- 1 yard fabric for outside of tote and handles
- 1 yard fabric for lining
- 1 yard firm fusible interfacing
- 1¼ yard of 1?" to 1½" wide ribbon
- All-purpose sewing thread
- Fabric marking tool and ruler
- Hand Sewing Needle
- Cut one 20" x 32" fabric for outside of tote
- Cut two 4" x 26" pieces of fabric for handles
- Cut one 20" x 32" fabric for lining
- Cut one 20" x 32" firm fusible interfacing
- Cut two 1" x 26" pieces of firm fusible interfacing for handles (optional)
- Cut two 20" pieces of ribbon
1. Place the firm fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the main fabric, and apply following manufacturer’s directions. This will help make the finished bag sturdy and hold its shape.
2. Place a 20” ribbon piece along each short end of the outer bag fabric, approximately 2½” down from the raw edge of the fabric. Pin in place.
3. Thread the top of the machine and the bobbin with all-purpose sewing thread.
4. Set machine for the zigzag stitch, with a narrow width (about 1.5mm) and medium stitch length (about 2.5 – 3.0mm).
5. Stitch the ribbon in place onto the main bag fabric, sewing closely to the edges on each side of the ribbons. When finished attaching the ribbons, set this bag fabric aside for now to prepare the handles.
6. Fold one handle fabric piece in half lengthwise and then press. Open it up and then turn in the raw edges so they meet in the center, then press again. (Note: If desired, apply a 1” strip of firm fusible interfacing to the inside of the handle to add more stability.) Now fold once more so that you have a handle piece that measures 1” x 26”. Repeat for the other handle piece.
7. Set the machine for straight stitch, with a medium stitch width and stitch length setting. Using a matching or contrasting thread, edge-stitch approximately ?" on each side of the handle pieces.
8. Stitch the ends of the handles to the top and bottom edges of tote fabric piece, as shown:
9. Fold the bag in half, right sides together, so it measures 20" x 16". Using a ½” seam allowance, sew each side seam from the top edge down to the fold. Press seams open. Turn the bag right side out.
10. To “box” the corners (which will give the finished bag its depth), fold out the corner fabric so side the seam matches the crease at the bottom of bag. Mark 2" from point. Draw a 4” line across fabric from fold to fold. Stitch on the drawn line. Repeat for opposite corner.
11. Turn the main bag right side out. Set aside for now to prepare the lining.
12. Fold the lining fabric in half, right sides together, so it measures 20" x 16". Sew one side seam from top edge to fold. Sew other side seam leaving a 5" opening in the seam (for turning the bag right side out after the lining is sewn on). Press seams open.
13. Box the lining corners in the same manner used for the main bag (see Step 10). Trim excess fabric from corner points of lining, which will help reduce bulk in the finished bag.
14. Slide the main bag into the lining, right sides together, matching side seams and top raw edges. Pin together to secure before stitching. Sew around the top edge of bag/lining, using a ½” seam allowance.
15. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the side seam of the lining. Sew the opening in the lining closed, either by machine or with a hand sewing needle.
16. Push the lining down into the bag. Press along the top edge. Edge-stitch approximately ?" from the top edge of the bag, keeping handles free from the stitching area.