With fabulous step by step directions and lots of pictures, this is a great pattern to start creating your first tote.
What you need
Skill Level & Techniques Required
Easy – intermediate
Basic sewing skill is required to make this pattern.
Width: 22 cm (8.7”)
Depth: 14 cm (5.5”)
Height: 15 cm (6”)
Fabrics & Interlinings Required
Pattern 1. Preparation
1.1 Cut out the fabric.
1.2 Place the interior front panels (A) with the wrong side facing up. Fold the top 1cm inwards and press (fig. 1). Open the fold and place the light weight fleece with the glue facing down onto the wrong side of the fabric. Note that the edge of the light weight fleece matches the seam line of the fabrics (fig. 2). Turn the whole piece the right side facing up (fig. 3). Iron the right side of the fabric to fuse the fleece (fig. 4).
1.3 repeat the same process for exterior front panels (B) but use the woven interlining instead of the fleece.
1.4 For the side gusset piece, place the wrong side up, fold both ends 1cm inwards and press. Place the light weight fleece (for interior side gusset C) or woven interlining (for exterior side gusset D) with the glue facing down onto the wrong side of the fabric (fig. 5). Turn the whole piece the right side facing up. Press to fuse the interlining.
1.5 Make handles (E) by pressing in half lengthwise. Open it out and press the raw edges into the centre (fig 6). Top stitch along both edges with 2.5mm seam allowance. Cut the handles in two so that you have 2 x 36 cm pieces.
Fig. 7 All the fabric pieces are prepared, ready for sewing.
A: Interior front panels with light weight fleece
B: Exterior front panels with woven interlining
C: Interior side gusset with light weight fleece
D: Exterior side gusset with woven interlining
E: Bag handles in once piece. This is cut in half so you have two 36 cm length handles.
2.1 With the right side together, pin A to the gusset C matching the notches (fig. 8). Note that the folds made at steps 1.2 and 1.4 are unfolded (fig. 9). Stitch all the way around with 1cm seam allowance. Trim on the gusset piece at the corner. This will make it easier to turn around the corner (fig. 10). Repeat the same process for the other side.
2.2 Repeat the same process for the exterior B and the gusset D.
2.3 For the best result, turn the exterior piece right side out and press. Fold neatly especially around the corners. Note that the top raw edges are folded inwards (fig.11).
2.4 Unfold the top edges. Pin the handles upside down with both ends matching the raw edges of the exterior piece. Baste the handles onto the exterior piece 4 cm from the edge (fig. 12).
2.5 Turn the exterior piece wrong side out. Attach the exterior and interior pieces with wrong side facing together bottom to bottom. Match the bottom centres and pin to secure.
Baste along the straight lines of the bottom pieces together with 5 mm from the edge.You should now have both pieces stuck at each bottoms (fig. 13).
2.6 Turn the exterior piece right side out. Fold the top edges inwards. This will make the handles face upwards. Pin all the way around making sure the seam lines for both interior and exterior pieces are matched.
Top stitch all the way around with 5 mm from the edge (fig. 14).
Reprinted with permission from Kyoko Nakayoshi’s website Cotton and Cloud.