Tuesday, January 28, 2014

pretty little tote {a tutorial}

Hello, remember this little tote from a short while back? Quite a few you asked about the pattern I used (there was none since I simply made up the tote as I went), so I decided a proper tutorial was totally in order. Ready? Here we go.


Materials needed:

main exterior fabric - cut two 12.5" x 15" rectangles
pocket fabric - cut one 12.5" x 12.5" rectangle
lining fabric - cut two 12.5" x 15" and one 12.5" x 12.5" rectangles
interfacing (I used Pellon SF 101) -  cut two 12.5" x 15" and one 12.5" x 12.5" rectangles

you will also need two 14" long, 1 1/4" wide webbing for the handles (or you can make your own handles if preferred)


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Following manufacturer's directions, fuse interfacing to the wrong sides of two main exterior panels as well as main pocket panel. Set the main panels aside, we'll now work with main pocket and pocket lining panels only.


Place them right sides together, if you have directional fabric make sure you placed both parts in the right direction. Stitch along the top edge of your pocket panels. Don't stitch along the sides or the bottom !!!

Press the seam open, flip the panels (wrong sides are now touching), press again and top stitch along the finished top edge of the pocket.


Place the pocket on top of one exterior panel as shown in the picture, pin and baste in place. 


Now place the second exterior panel on top of the exterior panel with attached pocket (right sides together) and stitch all the way around the sides as well as the bottom of the exterior panels. Do not stitch along the top!


Clip the corners to reduce bulk, press the seams open, and turn right side out.


Place handles 2" away from the middle of the main panel, pin in place making sure you don't twist the handle. (there's going to be 4" between the handles - see picture above)


Stitch over the handle couple of times to make sure it's attached securely. Attach the second handle and set the exterior of your tote aside for now.


Place two lining panels on top of each other, right sides together, pin.


Stitch along the sides and bottom the same way you did for the exterior panel, but make sure to leave about 4" opening in the bottom for turning (see the picture).

Snip the corners and press the seams open.


Place the finished exterior inside the lining, as shown in the picture above.


Align the side seams and pin or clip (I used Wonder Clips) to hold in place.


Stitch all the way around, remove the pins or clips and press the seam open.


Turn your tote right side out through the opening in the bottom.



Push the lining in, smooth out the top and clip or pin to hold it all nice and straight while you topstitch along the top of the tote. 


Double topstitch along the top as shown in the picture. Make sure to go slow so your topstitching will be as straight as possible.


Make a mark 2" from the bottom of the handle on both sides and clip the sides together as shown in the picture.


Stitch along the folded side of the handle (starting and ending at 2" marks) making sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end.


Repeat the step with the other handle. Don't they look pretty? and way more comfortable to hold this way :)


Now all you need to do is stitch the opening in the lining closed and you are all finished!!!


Congratulations! Hope you had fun making this Pretty Little Tote. 

Any questions? Let me know.

Also, if you make a tote using this tutorial, I'd love to see it. If you post it on instagram please use  #prettylittletote so I can look it up.

Thanks for reading. Svetlana

38 comments:

  1. Oh my! I just found the original post last night and LOVED it! I ordered the fabric to make it! Now, today, there's a tutorial! I am so excited and thank you so much for doing this! Love your work! Thank you!

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  2. Thank you for writing this great tutorial!

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  3. Such a pretty bag! Your fabric selection is the best!! Wishing you have a year filled with happy stitching time! Love from California, Amy

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  4. Very cute! That's not the other other colourway I have though lol

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  5. Too cute! Thanks for the tutorial!

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  6. Lovely, and I really like how you made your handles! Jxo

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  7. Thank you for sharing your expertise! I love this tote...it is going on my 'to-do' list!

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  8. This is fabulous, thanks for putting this together for us!

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  9. Thanks I have been looking for a cute little pattern I can make with a couple fat quarters This is perfect

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  10. Thank you so much. I have a snow day tomorrow (don't get too many if them in Georgia!) and I am going to try and make this. Wish me luck.

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  11. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I really like your handle design! I think a springy tote is just what I need to make during this brutally cold MN winter!!

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  12. So cute! I love the handles, I thought that you had used pre-made handles for the tote, but sewing them like that is genius!

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  13. I love that Chester fabric. Cute tote

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  14. Very cute. I really like the handles. Thanks!

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  15. I love it. Thanks for making the tutorial and sharing!

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  16. This is so cute! I love what you did with the handles. Do you have a good source you could share for where you get your webbing- if it's an online one? Thanks for sharing. I am adding this to my list!!

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  17. Awesome - it is on my list of things to make!!!

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  18. Thanks so much for your tutorial - great tote. I have in mind to make the bag using Japanese Taupe fabrics and would like to add my own circles, would it be possible, please, for you to let me know the diameter of each circle?

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  19. So cute! I love the handles!

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  20. I thought your first one was perfect but I love the colors you chose for this one even better!

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  21. I love this tote! Simple and versatile and your handles are awesome. Thanks for the tutorial!
    Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

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  22. Love this tote! Can you tell me if the handles are cotton webbing and where you purchased in the pretty color? Thank you!

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  23. Excelente tutorial, muchas gracias.

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  24. Excelente tutorial, muchas gracias.

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  25. LOVE this and your fabrics. Will definitely be giving this a try when I finish my other UFO's... Great tutorial! Thank you.

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  26. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much! This is exactly what I need to sew for my daughter and myself :-). Thank you for your time spended on preparation of tutorial.

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  27. SUPER cute totes. Thank you so much for sharing the details - and the time you've taken to write a tutorial. xx

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  28. just found you via Rita at red pepper quilts, will have a go at this tote

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  29. I too just came to your site via Red Pepper Quilts. Love the handles also!!! I love the circle fabric!!!!Can you share where you purchased it? or who is the designer so that we can do a search for some???? Thank you for the sharing!

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  30. I am here from Red Pepper also. I have to make some of these totes. Have you ever tried putting a bit of batting or coring in the handles to stuff them and give them a bit more body?

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  31. I made this little type over the weekend using some slick plastic type fabric I got at my local quilt shop. I don't do Instagram. How can I send youa picture? Can you email me at stamperwithdsyjob@gmail.com? I just got you email today on making small 9 blank mini squares. I want to try that now.

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  32. I made this little type over the weekend using some slick plastic type fabric I got at my local quilt shop. I don't do Instagram. How can I send youa picture? Can you email me at stamperwithdsyjob@gmail.com? I just got you email today on making small 9 blank mini squares. I want to try that now.

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  33. GRACIAS...de las explicaciònes....me parece que la voy a hacer porque me gusta..!!
    Me puedes visitar en:http://www.marcelasusanatoledonespral.eu/
    Besos..!!

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  34. Many thanks for this excellent tutorial. It's easy to follow and produces an excellent result!
    SJG

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  35. I made this last night and I am very pleased with the results. Will definitely be making more for Christmas gifts. Thanks for taking the time to write the tutorial. Excited to see see what your next tutorial will be!

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