Welcome to my blog! I hope to make your visit worthwhile and reward you with some new inspirations, sewing and recycling, crafts tutorials and recipes. Please add yourself as a follower, so that you will automatically be updated when I post something new! Please comment, I appreciate sharing mutual interests, like sewing, crafting, cooking and of course eating well! I am a former Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, I sub in 3 school systems and moonlight at a retail ladies clothing store. which sometimes allows me to indulge my creative energies. A wife, a mom through adoption, Christian, boomer and a member of the sandwich generation I hope to share my unique perspectives and help you with some of yours!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Doily Tote Bag Tutorial

Heart Doily Tote Tutorial - how I made mine, hoping to inspire you to create yours!

Here is a pic of what you'll need, besides a sewing machine and iron.

Bag Gusset: Two 18"x 4-1/2" pieces of fabric, and also of lining

One 16 1/2" x 3" stiff fusible fleece, two 16 1/2 x 3" plether or sturdy fabric that matches or contrasts bag sides, that you will seam to make one long 32" piece. Optional, piece of plastic canvas, 16" x 3"

Bag Front and Back: Two 14" x 16" Solid color sturdy fabric, I used an upholstery weight linen, two 14" x 16" calico or cotton blend for lining, line the bag fabric pieces with fusible fleece or heavy sew in- interfacing

Straps: two 30" x 2"of plether or matching bag fabric and also two 30" x 2"pieces of lining fabric

Here are 2 finished bags, my two doily inspired totes.

My Heart Cat Tote with black linen and plether, is lined with black and white polka dot and different colored cat printed fabric. My household includes 4 cats now, so they are all represented here!

First choose your doily or embellishment. I picked a heart shaped doily, placed it one of the bag sides and created a pocket by stitching around the sides, but leaving the top open. I used a little bit of my lining fabric, here pictured with a cats motif, in a circular shape to tie in the doily element with the lining.
Then decide what pockets and interior features you want. I took a piece of the plether and edged a rectangle pocket with it, after I applied a stiff interfacing to the back sides of the pocket pieces.

I made pockets, half as tall as the bag sides, interfaced the backs with a stiff fusible and took a piece of plether the same width and sewed it right sides together and then turned the edge and stitched it down. Straps: I like to also make my straps, right sides together, but I put a string inside and stitch it down at one end so I can pull on it after stitching the sides. Make sure the string is longer than the straps, so it is easy to locate it. Pull through so strap is right side out. Top stitch and put aside to attach to the body of the bag.

Stitch your lining sides together. Pictured here are two different prints, the shiny polka dot is a layer of clear vinyl pocket for cell phones or accessories. Leave a 2 inch opening in one of the bottom seams of the lining.

Not shown, take your bondable fleece and apply to your outside body fabric. Stitch sides and gusset together. Right sides together and through the fleece layer too. This can be a work out depending on your machine. My 1960's Elna managed it, but some tugging is involved. (My gusset piece, bottom and sides of the bag, was not one continued piece so you see it seamed here, right in the middle )

Sew all 3 sides of bag, to gusset piece, then sew the other side of bag in the same way. You should have a box shape when the pieces are stitched together. Picture on left is of my scissors clipping corners, so that the corner makes a nice rounded right angle.

Here you can see the bag stands on it's own, and the lining and bag shell are constructed. Trim the bulk from seams. Pin your straps in place with the straps pointing down into the interior of the bag and the raw edges of straps lined up with the top edge of the bag. The outside of the bag is left turned inside out, and the opening in the lining, is shown here after the lining was turned to the right side.I used plastic canvas to give the sides additional structure. If you use real thick interfacing or fleece, you could skip this step. The fuzzy second pic on this row shows me sewing it to the bag sides. I whipped stitched the plastic canvas into the bottom and sides, but later decided to take the sides out, the bag was sturdy without it.

After both bag and lining pieces are constructed, turn the bag inside out, and with the lining inside out, place the lining inside the bag, and stitch all the way around the top of the bag, being careful to stitch and secure straps that are pinned in place. (Take pins out before you sew over the straps.) My plether pieces were pretty tough to stitch through, your machine may handle thicker fabrics better.

If you left enough of an opening in the lining, you can easily pull the bag through. Smooth the lining in place, locate the opening, then use a whip stitch to close. Like magic, you have a completed bag, that looks professionally made and ready to take on the world! My doily bag has been my companion for over 8 months now, and I am planning a spring and summer one, to take me through the rest of the year. I do like dark fabrics as they hide all the stains and dirt you come across. The plether bottom panels and sides protect the bag and have worked well.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for clarification, I am a sewer, and sometimes it is hard for me to know what you might not know as a novice. This bag is so easy and a great canvas for needlework, photo patches, kids artwork etc. I use this tote as my main purse, a green alternative to plastic bags, and way more classy! Visit my etsy shop to see my latest totes, http://the4rs.etsy.com/


Happy Together said...

Great tute! And such a cute purse.

san said...

Thanks for your encouragement! My first tute, and I am still struggling with putting pics next to words, they never turn out like you see them when you write the post. Do you have any tips?

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