A Guest Tutorial and Oh no... that's my voice....

Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Tsoniki over at Me Being Crafty has started up her podcasting again and asked me to be a guest. I can't stand to listen to my own voice so you all will have to tell me how I did. If you want to sign up on iTunes she will be speaking to a lot of creative people over the next weeks and it could be fun to listen to those interviews. I am definitely tuning in for Anne Sullivan from Play-Crafts next week.

And thanks to our sweet friend Reene we have this fun tutorial to share with you today.

Simple Patchwork Tote Bag by Reene Witchard


Please read all the instructions before starting your project. Unless stated otherwise all seam allowances are ¼”.
WOFQ- width of fat quarter
FQ – Fat Quarter
WOF – width of fabric

You will need:
Ten WOFQ 2½” strips  (I used prints from Emmy Grace, Cherie and Cotton and Steel)
One 4” WOF strip of solid for the handles.
FQ of co-ordinating fabric for the rear panel of the tote. (I used a print from Field Study by Anna Maria Horner)
½ yard for lining (I used another print from Field Study)

This simple patchwork tote looks scrappy without the effort of sewing all those little blocks together individually.
Construct patchwork panel for front of bag
1. Sew WOFQ strips in two sets of five.

2. Trim to width of 21” then sew top raw edge of set 1 to bottom raw edge of set 1 to make a tube and repeat for set 2.

3. Cut each tube set into seven 3” widths.

4. Unpick one row of stitches at random from each tube of set 1 and set 2.

5. Sew together in pairs along the short edge to make seven strips of ten blocks. The aim is to get a random scrappy look.


6. Sew the strips of ten blocks together along the long edges then press. This panel now forms the front of the tote bag.

Construct the outer shell of the tote
7. Place the front panel right sides together on top of the rear panel. Pin and sew together down both sides and across the bottom of the panel.


8. Trim off the excess fabric leaving an 18” x 20” shell.

9.Mark an inch up and an inch across from each bottom corner then pinch and pin taking care to line up the seams from the bottom of the bag with the side seam.

10. Sew along marked/pinned line then cut off corner leaving a ¼” seam allowance.

11. Turn bag right sides out and press.

Construct the tote lining
12. Cut the ½” yard of lining fabric into two panels 18” wide x 20” tall.
13. Repeat steps 7-10 for bag lining.

Construct straps
14. Fold the 4” WOF strip in half right sides together and sew along the WOF.


15. Turn the strap right sides out then press well and cut WOF strips in half to result in two straps.

16. Mark 2” in from each side of the front and rear panel on the bag outer shell then pin the straps in place. (Note- At this stage you can stitch them in place using a ¼” seam allowance if you prefer. Take care not to sew the front and back panels of the shell together at this stage. Also make sure that the straps aren’t twisted.)  

17. Place bag outer shell inside the lining shell with right sides together. 

Clip or pin the layers together matching seams where appropriate. Ensure the straps are facing the bottom of the bag so they don’t get caught when you sew. 

18. Sew using a ½” seam allowance leaving a gap of approximately 4” between one set of the straps for turning the bag through when sewn.

19. Turn bag right sides out through the gap then press so that you can’t see the lining fabric from the front of the bag. Clip/pin along the turning gap section to hold it in place for sewing.

20. Top stitch very close to the edge all the way around the top of the bag to finish.

Now to go shopping with your fancy new tote.


Reene@Nellie's Niceties for The Intrepid Thread August 2014.

Thanks so much, Reene!
2 comments on "A Guest Tutorial and Oh no... that's my voice...."
  1. Yay! I just finished my chat with her, and I'm listening to yours now, it's really fun and interesting! I will NOT be listening to mine, so you'll have to let me know how it is. ^_^


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