Yesterday I showed you how to adapt the ellie mae Pretty Pieced Purses pattern so you could use up some fabric scraps to make a tote bag. Today I’ll show you how to make the straps and put everything together to finish up the project.
For the straps, cut 2 strips 3″ x 20″. It’s a good idea to cut the straps so the longest measurement (20″) is on the lengthwise grain of the fabric. This will help to minimize stretching.
Cut a piece of HeatnBond fusible fleece slightly smaller than each strap. Fuse the fleece to the wrong side of each strap.
Fold the straps in half lengthwise, right sides together, and stitch. Turn straps right side out and top-stitch close to each edge.
Sew the handles to the outer bag.
Place the lining inside the bag, right sides together and stitch all around the top, making sure the handles stay in place.
Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining. Hand stitch the opening closed. When doing this last part, I got to try these flexible Heirloom thimbles. They were so comfortable to use!
I like to have something firm in the bottom of a tote to keep it from sagging when carrying stuff. I found a couple of things in my local dollar store that would work very well for this – a plastic cutting mat and a foam core board. Each can be cut easily with scissors or a craft knife.
I measured the bottom of the tote and then cut a piece of foam core just slightly smaller than that. Then I made a sleeve from leftover fabric, slipped the foam core inside and placed it at the bottom of the tote.
And here’s my finished tote bag! I hope you enjoyed seeing how I used the ellie mae tote bag pattern and adapted it so I could use my leftover fabric pieces.
Be sure and come back tomorrow and I’ll show you a wonderful product called Stitch-n-Steam by Unique.
This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Sewing the ellie mae tote bag – my way!
Go to part 4: The magic of Stitch-n-Steam
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