Welcome back to our Make A Bag series, friends!
In the next few posts we will be reconstructing the six different categories of bags and translating them from schematic diagrams into fabric. We're beginning with the most straightforward bag structure - the Lined Flat Tote. I say this is the most straightforward (even though it requires a lining and thus a little more time to assemble) because there is no need to finish any of the seams.
If you remember, all our bags have this volume/capacity,
which, for a Flat Tote, translates to these finished dimensions,
and which, as a pattern (with no seam allowances), can take these layouts:
Which layout we pick depends on several factors. Here are three to consider:
- Convenience - The folded layouts require bigger pieces of fabric than the layout of the two separate pieces. Bigger pieces are faster to cut out but smaller pieces are more viable if you are working with remnants.
- Seams - a fold (uncut fabric) is generally stronger than a seam (cut fabric). However, sometimes we deliberately pick seams over folds for design, fancy seam finishing, piping, the incorporation of in-seam pockets, and so on.
- Print - pieces of fabric that are separate allow more control over print distribution. The third layout, for instance, will not work for unidirectional print because it will end up upside down on one face of the bag.
We are going to work with that last layout - in which the bag is cut out as a single piece of fabric folded along its bottom edge - in actual fabric with seam allowances.
In the photo below, the orange lines represent the actual stitching lines, surrounded by a border of seam allowance. Labeled on the diagram are the parts of the bag that the different sections of the fabric will become.
We can use any straps with this bag but for this example, we're making folded open-ended straps
and stitching them to the outer fabric layer.
This is usually how externally-attached straps are sewn to the bag fabric (RS), before the bag seams are done.
Then the bag is folded along its bottom edge (red arrow), RS together, and the side seams sewn (black arrows).
A second bag is made out of lining fabric, identical to the outer bag, but without straps. The seam allowances of the top edges of both bags are folded and pressed to the WS,
the lining bag inserted into the outer bag so that their WS are together (concealing all the unfinished seam allowances) and the two layers edgestitched together at that top edge.
This is the completed bag - outer face out
Here are some other bags that have the Lined Flat Tote structure:
a convertible grocery tote