recently had a chance to work with the Charley Harper organic canvas line and
let me just tell you, it is AMAZING! The colors are so rich, the prints are
adorable…I could go on and on. And what better way to show off an amazing
fabric than with a tote bag? I’ve worked up a quick tutorial that is sure to be
a fast favorite. (And it’s reversible too!) With a few fun features like
piping, an ipad pocket, and this isn’t just an ordinary tote. Honestly, I don’t
think I ever really appreciated the value of a good tote until I became a mom.
Three kids later, I now know how great is is to be able to just toss a few
diapers, wipes, & my wallet in one bag GO! You can use them as a diaper
bags, beach bags, purses, shopping totes…you get the idea! And since they’re
so easy to make, you could whip up a few to share as well!
needs. I designed it with long straps to be worn cross ways, but the straps can
be lengthened/shortened as needed. Also, the inner pockets on one side are
sized to hold an iPad and smartphone, but can easily be adjusted for other
of piping across the long side of one pocket piece, matching up the raw edges.
Baste in place.
(right sides together with the first piece) sandwiching your piping in between.
Sew this in place with the row of basting stitching showing to use as a guide
for stitching. You will position your new line of stitching just to the left of
the basting stitches. This ensures your piping will be firmly sewn in place.
press along the top seam. You should have a neat line of piping across the top
and 3 remaining raw edges.
seam. There’s no exact seam allowance measurement here, just sew with your
presser foot against the line of piping.
lining panels. Start by laying one inner (contrast) piece down with right side
up. Lay your assembled pocket piece on top, right side facing up, matching up
your raw edges along the sides and bottom. Baste in place around all edges
except the top.
decide pocket sizes. I chose to do different sizes on each side of the pockets.
For the first side, measure 11in across the width of the pocket and mark the
line with chalk.
down to the basting stitches to form the pocket. (You may want to add a second
row of stitching 1/4 from the first for decoration and added durability.)
to find the center and marked it with a chalk line as well. Stitch along this
line to form your second set of pockets. (I have found this size to be perfect
for holding diapers/wipes!) As I mentioned, you can easily change these pockets
sizes to suit your own needs.
– Measure 2 1/2 inches from the bottom of your lining pieces and mark a
horizontal line in chalk. You will stitch along this line to form the pocket
bottom. Repeat with your second inner panel/pocket piece as well. (This
eliminates the dead space that would be at the bottom of each pocket once the
sides are formed.)
lining panels right sides together, pin the left, right, and bottom edges
making sure to match up the tops of your pockets on each side. Sew along those
three edges leaving the top edge open. The piping might be a little bulky on
the side, so stitch slowly over the spot where the two pockets meet.
side seams match up. (It will form a triangle point.) You should be able to
nest your side seams together so that they match up exactly for this step.
Because of the snipped corner, you can make the seams lay opposite directions
to fit together better. Once your seams are matched, pin them in place.
line. You can use the side seam stitching as a straight edge to line up the
your bag corners now look like:
together, sew one outer body upper piece to one outer body lower piece. Make
sure to orient them correctly so they don’t end up upside down! Repeat these
steps for both sets of outer panel pieces.
Press your seam toward the contrast side. Topstitch this in place 1/4in from
the seam on the contrast side. The finished pieces should now measure 20in
leaving the top edge open. Be sure to carefully match up your seams.
your two straps.
wrong side and press. Do this down the entire length of the strap.
one of the 1/4in flaps. Iron in place.
for a more finished look. Repeat these steps for both strap pieces.
OUT, put the lining down inside the outer bag so that right sides are together.
pieces. Decide where you want the straps to be and make a mark to line them up.
I measured 2 inches from the side seam and made a pencil marking.
example of how they will lay between the layers.)
Line up your straps with your markings and insert them between the bag layers,
making sure to not twist them. Pin them in place with about 1/2in showing above
the bag edge.
straps on one side of the bag. This will be your turning gap. (Be sure to
re-enforce your stitching on either side of the gap so that your stitches do
not pull loose when turning the bag right side out.)
edges of your open turning hole.
topstitching for a decorative effect.
go show off your new bag!!