The Wrapped Tote is another popular structure in bags. By simply changing the shape of the side pieces to circles, tear-drops or triangles, this bag takes on the more familiar forms of duffels, clutch purses and handbags.
We start with the old volume-and-dimensions diagram
and draft our pattern - two side pieces and a big piece that wraps around their edges to become the front, base and back,
To assemble, the main piece is sewn to one side piece after the other.
We picked a bowtie theme for our Wrapped Tote, making the fastener and straps in that design.
The tie was made in two halves
that spanned the entire width of the bag opening.
The straps are closed-ended corded rouleau straps, tied to fabric anchors on either side of the bag,
The lining is an identical bag edge-stitched to the outer bag around their opening, enclosing the ties in the seam in the process.
The straps are tied on,
and the bow tied over the opening
to complete the bag.
It can be used either face out, even though the strap anchors are sewn only to the outer layer.
Here follows another variation of the Wrapped Tote - the messenger bag/satchel,
which is simply the Wrapped Tote with a flap. The pattern is exactly the same as the plain old Wrapped Tote, extended into a top+flap portion.
The fabric layout (the side pieces are overlapping the main grey piece only to squeeze everything into the camera frame):
I added piping to the seams of this bag, just to make it a bit more interesting.
The lining is an identical bag-with-flap. When assembling the layers, however, we are not going to edgestitch them around their openings the way we did with the earlier Wrapped Tote. We are instead going to sew the layers with their RS together to create a real seam to enclose the piping all around the edge of the flap and then turn the whole bag RS out through a hole in the lining i.e. the TWBRSOTAHITL method. The adjustable strap is open at one end and closed at the other
and inserted into the side seams when the layers are sewn together.
More detailed process-instructions for making a messenger bag can be found in this earlier post. I left almost the entire width of the front edge of the bag unsewn for turning out:
This opening will be edge-stitched closed when the bag has been turned RS out.
Here is the finished bag, either face out:
The piping adds a bit of color to the otherwise plain grey flap in the outer face
and provides structure to the fabric (i.e. acts like a natural frame because of its rigidity). There is no need to topstitch around the edge of the flap when there is piping present; you may choose to still do so if you like the look of the extra lines of stitching.
Here are a few other bags I've made using the Wrapped Tote structure -
a diaper bag