Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas - Day 4: Half-Metre Tote Bag

The fourth in our series of Twelve (non-consecutive) Days of Handmade Christmas from The Drapery. Handmade Christmas gifts are thoughtful, cost-effective and kind to the earth. And they're just as rewarding to give as they are to receive.

Half-Metre Tote Bag

Whip up this super-simple tote bag with just a half-metre cut of any 110cm fabric (e.g. quilting cotton, cotton/linen blend), plus a wee bit of interfacing. Here's how!
 With your half metre x 110cm piece, cut 10cm strips off each end, and cut the remaining part in half.
Pin the two large pieces right sides together and sew down one side, across the bottom and up the other side, about 1/2" (12mm) from the edge.

Trim the edges and finish with a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying.
At one bottom corner, open out and re-fold the point so that the seams are touching down the middle. Mark a line to sew across it about 2" from the point.

Sew, backstitching at each end, cut off the corner and zigzag along the raw edge.
Repeat for the other bottom corner.
Turn right way out and admire the squared-off bottom corners.
With bag inside-out again, fold the top edge down about 1/2" (12mm) and again about 1" (2.5cm). Topstitch.
Make your handles with the narrow strips you cut. Cut two pieces of fusible interfacing a little smaller than the fabric pieces. Centre them and iron on.
 Fold and press the edges in all around.
Fold the handle in half, matching edges carefully, and press again.
Topstitch all around.
Pin the handles in place at the top and carefully stitch on, making a rectangle and then criss-crossing through the middle.

You're finished. Make another one! Everyone can use an attractive tote bag (or several) for shopping, library books, sewing projects. It's a great stash-buster or way to use that fabric you just love but can't quite think of what to make with!

Previous Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas posts:

Linen Scarf
Felt iPad Cover
Simple Envelope-Back Cushion

- Jane & Fiona xx

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