Fabric: Hello World Collection by Artist Cori Dantini for Blend Fabrics
Tote bags of all shapes and sizes have become one of my top favorite products these days. Of course they are fabulous for toting all sorts of things, like books or craft supplies, or even just a wallet and car keys. Lately, I’ve taken to keeping a supply on hand in my car for shopping bags. They are way cuter than any store plastic bags, and much more environment-friendly, too. Better yet, they are super easy and economical to make at home using only a few basic fabric supplies and Therm O Web’s fabulous Heat n’ Bond® Fusible Fleece and adhesive.
Here’s a few quick tips for creating your own super durable, super adorable fleece-lined tote bag.
For the bag
2 panels of fabric for the outside cut to 13.5″ x 15″
2 panels of fabric for the inside lining cut to 13.5″ x 15″
2 panels of Heat n’ Bond® Iron-On Fusible Fleece cut to 13.5″ x 15″
For the pocket
2 panels of fabric cut to 5.5″ x 8″
1 piece of Heat n’ Bond® Lite Sewable Iron-On Adhesive cut to 5.5″ x 8″
For the straps
2 strips of fabric cut to 4″ x 28″
Following the manufacturer’s instructions, place the rough side of the HeatnBond® Fusible Fleece interfacing onto the back (wrong side) of the fabric to be used for the outside of the tote. Press and hold iron onto the fabric for 10-15 seconds, then lift the iron to a new area and repeat the process until the until surface is bonded.
Pin the fused fleece panels to the inner lining fabric panels with wrong sides facing. Fold down the top inch of fabric, and then fold down again, and pin. Top stitch along the top and bottom edge of the fold.
For the pocket, cut out a panel of decorative fabric and a matching piece of fabric for the lining. Panel can really be any size you wish. Mine is 5.5″ x 8″. Cut a piece of Heat n’ Bond® Lite Sewable Iron-On Adhesive the same size as your pocket pieces, and following the instructions on the packaging, fuse the adhesive to the back (wrong side) of the pocket front.
Peel off the paper backing, and iron the pocket front panel onto the back (wrong side) of the pocket lining.
Fold down the top edge of the pocket, and top stitch. Fold in the sides and bottom of the pocket panel approximately 1/8″, and pin to the front tote panel. Top stitch in place, leaving the top of the pocket open.
Pin the front and back tote panels together, right sides facing, and machine stitch around the sides and bottom using ~ 1/4″ seam allowance.
Remove the pins and pinch the sides and bottom together to form triangular points. Stitch across the bottom of the triangles, ~ 3/4″ down from the top point. Cut off the tips of the triangles, making sure not to cut into the stitching. Then flip your tote bag right side out.
Now for the handles:
Fold the strips of handle fabric in half the long way, and press the fold with your iron.
Open the fabric back up, then fold in one edge until it meets the fold line in the center, and press in place.
Fold the opposite side in to the center line and press in place. Then fold the entire strip in half again along that center fold line. Top stitch straps along both the top and bottom edge.
Fold the ends of the strap under 1″, then pin straps to the inside top edge of the tote. Stitch a square around the edge of the strip, and then stitch an X across the center of each square.