Thursday, August 5, 2010

Reversible Canvas Tote Bag - Tutorial

You will need:
2  coordinating canvas fabrics
safety pin
typical sewing supplies

Cut:
from 1st fabric:
2 pieces for the main bag - 14"  x 14 1/2"
2 pieces for inside pocket - 8" x 8 1/2"
4 strips on the bias for handle - 1" x 24"

from 2nd fabric:
2 pieces for the main bag - 14" x 14 1/2"
2 pieces for outside pocket - 8" x 8 1/2"
2 strips on the bias for handle - 1" x 24"

*Use 1/4" seam allowances unless stated otherwise.

Handles:
take 2 strips cut from the 1st fabric and 1 strip cut from the 2nd and put together aligning one of the ends.  Sew 1/4" in across the end.  Attach a safety pin to this end and attach to something secure.  I used the ottoman.  Braid the 3 strips together.  It's important that the braid is tight to keep the fabric from fraying too much. When you reach the end, sew across the end 1/4" just like you did with the other end.  Repeat for the other strap and set them aside.

Pockets:
Place the pocket pieces cut from the 1st fabric right sides together and pin all around.

Sew together leaving a 2-3 inch gap at the bottom.  Clip the corners and turn the pocket right side out.  Push out the corners and fold in the edges on the gap in 1/4".  Press the edges. 

Sew across the top of the pocket 1/4" from the top.  Sew another row 1/8" below the 1st.  Repeat for the other pocket.

Attaching the pockets:
Place the pocket cut from the 1st fabric centered and 2 1/2" from the bottom on one of the main bag pieces cut from the 2nd fabric.  Pin in place. 

Sew around sides and bottom of the pocket 1/8" from the edge, back stitching at each end.  I like to sew in at the top 1/2" on each side to keep the pocket from gaping.   Do the same for the other pocket on one of the main bag pieces cut from the 1st fabric.

Assembling the bag:
Place the 2 main bag pieces from the 1st fabric right sides together and pin. 

Sew around sides and bottom.  Pinch one of the bottom corners and sew across 1 1/2" from the corner.  Do the same for the other bottom corner.
Repeat for other main bag pieces.

Stuff one of the bags into the other and align the seams and raw edges.  The right sides should be together and pockets should be on opposite sides.  Pin together at the seams.

Pick up one layer and pin the ends of one of the strap in 2 1/2" from each side, aligning the raw edges and pin.  The strap should be sandwiched between 2 right sides of the bag.
Repeat for the other strap on the other side of the bag.
Pin the rest of the bag and sew around using 1/2" seam allowance.  Leave a 3" gap to turn the bag.
Reach into the bag through the gap and turn right side out.
Stuff what ever side you decide to be the lining into the other.  Fold the gap in 1/2" and press the top edge all around.  Sew around 1/8" from the top of the bag...
...And you're done! 

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