Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Still working on the totes
The pattern for these bags doesn't call for inside pockets but I like to add some because it makes organizing the inside so much easier. The totes are quite large so small things get lost inside them. I used strips of fabric left over after amending my bedspread. The fabric is 100% cotton damask in the palest of pinks. I had odd lengths of strips of fabric and cut them to fit the bags, with one pocket running from side seam to side seam and the other side having a smaller piece. I ironed over and finished the top edge on all the pieces. When I sewed down the finished edge, I sewed all the pieces in one long chain and then snipped the threads to separate them.
I'm placing one of the smaller pockets here, on the inside of the tote bag piece. I overlaid the pattern piece so I could place the inside pocket so the stitching would be hidden by the outer pocket.
Once I had the inner pockets in place, I sewed the bottoms of the bags together. On the large totes, I like to sew down the pressed open seam on the bottom. It makes it neater on the inside and slightly easier to sew the handles without inadvertently folding up the seam allowance.
The handle is one long piece that you sew into a loop. Then you have to fold in the long cut edges and sew the whole thing closed all the way around the loop.
I'm making the three light coloured totes (using white thread) first - then I'll do the three darker totes. Here is one striped tote with the bottoms pinned ready to be sewn together. I have piled the three handles on the left because they are finished too.
Here I am placing the handle on one of the totes. It has to line up with the pattern markings and then it gets sewn down each side of each handle piece, right through all the layers of the tote, including the inner and outer pockets. In this fashion, the pockets are subdivided.
These are the three totes hanging up. I love it when a bag starts to take shape. Now for the side seams and tops.