FREE Quilting Patterns, Tutorials, Magazine

The finishing touches for an attractive tote bag

 

Yesterday I showed you how to add inside pockets and outside pockets made by using Stitch-N-Steam by UNIQUE to your tote bag. Now you’re ready to sew on the handles and do the finishing touches.

 

Getting creative with Stitch-N-Steam, it's a versatile tool when using it for accent on all sewing projects!
Getting creative with Stitch-N-Steam, it’s a versatile tool when using it for accent on all sewing projects!

 

Handles

  • Place one handle strip made from webbing on the outside of one of the 16″ squares so it’s about 4″ from the outside edge of the bag and covers the raw edges of the outside pocket.
  • Pin or baste in place. You can “try on” the bag for size now and adjust the length of the handles if necessary.
  • Repeat for the other side of the bag.
  • Stitch along both edges of the handles making sure that the top hem is folded down in place. Use a walking foot or even-feed foot on your machine to help you sew through all layers.
  • The inside pockets will be stitched in place at the same time you are stitching the handles.
Stitch the webbing handles.
Stitch the webbing handles.

 

Putting it all together

  • Overcast the 2 sides and bottom of each 16″ square using a zigzag stitch or serger. Make sure the top hem is unfolded.
  • Using a ½” seam allowance, and with right sides together, sew the front and back sections of the bag together. Make sure the top hem is unfolded at the side seams.

 

Sew front and back together.
Sew front and back together.

 

  • Follow the diagram and picture below to make square corners on the bottom of the bag.

 

Make square corners for bottom of bag.
Make square corners for bottom of bag.

 

 

Sewing the square corners for bottom of tote bag
Sewing the square corners for bottom of tote bag

 

  • Refold the top hem and stitch in place.

 

Stitch the top hem.
Stitch the top hem.

 

  • Check out my QUILTsocial post from March 14, 2018 to see how to make a firm insert for the bottom of your bag. This step is optional, but it does help to keep the bag from sagging when you’re using it.
  • Here’s how the inside of your bag will look.

 

Inside of tote bag
Inside of tote bag

 

Now you have a finished tote bag with some textured outside pockets made with Stitch-N-Steam and handles made from Creativ Dékor webbing. This webbing comes in many different colors. You’re sure to find lots of ways to use both of these unique products to create design embellishments for your other projects.

 

Creativ Dékor webbing
Creativ Dékor webbing

 

 

Finished tote bag with texturized fabric for the pockets
Finished tote bag with texturized fabric for the pockets

 

Be sure to come back tomorrow. I’ll be showing you how to use HeatnBond EZ PRINT LITE for some easy applique designs. These fusible web sheets go right in your printer!

 

HeatnBond EZ PRINT LITE
HeatnBond EZ PRINT LITE

 

 

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: 7 easy steps to make inside pockets for the tote bag

Go to part 4: How to use fusible web that goes in your printer and its characteristics

Jean has been designing and publishing patterns since 1997. For the past 10 years she has been designing patterns for new fabric collections by Northcott Fabrics. Her work has been published in several magazines in both Canada and the United States. Jean holds a Fiber Arts Certificate in quilting and has taught extensively throughout Canada, including six national Quilt Canada conferences. She was named "Canadian Teacher of the Year" in 2003 by the Canadian Quilters Association and has won numerous awards for her quilts.

2 Comments

  1. S. Stewart

    The textured fabric on the pockets really does make the bag looks so much more attractive!

    • Thanks! I really like the effects you can achieve with StitchNSteam too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

It may take up to 24 hours for your comment to appear above.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.