|Sewn Tote Bags|
- One piece of light-to-mid weight bag fabric 20" x 32" and one piece of woven fusible interfacing 20" x 30". If you use a heavy-weight bag fabric, you may omit the interfacing. The 20" edges of the fabric are the top hem edges, and the 32" edges of the fabric are the side edges.
- One strap of 1" wide woven cotton webbing 94".
- Pocket: One piece of bag fabric 11" x 7" and two pieces of elastic cut to 5".
Steam the wrong side of the interfacing to the wrong side of the bag fabric, leaving 1" bag fabric showing at each end.
Serge finish all edges of the bag fabric, trimming off only excess interfacing.
Fold the bag in half so that the ends of the interfacing align at the sides. The fold forms the bottom center line. To form the bottom corners of the bag, cut out the corners of the bag at the fold 3" into the bag from the sides and 2.5" into the bag from the fold.
Lay out the bag piece, right side up. Place a pin at the center of each top hem edge. Place one pin 2.5" to either side of the center pins, then remove the center pins. The remaining pins are 5" apart.
Place a pin at the center of each cut-out at both sides. To show the bottom center line of the bag, lay a ruler across the bag, from side to side, lined up to one side of the side center pins.
Place a pin at the center of the strap. Without twisting the strap, overlap the cut ends by 1". Pin the cut ends of the strap together, placing the pin 1/2" from both cut ends.
Align the middle of the strap to the outside of the top hem edge pins on one side, aligning the center pin to the bottom center line of the bag. Stretch the strap, and pin in place at each top hem edge. Fasten the strap to the bag with one pin 3" from each top hem edge. Secure with more pins between these two pins.
Without twisting the strap, align the strap to the outside of the end pins on the other side. Align the pin at the strap-end overlap to the bottom center line of the bag. Stretch the strap, and pin in place at each top hem edge. Fasten the strap to the bag with one pin 3" from each top hem edge. Secure with more pins between these two pins.
Remove the pin where the strap ends overlap. For the section of strap that goes under the other end of the strap, edge stitch starting 3" from the top hem edge of the bag, turning twice at the cut end of the strap, and ending 3" from the top hem edge of the bag.
Tuck the upper strap piece's raw edge under so that the raw edge is enclosed, and pin in place. Edge stitch the upper strap section along the outside edge, starting 3" from the strap's fold, turning twice at the fold, and ending about 3" from the top hem edge of the bag.
Edge stitch along the outer edge of the strap on the opposite side, starting 3" from one top hem edge and ending 3" from the other top hem edge.
On the part of the bag where both inner strap edges are free, place the top edge of the pocket 4" from the top hem edge, centering the pocket between the straps, and pin in place. Baste the side edges of the pocket in place, stitching the bottom edge of the pocket securely to the bag.
Stitch all remaining strap edges to the bag, ending 3" from the top hem edges. The inner edges of the strap will encase the raw edges of the pocket.
Stitch the sides by folding the bag right sides together, aligning top edges of interfacing at the top and bottom of each side. Pin in place and stitch a 1/2" seam. Press the side seams flat, then press them open.
Make the bottom corners by aligning the bottom edges of the sides to the bottom center line, and pin in place. Stitch with a 1/2" seam. Serge the raw edges of this seam and thread the serger tails through the seam.
Turn the top hem to the inside 1" and pin in place. Topstitch this hem in place, avoiding the straps.
To secure the straps to the top of the bag in each of four locations, stitch along the inner edge of the strap, overlapping the previous stitching, up to and across the top hem edge, and ending by overlapping the previous stitching on the outer edge of the strap.
Please, if you have any questions or suggestions, let me know!