Monday, January 27, 2014

DIY Embroidered Tote Bag

About a month ago I made a tote bag for my school materials. I decided that I needed more rose gold in my life so I made a bag! I sadly forgot to take progress photos but I'm going to do my best to describe to you how I made it.

Items You'll Need:
-about a yard of two different types of fabric; one for the outside and another for the lining
-embroidery floss; for my design I needed three 8 m packages
-an embroidery hoop that will fit your design

I started this design by deciding how large I wanted my tote bag to be. I decided to make it 13 in. by 14 in. so I cut two 14 in. by 15 in. rectangles from each type of fabric. I then decided I wanted it to be a 3D tote bag instead of 2D so I cut two 4 in. by 15 in. rectangles (for the sides) and one 4 in. by 14 in. rectangle (for the bottom) from each type of fabric. Then I sewed all of my "outside" pieces of fabric together including the bottom so it looked a little bit like a paper grocery bag (if you can imagine that). After, I sewed the pieces of the lining together EXCLUDING THE BOTTOM. Make sure you sew your "outside" pieces with the pattern facing out and your lining pieces with the pattern facing in.

For the straps, I cut two strips of fabric that were 8 in. by 27 in. of the "outside" fabric. I folded the strips in half vertically (hotdog style) and hand ironed it (hand ironing is pressing the heel of your palm onto the fold of the fabric and smoothing it out; it is a non-permanent way of creasing the fabric). Unfold it (you'll have a crease down the middle of your strip), and then fold it again by taking the edges and having them meet in the middle where your hand ironed crease is. Then fold it one last time down you original hand ironed crease. You should now have a strip that is 2 in. by 27 in.

For the pockets I cut two rectangles of the lining fabric that were 5 in. by 4 in. I sewed these into the the large lining rectangles. I never really know how to do pockets so I just sort of made up a way that works for me. I folded over what I intended to be the open end about a fourth of an inch and sewed it so it wouldn't fray. Then I folded in the other sided about a fourth of an inch and sewed them onto the lining. Pretty simple.

The embroidering is what took me the longest. I knew what pattern I wanted so I printed out a picture online and traced it onto the "outside" fabric and got to work. I outlined the moon with a backstitch and then filled it in with a satin stitch (Embroidery 101). It took me a while but I'm very happy with the results.

I finished the bag by sliding the lining rectangle (pattern facing in) into the "outside" square (pattern facing out) and matched up the openings (or the tops) of the bag. I also slipped the straps in between the lining and the "outside" so that they would be sewn as well. I sewed around the entire opening and then pulled the lining inside out and into the bag. I sewed around the opening one more time (with the lining on the inside of the bag) to re-enforce the straps and the lining a bit.

I finished by sewing the "bottom" lining rectangle onto the rest of the lining fabric. This process was similar to the pocket process where I made up something and it ended up working. I pinned the "bottom" rectangle to the sides of the lining by pinching the two pieces together where the cut or frayed ends are between your two pieces. Once you sew the pieces together, you will be able to see the seam as well as a small flap of fabric around the edges of the "bottom" rectangle."

And then you're all done! Hope my explanation was understandable without many pictures. I'll remember to take pictures next time!

Bisous mes cheris***

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