The Perfect Tote
- 1/2 yd fabric (I use canvas for durability)
- 2 yds 1" cotton webbing for straps (this can be found in the ribbon section of craft stores)
- Thread that coordinates with the bag fabric
- Scrappy Applique pattern of your choice
- 1/2 yd fabric (I prefer a regular quilting cotton so the bag isn't too rigid)
- 10" square of fabric for the pocket
- Trim bag fabric to 16" x 36"
- Trim lining fabric to 16" x 36" (optional)
- Cut two 22.5" pieces of webbing
- Pin webbing in place on the right side of one end of your bag fabric (3" from either side), aligning raw edges.
- Zig zag stitch along the edge of the fabric.
- Repeat for the other side.
**If you are adding any kind of detail, like an applique piece, embroidery, ect, do so at this point. Position the applique piece centered on one panel. You may want to fold the bag so you are able to center it properly. Be sure to leave enough room on the top to be able to fold the top edge over 1.5". **
- Fold your bag, right sides together, aligning the strap sides, pin in place.
- Sew 1/2" seam on either side.
- Zig zag stitch along the sides you just sewed.
- Fold fabric over on the wrong side 1.5", pin in place. (If you are adding lining, make sure pins are on the right side of the bag.)
- If you are NOT including the lining, go ahead and sew a seam 1/4" from the bottom raw edge, as well as another seam 1/4" from the top fold, making sure the straps are straight as you sew across them.
- Turn right side out, and press. If you aren't including the lining, you're done!!
- Hem the pocket: Fold the right and left sides 1/2" toward the wrong side and press. Fold over 1/2" again, press. Repeat for the top and bottom sides.
- Sew a 1/4" seam across the top side of your pocket.
- Fold your lining fabric in half, "hamburger" (so it is 18" x 16"), press the fold with iron. Unfold. Now you will be able to position your pocket correctly.
- Position your pocket on one of the right sides, centering it between sides and fold. Pin in place.
- Sew pocket 1/4" from edge: down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side. Obviously, dont sew across the top!
- Fold lining in half again, right sides together. Sew 1/2" seam on either side.
- Fold top edge 1.5" toward the wrong side and press.
- Tuck the lining inside the bag. Align the tops and pin in place, make sure the straps are straight.
- Sew a 1/4" seam around the top of the bag. You're done!!
Don't you just want to make about a dozen of these now?