Friday, June 17, 2011

Tutorial: Boy's Summer Tote Bag

Boy's Tote Bag
TUTORIAL
Do you always find yourself sewing for your little girl? I would say do you always find yourself sewing for yourself, but I haven't found many people who sew exclusively for themselves. If you do, send me your blog. I need some inspiration in that category of my life!

Well my little boy, John Patrick, is 3 and is starting to notice that I'm making things for his younger sister, Catherine. A little mom guilt set in and I started brainstorming. I thought of making things like: an appliqued shirt, pair of shorts, a cape...but the only thing I really got excited about was a bag.
(I also made him a pirate eye patch...tutorial coming next week for all those who love Captain Hook and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.)

We've been going to the library each week and he likes carrying his books by himself, so I thought this would be useful. And of course when you come across a boy fabric that isn't babyish and suddenly have an idea for it, you have to get to work sewing!

 1. Cut two pieces of fabric, each 18in x 18in. Cut two pieces of fabric, each 2 in x 18in for your straps.
 2. Hem the top of each of your tote bag pieces. I folded it up an inch, then another inch. Pin.
 3. Sew along the hem on both large fabric pieces.

 4. Lay your large fabric pieces right sides together, with the hem you just created along the top. This will now be your top hem. Pin on all 3 sides of your tote bag (the left side, bottom and right side). Leave the top hemmed part open. You will not sew this part.
 5. Sew along all 3 pinned sides. Remove the pins as you sew. (Or pins fly and needles break. Ouch!)
 6. Let's create some corners. If your bag doesn't have corners it's not a big deal, but it will just look like a pillowcase and won't have any shape to it. It will still hold things though and it is the faster way. So if you want to skip down to making the straps feel free to do it!
If you want corners continue here: Keeping your tote bag inside out create a triangle at the bottom sewn edge (make the side seams of the tote bag meet). The side seam will cut this "triangle" in half. See above.
 7. Pin this triangular shape.
 8. Draw a line 3 inches below the tip of the triangle. See above.
 9. Sew along this drawn line. Repeat for the other bottom/tote bag side. Make a triangular shape, pin and draw your line. Sew along this drawn line.
 10. Turn your bag inside out. See how it has some shape! It will give your bag some depth and will lay flatter when it is full.

 11. Lay each strap piece right side up.
 12. Fold each strap piece in half. Iron and pin. Now you will have the same length strap, but narrower. Sew as close to you can along this pinned edge.
 13. Attach a safety pin to one outer edge. Insert the safety pin into your fabric, slide it through and use your hands to turn it inside out.
 14. Keep pulling.
 15. Press with an iron.
 16. Pin on your 2 straps. Sew them on. Trim your threads.
 17. You did it! A tote bag for your little boy (but of course it can be for a girl, too, just change the fabric!)
Surprise your boy with a tote bag after his nap!
One smiling boy will make one happy mama!
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