Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Back to School Totebag

It's time for the kiddos to head back to school. Although it's been a while since I've been in school, I always get so excited to browse the school supply section. What's more fun than paper and pencils, except for crafting?!!
I have already posted a tutorial for making your own binding or double fold bias tape. Now you can use that bias tape to make a tote bag with pocket! I chose a fun back to school printed fabric, but you can use any pattern that you like. This tote bag is great for books, or anything you need to carry to and fro.
To make this easy tote bag, you need your binding, but you also need 2 pieces of canvas fabric (measuring 15.5 inches tall and 12 inches wide) and 1 patterned piece of fabric for the front pocket (measuring 12.5 inches tall and 12 inches wide).
Sew binding along just the tops of each of the 3 pieces of fabric.
Now place the 3 pieces of fabric on top of each other in this order: canvas piece, canvas piece, pocket piece. Make sure the edges are all lined up. Pin sides if you like, but the next step is to pin more binding all around the edges.
The top of the bag is the edge that you previously lined. Pin the bias tape or binding all around the next three sides of the bag.
This is how I fold the bias tape around the corners as I pin.
Now you can sew these 3 edges on the bag. Make sure to leave the top open! When finished sewing sides and removing pins, you have a "case" or the main part of your bag.
The last step is to add straps. You can use cotton webbing (as pictured here) or you can sew the open side of more bias tape and use that as matching straps!
It is up to you which side you place your straps. I chose to have it on the outside, but it could go inside to. Sew the ends of the straps to the bag my sewing a square, and then and X in the middle of the square. Tie ends of thread and trim away.
Now you have your very own bag and are ready to head back to school, or send the kiddos. Of course, if you used a different fabric, this could be a tote bag for any occasion. 
The back of the bag is plain, but if you wanted to use a patterned fabric that would look good too.
Here is a close up of the finished corners and strap stitching of the bag.
Don't forget to use that cool pocket on the front too! Wasn't this a great back to school craft? I hope you enjoyed this project. Thanks for stopping by.

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