Actually, I made two because it is never worth the
time and effort to just cut one. Mass -producing, in
a twisted sort of way, is more efficient.
But back to the bag. This was for Emily's grandma,
so naturally it had to have a child's artwork on it. I
had Emily draw directly onto the canvas pocket
with fabric pens, then sewed the pocket on. With her
teachers' bags, I used transfer paper because we needed
three identical drawings for the three bags. The alternative
would have been to have her draw three pictures, which
is sort of like mass-producing (hurrah) but she
hasn't developed that bad habit yet.
Here is the bag turned inside out so the pocket
becomes an inner pocket.
And here's a close-up of her rendering of "Nana
holding flowers and wearing yellow lipstick
and makeup on her cheeks".
And here's an even closer-up of the pocket piping
which actually is just a folded strip of the lining fabric,
tucked between the edge of the pocket and the bag.
And here is a random picture to demonstrate how
the bag has so overdosed on interfacing that it could
pass off as a bucket. Look- even the long straps
stand up by themselves. Overkill? I thought so too,
until I remembered sadder bags I'd previously made
that were just right fresh off the sewing machine but
turned to useless flaccid lumps after a couple months of use.
Off my interfacing soap box now.
Thank you for all your comments and requests in
the previous post! I drew up the pattern here
but no tutorial, I'm afraid. Main reason: there are so
many good tote bag tutorials in Blogland already!
Everyone makes tote bags differently and you could pick
up so many good habits by reading their instructions
that you never would reading mine. Like ironing. I never
iron, unless I am sewing garments. Because I am lazy.
Also I never sew my bags with a little hole in the
lining through which to turn everything right side out
because it would need to be slip-stitched shut. It gets
a bit hard to do this with heavy-weight canvas and
silly-overkill interfacing but mostly it's because
(did I share this already?) I am lazy.
I will just add a few notes here that
I couldn't fit in the printable sheet:
- All the pattern pieces (not drawn to scale, obviously) have dimensions that include seam allowances. The strap pattern pieces have a 3/8" seam allowance but the other pieces have a 1/2" seam allowance.
- Each strap is made from two canvas strips and one interfacing strip. If you want your straps to stand up like swords, you need to cut another strip of fusible/iron-on craft-weight interfacing and iron that onto one of the strips. If you are new to interfacing, I've included a useful link at the bottom of the post.
- The strap pattern pieces are 2" longer than the finished exposed (i.e. sticking out of the bag) strap. This is to allow you to insert each end 1" into the bag before sewing the bag up.
- The distance between the strap ends differs for the short and long straps. The long straps should be inserted farther apart than the short straps because they go over your shoulder. I measured this spacing from mid-line of one strap end to mid-line of the other, not between their inner edges.
- The main body of the bag is made by folding the 15.5" x 25.5" pieces in half, right sides facing, and sewing up the sides.
And here are some helpful places to go for
Tote Bag Tutorials
- Craftster - nice pictures of strap-making without sewing those inside-out tubes. Vital if you are using heavy-weight material for your bag.
- Colorfool Creates - quick way of making gusset (the bottom and sides that make a flat bag 3D) corners.
- Not So Fancy Nancy - another set of good gusset instructions and pictures.
- U-Handbag - also superior in general bag-making know-how.
Good luck, everyone!