Monday, May 23, 2011

Easy Teacher Tote Tutorial

This week I worked on this super simple tote bag for Harper's teacher. Her last day of school is Thursday. Yikes. Can you believe it.? This tote bag would make a great gift for anyone and can be customized in so many ways.

I used the super cute Book Club embroidery pattern from Wee Wonderfuls for the pockets. I fell in love with these and knew they would make a great teacher gift, but didn't know for sure what to make with them. So I brainstormed and came up with the idea of a simple tote bag.

Easy Teacher Tote Tutorial

Here's what you will need:
Exterior Top: 2 pieces 15" (width) x 11.5" (length)
Exterior bottom: 2 pieces 15" x 5" (I used canvas)
Lining: 2 pieces 15" x 16"
Straps: 2 pieces of webbing 42" long
Pocket: 4 pieces 6" x 7" (I cut 2 of my embroidered pieces to this size)
Interfacing: 2 pieces 15" x 16" (I used craft fuse 808)


Place 2 of the pocket pieces right sides together. Sew along top edge. I used a 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat with the other 2 pocket pieces.
Pocket 1

Turn pocket pieces right sides out. Topstitch along the top edge. I decided to do two rows of stitches because I thought it looked nice. Repeat with other pocket pieces.
Pocket 2

Center the pocket piece in the middle of the exterior top piece. Baste along the sides and bottom. Repeat on the other side.
Pocket 3

Place the webbing on either side of the pocket like the photo below. Pin in place. Repeat on the other side.
Strap 1

Sew along both sides of the webbing. Repeat on the other side.
***Make sure to stop about 1/2" before you reach the top.***
Straps 2

Place the exterior bottom on top of the exterior top piece with right sides together. Sew along the bottom edge. Repeat on the other side.
Body 1

Unfold the exterior pieces.
Body 2

Iron the seam down on both pieces.
Body 3

Follow the manufacturer's direction for the interfacing. Interface both exterior pieces.

Place the exterior pieces together with right sides together. Sew along both sides and the bottom.
Bag Assembly

Pinch the corners together and measure 2 inches from the corner. Mark and stitch along this line. Do this for the other corner too.
Bag Assemby 2

Trim the excess fabric.
Bag Assembly 3

Place lining pieces right sides together. Stitch along both sides and the bottom leaving a 3 inch gap for turning.
Lining 1

Box the corners the same way you did on the exterior pieces.
Lining 2

Turn the exterior of the bag right side out. You can see here that I stopped stitching the webbing about a half inch or more from the top.
Bag Assembly 4

Stuff it into the lining matching up side seams and making sure the straps are tucked inside and out of the way. Pin in place and then stitch all the way around.
Bag Assembly 5

Now birth your bag. This is my favorite part. Turn your bag right side out through the hole in the lining.
Bag Assembly 6

Bag Assembly 7

Sew the gap in the lining. Then press the bag.
Bag Assembly 8

Topstitch all the way around the top of the bag.

You are finished.
Finished Bag 1

Finished Bag 2

Please make sure to add a photo to the flickr pool if you decide to make one.


casserole said...

This would make an awesome teacher gift!! I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


Stacy said...

That is so cute! I love the embroideries you did on the pockets to make it extra special.

I need to start thinking about teacher gifts, too. I have until June 9th, though so I have a bit of extra time.

Kimberly said...

What an adorable bag! I love how you used embroidered picture pockets. Too cute!

julandmatt said...

Love this bag and the embroidered little people. So darn cute.

carrie said...

Yep...that is absolutely perfect!! I may have to break out my canvas and is a great teacher gift, Jen! Good work - as always! And the embroidery is so sweet...she is going to love it.

Cara said...

This is so cute, I love the "birth of the bag" (LOL)!

{northern cottage} said...

this is SOOOO darling...I love everything about it!

Sew Loquacious Angela said...

What an awesome teacher gift! The bag is great and the embroidery is super cute! I'm sure the teacher will love it!

Greice de Castro said...

I loved this post!! It's so cute!!

Lisa said...

Just finished this bag tonight. Wonderfully easy directions and a great finished product if I do say so myself! :) Thanks so much for the great tutorial!

Marlene(from Brazil) said...

Amei essa bolsa e como você explicou,lindo,parabéns.
Marlene(from Brazil)

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