Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tote in Two Hours

So a friend of mine recently told me that a tote I made was Pinterest worthy...and she would pin it.  Well I will let you all be the judge of that.  Had I known I was going to blog it out, I would have taken more progress pictures.  Here we go...I used a tutorial from a fabulous is the link Diary of a Quilter.  Not only does she have this tutorial, but her blog is an endless wonder of projects and information.

With her pattern I just slightly modified it and used 1/2 yard of each fabric.  I folded the fabric in half trimmed the top 2 inches off...You end up with 4 strips of fabric, 2 outside pattern, 2 inside pattern.  I press and pinned the fabric together to make the straps match the liner and outside fabric.

I liked this Indonesian Batik, it so colorful it was kind of expensive, but I had a coupon for 40% off any cut fabric by the yard.  Thrifty, I know :)
Since I was making mine larger than the original pattern I inserted my handles 6 inches from each end, instead of the 2.5 inches for the original size tote. I did follow the 1/4 inch seam recommendation, make sure you press your seams after.
Bright! you can see where the handles are secured in the seam. The blue will be the liner, the fabulously bright colors will be on the outside. It's important to know which will be the liner at this point because you will now seam the long ends together. will leave a gap for turning, you will want the gap on the liner, so when you top stitch it together that will be hidden on the inside.
Pin, pin, pin the sides together, and sew 1/4 inch seam, I left a 2" gap and carefully turned right side out without issues. I'm a big fan of top stitch on the opening, it cleans it up and just finishes the tote out nicely.  Take your time doing it.

Now don't get too overly excited about being so close to done...this is when mistakes happen....when squaring the bottom follow instructions on Diary of a Quilter's  page....if you don't you will get excited, and end up with fashionable corners, but not a squared bottom.  YES, this did happen to me, but I'm ok with it.  The tote is still cute.

Notice the corners...this is a display of the incorrect direction of the gusset.  *Sigh* but I learned from my mistake, the next one will have proper gussets.  The handles are blue on the inside to match the liner, and the wild pattern on the outside.
Do you love? I do!  The perfect beach tote, it's fun, bright, summery, washable, and let's be's fabulous!