April 15, 2011

Strawberry Tote Variation: The Reversible Tote

The Original Tutorial for the Strawberry Tote is HERE. You will want to refer to it in order to make the following variations.


On Step 5 in the Tutorial don't leave an opening in the lining. Instead, as you sew around the top in step 6, leave an opening. Seam finish and cut the curves as desired. Cut the curves on the opening even, just be careful not to go past where the seam should be.

Leave Opening

Then pull the tote through the whole and tuck the lining inside the main fabric. Flatten the seam all around the top and then fold down the seam allowance in the opening, lay it flat and pin it closed. Then sew around the top as normal. 

Pin Opening Closed & Sew

Top Stitched Around Top

Now you have no stitches in the lining, and even if you messed up on this seam, it's no big deal because you can  cover it up with the EASY HANDLE and no one will ever know!


Instead of steps 9-13, follow these instructions. 

Cut the handle to the dashed line instead of the solid (1/4" smaller). Use this for the Fusible Fleece.

Cut Handle Pattern at Dotted Line

Cut out Fusible Fleece

Iron the fusible fleece to the wrong side of one handle. Make sure to line it up so that the fleece is 1/4" in from  all edges.

Iron Fleece on the Wrong Side of One Handle

Line up the handle pieces down wrong sides together and place them down with the fleece side up. The fleece side will go towards the outside of the bag (if you have a preference)

Side with Fleece Towards the Outside

Tuck one side of the handle completely inside the tote. Make sure it is laying flat, then pull the fleece lined side  out and lay it on the outside of the tote. Pin and make sure that all the inside and outside pieces remain lined up to each other (as much as possible). Also pin down the length of the handle.

Handle Inside

Place Handle Inside

Bring One Side Forward

Starting about an inch above the leaves on the unpinned side, sew down the handle, around the pinned leaves, and back up the handle until the same spot on the opposite side.

Sew One Side

Leave 1 Inch Above Leaves

Lay the Tote down and fold the un-sewn side of the handle over to line it up with the sewn side. Tuck it inside the bag, and bring the front piece to the outside. Pin and sew from from where you stopped on the handle to the other side.

Line up Back to Front

Pin Handle On

Strawberry Totes with Seeds

Trim anywhere around the edges of the leaves if it looks funny. Press and you're done!

Strawberry Tote with Heat Transfer Vinyl

This handle is going to have a different feel than the other, because it isn't as thick as if it were quilted. The edges are left unfinished, so it will fray, but I think it makes it look like  fuzzy leaves. After washing you will likely want to trim threads so that children don't pull at them. (You KNOW they will.)

The best part about doing the handle this way is it makes the Tote completely reversible! (This is a little wrinkly from ironing!)

Completely Reversible