Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Special treat for a special day-Art tote tute

21 finished bag

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.)

1 start with your dimensions and a plan

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.

2 sew lining two long sides and one short side right sides together

2. Sew the top only of the pocket together -right sides together. Turn it right sides out. Press, then sew the trim piece on the very top. I like to topstitch it close to the edge of the ribbon. 3 sew pocket wrong sides flip then sew trim piece on

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 measure up 3 inches from bottom front outer piece, pin then sew pocket on

4. Flip up the pocket and topstitch along the seam you just sewed.

5 flip up bottom and topstitch along seam

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 find middle of pocket pin then tape

6. Pin/mark for all 8 pockets on both the top and bottom of the pocket and tape for straight stitching.

7 pin for 8 pockets top and bottom then tape

7. Layer the back piece of the main body material on top of the front piece you just put the pocket on. Sew along both sides and bottom. 8 layer other outer purse piece on top of pocket piece then sew arounds sides and bottom

8. Sew the length of both handles -right sides together.

9 sew both straps with right sides together down length only

9. If you don't have a turner, put a pin on the end of the handle. 10 pin in the end to turn

10. Tuck the pin inside of the tube. Use the head of the pin to push down through the tube of the handle and turn. (Or use a turner. I love mine and use them all the time.)11 push pin inside and then thread it down through the tube to turn

11. Press both handles and topstitch along the length of each edge.

12 press then topstitch along each edge

12. Turn the main purse right side out. 13 turn main purse right side out

13. Measure two inches from outer sides for straps. I leave about 2 inches of the handles hanging off the edge to reinforce the handles with later. Flip it over and do the other side the same way. 14 measure in two inches from sides and pin handles

14. Put the outer bag inside the lining. Make sure both handles are inside/between both layers. Pin.

15 put outer bag inside lining make sure the handles are inside both layers and pin

15. Stitch along the top, most of the way around. Leave it open between one space of handles for turning.

16 stitch along top leave opening between center of handles for turning

16. Carefully pull the entire bag through the opening. 17 pull entire purse through opening carefully

17. You pull both the lining and the main bag through that opening. I like to make sure my corners are nice crisp points.

18 bag pulled through opening but not quite ready yet

18. Tuck the lining inside the outer bag, pushing the corners into the main bag corners. 19 shove linging inside

19. Topstitch around the entire bag. This will close off the opening you left for turning the bag. Reinforce the overhang on the handles that are now inside the bag. 20 topstitch along entire top of bag, reinforce the handles

Voila. You have your own art bag! Enjoy 21 finished bag

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.



Stephanie said...

So excited! I am off work all week long and I can't wait to get started on this cute project for my neice...awesome job explaining and sounds like it should be easy breezy =)Great way to use scrap material leftover from old projects!!

Beansieleigh said...

This is a great tutorial! Thank you for sharing it!.. Happy Birthday and best wishes to you! ~tina

southerninspiration said...

Happy Birthday! Pretty cool little bag you designed there, sweetie!


Amy said...

I love this! Thanks so much for sharing your tutorial. My girls would love these.

RootsAndWingsCo said...

LOL, yep you are 35 this year.

Happy Birthday to you!


Happy Belated Birthday to Rebecca (her Birthday was on Saturday).


RootsAndWingsCo said...

Yup, Happy Birthday to you Anjeanette! Love ya!


Regina said...

That is super cute. I littlest guy is my artist. He would LOVE one of these. Thanks for the instructions.

urban craft said...

Thanks for the awesome tutorial. You make it look easy although watch me mess it up a couple of times. Will come in handy!

Misty @Creative Itch said...

So cute! Great tutorial...can't wait to give it a try!

Ashley said...

Happy Birthday!
What a cute bag, I will have to try that, maybe one day in September.
Let me know if you want to be added to my Craft a Day challenge list!

Carmen said...

Happy Birthday! Thanks for an awesome tutorial!

saffiertje said...

Happy B'day 2 you!!! I thank you for this easy and great idea! i always make a present when the kids have to go to a party and this is so good for it!
A little drawing present in it and voilá!
Love miranda

Timmarie said...


TiLT said...

that's so cute - and great instructions...I think I see one in my niece's future when I go down to visit in October :)

saffiertje said...

Hi Anjeanete,

it worked! i finished one already! only made the mesuring fitting in with the size of my girls coloring block...
Thanx for the kind words by mail!!!!

greetings from holland by Miranda

Xazmin said...

I love it! Happy late birthday! I am trying my hand at sewing...maybe I'll get brave enough to try this out!

marije said...

thanks for your tutorial! I made one today for my little girl and she loved it! tomorrow I put the pictures on my blog with your link!thanks!

Sara said...

Thanks for such an easy to follow tutorial! I made one this afternoon & it was simple and turned out cute! I can't wait to make a larger one for myself!

Ana Cláudia said...

Amei seu trabalho!Parabéns!!

Ana Cláudia said...

Para me conhecer melhor: