Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Still working on the totes

inner pockets assembly line
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.
inner pocket
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.
bottom seam
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.
making a handle
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.
inner pocket and handles
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.
placing handles
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.
half finished bags
These are the three totes hanging up. I love it when a bag starts to take shape. Now for the side seams and tops.


Cindi said...

Very nice!

Sharon said...

Beautiful! I love making totes, also. I got a real bargain on some cream-colored denim drapes at a rummage sale ($5.00!!!!) I made at least 15 totes with the fabric. Lined with inner pockets. Fun!

ML said...

I just found your blog today and immediately added it to my fav blog list.

I'm am in the infant stages of sewing. I've made a few simple things, but your blog will help me out a lot.

Your work is excellent!

JuliaR said...

Thanks Cindi! Almost done now...

Sharon, what a bargain! I never go to rummage or garage sales but I might reconsider now.

ML, welcome to my blog. One day I'm going to organize it better so the categories I started are in better shape and then you will be able to find things. In the meantime, if you can't find something, ask and I'll see if I wrote anything on it.