Two Hour Tote TUTORIAL

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Welcome back to Twelve MORE Weeks of Christmas, the Friday edition! Today, I’m going to show you how to make my two hour tote. If you have the supplies on hand, you can make this in about two hours! I once taught two fun students and with all the snack breaks and decision making, it became the two DAY tote! But that’s another story for another day! Gail & Peggy do look pretty cute with their totes:)

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Let’s get started!

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1. Fabric & Supplies: You need 1/2 yard for the main fabric, 1/2 yard for lining, 1/2 yard for straps, 1/4 for pocket & lining and 1 yard of fusible fleece.

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2. Cutting: Cut three 6″ x wof (width of fabric) for the straps.

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Cut the main fabric & the lining both to 18 x 40″.

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Cut the pocket & pocket lining to 8 x 10″.

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Cut three strips of fusible fleece to 1 3/8″ x wof. Cut a 18 x 40″ piece for the main fabric and an 8 x 10″ piece for the pocket.

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3. Making the Strap: Trim off the selvage ends of the three strap strips.

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Sew them together end to end with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

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You will make a giant loop measuring approximately 126″.

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Press the seams open.

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Press the entire loop in half lengthwise.

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Open it up and press the raw edge to the center.

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Press.

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Repeat with the other raw edge.

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Fold it back in half. You should have this!

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4. Fusing: Fuse the 8 x 10″ piece of fusible fleece to the pocket.

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Also fuse the main fabric to the fusible fleece.
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Lay the fusible strips in the open strap.

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Press.
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Overlap the ends slightly to connect the strips. You’ll trim off a bit of excess when you complete the loop.

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Once you’ve attached the fusible fleece all the way around, go back and press the whole loop.

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5. Making the Pocket: Lay the pocket lining right sides together with the pocket.
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Sew the top and bottom (the 8″ sides) with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

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It should look like this.

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Turn it right sides out.

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Press. TIP: If you press the seams open before you turn it right sides out, it will help the lining lay towards the back and not peek out.

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Topstitch one 8″ side. This will be the top.

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6. Attaching the Straps & Pocket Topstich all the way around the loop on both edges. Sew the open edge first. I used Sulky 30 wt with a slightly longer seam. I recommend using a walking foot for the rest of this project if you have it.
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It should look like this!
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Fold the straps in half and then in half again.
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Mark with pins.
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Take the main fabric and fold it in half so that it measures 18 x 20″.
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Lay the pocket on the main fabric. It should be 4 3/4″ from each side.
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And 4 1/4″ from the top.
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Pin. Only pin through the top layer of the main fabric.
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Topstitch the bottom of the pocket. I suggest two rows of stitching.
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Lay the straps on the main fabric. You will overlap the raw edges of the pocket.
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The straps should be 4″ from the edge.
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Pin in place.

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Place pins horizontally from the top at 2″ & 3 1/4″.
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Pin on both sides.
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Pin the back of the tote using the same measurements.
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Attach the strap by sewing along the same seam line. Start at the bottom stitching towards the pocket.
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Using the horizontal pins as markers, make a box to secure the top of the strap. I cross the boxes for added stability.
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Sew down both sides. This what you should have!
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7. Finishing the Tote: Fold the tote right sides together.
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Pin the sides.
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Fold the lining fabric so that it measures 18 x 20″.
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Pin the sides.
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Sew up the sides of both the main fabric and the lining. Start at the bottom and sew towards the top on all four sides; this will move all excess fabric towards the top.
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Press the crease along the bottom of both the lining and the main fabric.
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Fold the corner so that the crease aligns with the seam.
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Mark 2″ from the tip and pin. Mark all four corners.
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Sew along the marked line. Back stitch at the beginning and end. Sew all four corners. I do not trim the corners because I think they add stability to the bottom.
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Turn the main fabric right side out.
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Place the main fabric inside the lining.20130719-131052.jpg

Align the seams of the main fabric with the lining and pin.
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Pin around the top leaving a 6-8″ opening that is NOT to be sewn. I leave the opening on the back of the tote (the side without the pocket). Make sure the handles are out of the way.
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Sew with a 1″ seam allowance around the top. Back stitch at the beginning and the end. Do NOT sew the 6-8″ opening.
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Turn the tote right side out.
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Press the lining.
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Make sure the corners are neat and pressed out.
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Place the lining inside the tote.

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Press the tote neatly around the top edge. Make sure the lining does not peak out.

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Press the opening.

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Pin carefully.

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Topstitch around the top edge. Start behind a strap to hide your start/stop.

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You’re done!!

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This tote makes a great gift for anyone on your list!! Please add pictures to my Made with May Chappell Flickr group! See you next week for more Twelve Weeks!!
xo LC

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