Today is my 35th Birthday! I know, I don’t feel like I’m 35 either;) There is this crazy story about my age. My dear sweet husband is a year older than me. After I was about 27, I stopped remembering my age and concentrated on my children’s ages. I even knew their ages in months for the longest time. So I would refer to my sweet husband to remember how old we were. One year he was 33 and I was 32. We stayed that age for a whole year (as most people do). Right before my 33rd Birthday, one of my dear sweet sisters told me that in fact, I was NOT turning 33 but rather I was turning 32. My husband and I MISSED a year. But we choose to think of it as being 33 and 32 twice;) I will not say with any certainty that I will be 35. But I am about there. Rebecca, Katrina, any help here?
In celebration of my Birthday I am going to share a really awesome tutorial that I originally posted on my personal blog about a year ago. I've been making them for a couple of years but it took me until then to get it into a tutorial. It is a private blog, but this is such a great tutorial that I have been saving it for a special day. Today is that day! It is my gift to you. But it is not intended for you to make money from my tutorial. I worked out all the details for your own personal use and even gift giving, but not so you can make money, thanks.
If you can’t sew, don’t worry. You can visit our little neglected Etsy shop to get one of your own. This project does require a fair knowledge of sewing. I did not go into details of clipping corners or pressing because I assume you know how to do that. Please let me know if you liked this tutorial. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside to know that I've put up something useful on our little blog…and it is my Birthday and it would be a nice gift to me to know you liked or hated this.
Alright, let’s begin. When I start any project, I always write and draw out what I am making. I walk through the steps on paper and it helps a lot. I strongly suggest you have a written plan before you start any project. For this, I’ve done the work for you. (You are welcome.)
You need a main body material, a contrasting material, a lining material and a trim piece. I've discovered that I like two patterned materials that coordinate and one solid or monochrome material that also coordinates. It seems like three different materials are a good number for me. Too much and it gets crazy looking and less than that is somewhat boring. Oh and if you know me, you will learn that I like all my seams to be hidden. I don’t have a serger so I have to line my totes and all my seams are nice.
Cut 2 from the main body material 12" x 10"
Cut 2 from the lining 12" x 10"
Cut 2 from the contrasting material for the pocket 5" x 10"
Cut 1 trim piece 10"
Cut 2 from the contrasting material for the handles 3" x 18"
I also use scotch tape for sewing the pocket lines so get that handy too.
1. Sew the two long and one short sides of the lining together -right sides together.
3. Take one piece of your main body fabric. Measure about 3 inches up from the bottom. This is where you are going to line up the pocket. Line up the bottom edge of the pocket to this line -right sides together and sew one straight line attaching just the bottom of the pocket. This is a little tricky and I don't have a better picture of it.
4. Flip up the pocket and topstitch along the seam you just sewed.
5. Pin/mark the middle of the pocket. You are going to sew straight lines from the top of the pocket to the bottom. This is going to make 8 individual pockets for the markers or crayons. My little trick to sew a straight line here is to put a piece of tape down to sew along the edge. It is easy to remove and I like this better than using a marking pen or pencil or chalk.
6. Pin/mark for all 8 pockets on both the top and bottom of the pocket and tape for straight stitching.
8. Sew the length of both handles -right sides together.
11. Press both handles and topstitch along the length of each edge.
14. Put the outer bag inside the lining. Make sure both handles are inside/between both layers. Pin.
15. Stitch along the top, most of the way around. Leave it open between one space of handles for turning.
17. You pull both the lining and the main bag through that opening. I like to make sure my corners are nice crisp points.
We love to give these on Birthdays. Both my boys have one and we take them to all our zillions of doctor’s appointments and anything else they need to sit quietly for.