces open after I sew each seam. After that you should have 2 pieces, a front and back of the bag, sew them together at the bottom with the right sides together.
Now you are going to make the bottom corners of the bag. Open up the bag, it will still be inside out and push your fingers down into the bottom corners, push it so you make a triangle where the center of the triangle is the seam and push it flat, see photos above. Next take a ruler and draw a strait line across the triangle at 3″ up from the point of the triangle to create the bottom of the triangle. Sew across that bottom of the triangle where you just drew the line. Turn the bag right side out. The last step for the outside shell of the bag is to fold the top raw edge of the bag down toward the inside 1/2″ and iron flat.
After that you will repeat all those steps with the lining fabric except add pockets after you sew the 2 squares together. I cut a long rectangle, 17″x 9″, folded it 1/2″ on all sides and then sewed the top down before pinning to the lining and sewing the other three sides. Because its such a long pocket I sewed 2 lines down it to divide it into 3 pockets. I did a pocket on both the front and the back lining pieces, I like a lot of pockets. 🙂
After you sew the corners of your lining and also fold the top 1/2″ toward the wrong side you will take your finished lining and place it inside your finished outside, as you place it in the shell the wrong side will be facing “out” so that the finished side will be the inside of the bag. So place the lining inside and the go around and pin the top of the bag and lining together, it helps to match up the side seams and the center seams where the squares meet. Sew them together with a 1/2″ topstitch. At this point you should have what looks like a finished bag without handles. You last step is to sew the handles on, I used an embroidery needle with 4 layers of thread.
I love how this bag turned out, I attribute the “store bought” quality to using the super stiff interfacing, it add the stiffness and body that you want in a large tote bag.
Will you be making handmade gifts this year? I’m having a hard time giving this bag away, I think I’ll make a few more and keep this one for myself 🙂 What will you be making? I’d love to hear in the comments!
So now on to day 2 of the 4th Annual Handmade Holidays Blog Hop! A few years ago we were looking online for handmade gift ideas and thought it would be great if there was a resource dedicated JUST to handmade gift ideas. Enter the Handmade Holidays hop! We’ve gathered over 100 of our creative blogger friends in the craft industry as well as some of our fellow product manufacturers to bring you a plethora of inspiring gift ideas you can make now to give to your friends, family, and colleagues. Pin and bookmark these ideas for this holiday season and to use throughout the year! Each day of the hop features approximately 30 gift projects and you can “hop” from one blog to another to check them all out.