Friday, May 10, 2013

Canvas Tote Bag Makeover/Tutorial

These are easy, I promise.  All you need is a canvas tote (found at your local craft store), a favorite design, 1/2 yard of fabric, embroidery floss and/or scraps for applique and heat 'n bond (appliqué only).

meags and me Canvas Tote Bag Makeover Tutorial

First, you want to pick a design to go on the outside.  These birds are found in Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Issue 7.  For this tutorial, I'm going to use one of the 12 Dancing Princesses from on of my favorite patterns (ever).  And it was hard to choose just one, but I went with the jumping princess.

Since you can't see through these bags to trace the images, we like to use Sonja Callaghan's tip. Basically, it's just tracing your image on Glad Press 'n Seal, and embroidering over the top of it, then removing the paper at the end.  We don't usually embroider this way, but it is definitely worth it when you can't see through your fabric!
meags and me Canvas Tote Bag Makeover Tutorial
Before removing the Press 'n Seal

Since we're not taking apart our tote bags, embroidering or appliquéing is all done by hand.  It can get a little tricky, especially when you're working towards the bottom, but totally do-able. For the appliqué, we found using a fusible-method (with Soft Fuse or Heat 'n Bond) and hand stitching a button-hole stitch around each shape was the easiest.  Really, any hand appliqué method would work.

Next: Cut your lining fabric: 14" x 35".  For the lining, we simply measured our bag (taking note of seam allowances) and doubled the length + 4".
meags and me Canvas Tote Bag Makeover Tutorial

Iron wrong sides together (making a 14" x 17.5" shape), creasing the fold. Then fold one side over leaving 1.5" overlapping the other side (or the width of the bottom of the bag) and crease again.  Flip bag over and line up edges and crease on the other side.

meags and me Canvas Tote Bag Makeover Tutorial

These photos illustrate what it should look like after creasing.

meags and me Canvas Tote Bag Makeover Tutorial

meags and me Canvas Tote Bag Makeover Tutorial

Sew 1/4" on both the left and right sides.  The inside should look just like this.  And just like your tote bag. 

meags and me Canvas Tote Bag Makeover Tutorial

Next, fold down the unfinished edge 2" and crease.

meags and me Canvas Tote Bag Makeover Tutorial

Place the lining inside your tote bag.  Line up the creased edge right at (or even a little under) the lip of the tote bag.  Line up seams, and pin like crazy.  
meags and me Canvas Tote Bag Makeover Tutorial

Sew as close to the (previous) hem as possible without sewing *on* it.  The dotted line shows the tote bag hem/lip.  I'm not sure what seam allowance this is.  1/8"? Just make sure it's straight :)  The other option here is hand stitch an invisible/blind stitch to sew the lining to the bag.

meags and me Canvas Tote Bag Makeover Tutorial

And that's it! Pretty easy.  I'm thinking this will make a perfect dance bag when my daughter starts ballet this fall.

meags and me Canvas Tote Bag Makeover Tutorial


meags and me Canvas Tote Bag Makeover Tutorial



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