Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Got an hour or two?

By now, maybe you've discovered that there's a free pattern available for download on the Hummingbird Highway website. If not, by all means, go download it!

For reasons way too complicated to describe here, I decided to handle the bag corners a little differently from most patterns you've probably seen. To make a long story short, I wanted to make a quick  & easy tote bag, use scraps, hide all raw edges, box the corners without creating extra bulk inside the bag.

Here's a walk through, step-by-step.

First, make the parts. I know it's hard to see from this picture, but the bubbly-looking purple stuff is my lining and handles. The pieced elements are folded up a bit to avoid having a gianormous picture.

Sew each lining to each scrap panel, pillowcase style. Turn, then close the opening. Place a ruler on the scrappy side of the panel with the 1" mark on the ruler aligned with the first scrap row. Fold the the top edge to meet the ruler to make a cuff. Press with a steam iron.

Open the cuff, and place the raw end of the handle right up against the cuff fold, so the inside of the handle is lined up with the scrap seam. Once both handle ends are in place, fold the cuff back into place, and fold handle over top of the cuff, then pin.

Topstitch across each cuff edge. 

Place the bag sides right sides together. Pin and sew 1/4" seam across bottom of bag, starting and stopping 1/4" from each end. 

To make the folded corner. With the bag upside down fold front side of bag so edge aligns with bottom, forming a 45˚ angle.

Fold back side to the bottom, creating a point.

Place a pin 2" from the point (blue pin).

Then fold fabric back on itself, right sides together and pin along side of bag (yellow pins).

Sew along side from the bottom fold (red arrow) to top edge of bag.

Repeat for folding and sewing for remaining side and turn bag inside out.

There you have it! Ready to fill with goodies!

Here's a fun idea: Use Halloween scraps and a ghoulish lining for a fun Treat Bag for Trick-or-Treating. You may wish to shorten the handle for younger tricksters.