Posts Tagged ‘tote’

Jul. 2010 28

Tank Top Tote Bag

Alas, a summer staple: the ribbed tank top. I myself own way too many. So I decided to get rid of a couple to make room for some more work appropriate pieces. Instead of throwing these away, I made a reversible tote bag. It was so easy, and so fast. All you need is two tank tops about 24″ long (1 if you don’t want it to be reversible), and a couple buttons for flare.

Let’s get started:

1. Take your 2 tank tops and cut 6 inches off the bottom. Put these pieces aside.

2. Making pockets. These are optional, but I think they are cute:

a. From the 6 inch portions you just cut off, cut 2 6×6 square (1 in each color)

b. Tank the finished edge and fold so it makes an arch

c. Sew the arch down

d.Add button and ribbon if desired

I changed the button later because this one proved to be way too heavy for the fabric

3. This is slightly tricky. You have to sew the pockets to the tank top. To do this, turn the tank top inside out and pin the pocket down. Then sew down like this using a zig-zag stitch:

4. Sew the bottom edge together.

5. Fold the bottom corners flat and sew a 1 inch seam across

6. Keep one tank top inside out and turn the other one right side out

7. Put one tank top inside the other, so the wrong sides are facing.

8. Pin together at the arm holes and neck holes

9. Top stitch the arm holes and neck holes closed.

That’s it! All done!

I find this back is absolutely perfect for the pool or beach. And since it was once a shirt, the arm holes are already my size :)

Enjoy summer!

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Mar. 2010 13

Basic Tote Bag

In high school I had a “business” selling handbags. The majority of the styles were based on one of two construction techniques. I’ll call them the strip method and the flattening method. The strip method involves sewing on side and bottom pieces to face panels to make a bag. The flattening method create the side and bottom by flattening the middle.

Bag using "Strip Method"

Tote bag using "Flattening Method"

There are pros and cons to each method. The strip method uses a lot more pieces and as a result has a rigid, well defined shape. But the extra pieces mean it’s more time consuming and easier to mess up.
The flattening method is much easier and faster. However, it does not have the best shape definition.
There are a few different options for a tote bag.
To start I’m going to go over how to make the most basic, lined tote bag (Option 1) using the flattening method.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
What you’ll need:
  • 1 main fabric
  • 1 Contrast fabric (for the inside and handles
  • Pins, Chalk

For these directions, solid colors indicate the front of the fabric (blue for main fabric, magenta for contrast fabric). And striped colors indicate the back side of the fabric.

1. Cut out 1 piece of the main fabric and 1 piece of the contrast fabric 25″x13″
2. Chalk (or pencil) mark 1/2″ from the edge on the short sides of the fabric (all the way across)
3. Fold the main fabric in half (width wise), right sides together
4. Pin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5. Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew down each side leaving the top open.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 for the contrast fabric
7. Iron seams open
 
 
 
 
 
Step 88. At the bottom corner of the main fabric (left or right doesn’t matter), create a 90 degree triangle so that the open seam faces up and is exactly in the middle of the triangle.
9. Pin in place
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 10. With chalk or pencil, mark a line exactly 2″ long (should end up being about 1″ down from point)
11. Sew across line.
12. Repeat steps 8-12 for both bottom corner on the main fabric as well as the contrast fabric
13. At the 1/2″ line that you marked in step 2, fold the top edge back and press into place. This creates a clean top edge
14. Turn the main fabric piece so the right side of the fabric is facing out.
15. Slip the contrast fabric inside the main fabric.
16. Line up the side seams and top edges and pin together.
17. Set the pieces aside
 
Straps:
1. Cut 2 pieces 2″ x 20″ out of the contrasting fabric
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
2. Fold piece in half long ways and iron
3. Open up (Do not press!)
4.Fold each of the long edges into the middle crease. Press folds
5. Fold in half again (down original crease) and press
6. Sew with a 1/4″ – 3/8″ seam allowance. You can sew down both sides or just the open side. it’s up to you.
7. Mark 1″ from each end with chalk
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Main:
18. On the front of the main fabric, measure in 4 inches from the side seam and mark with chalk. Do this for each side seam, for each face of the fabric (you’ll end up with 4 marks)
19. Unpin pins near mark
20. Slip each end of the strap in between the main fabric and contrasting fabric. Line up the mark on the main fabric face with the outer edge of the strap. And line up the mark on the strap with the top edge of the main fabric. Pin in place
21. Do this for all 4 ends. Make sure not to twist the straps when you are attaching them. Both ends of the strap should be on the same side of the bag.
22. Sew around the top edge with a 1/4″ – 3/8″ seam allowance.
 
 
 
All done!