I like to make a very geometric and easy tote..... no pattern....just wing it. The fabric speaks for itself. In this case the fabric is a heavy hemp canvass fromwww.daisyjanie.com/ and organic cottton from stash for the lining. The batting is organic bamboo. If you have a complicated bag made with fabric that really rocks, you have far too much going on. My bags with gathers, pleats and all ... are made with simple linens, bamboo and organic cotton with easy prints. Let the bag do the talking.
I wanted a shoulder tote to take to meetings with all my paperwork, to the library, etc. So here is what I did: cut two twelve inch squares (or whatever size you like)....out of outer fabric, quilters batting and lining fabric.
|Notch the corners of each piece.|
Sew around the outside of the outer fabric right sides together; sew the batting and lining the same way...(treat the batting and lining as one piece and sew them at the same time). Leave a section open for turning the bag.
Fold your notches together so that the side seam and the bottom seam are together. Sew across the opening. Do this for the lining and the outer shell.
For the strap: take a strip of the outer fabric 4 times the finished width and whatever length you like, fold in half then open up and bring the raw edges to the center and press. Topstitch. I like to make at least three lines of topstitching for strength and also for a tailored look.
Sew ends of the strap to the outside seam of the bag....Put the outside bag inside the lining (right sides together) pin and sew around the top opening.
Now, I do not recommend sewing over pins. It is a no-no with bags. I did it anyway and you can see the results. I have made enough quilts and bags to know better.....really, I do. AND with this sturdy fabric and so many layers, I was living on the edge....no excuses.
|see the pin sticking out?|
The pin was pushed into the workings of the machine and I spent more time undoing the mess that it would have taken to remove the pin. Shortcuts will get back at you every time!
Now, back to our bag.....reach in through the opening in the bottom and pull the outer bag through and stuff the lining inside the bag.
Last two steps....topstitch around the top of the bag and sew the opening in the lining closed.
|Ta Da!! Off to the library.|
There is a great tutorial with lots of photos and more description at www.modernorganicfabrics.com/journal/201 0/6/8/tutorial-li...