Craft: Tote Bag

You will need: 

A piece of fabric, at least 90cm x 60cm

Scissors

Tailors chalk (if you don't have this, a pencil will do)

Sewing machine (you can hand sew if you'd prefer, but it will take you a while)

Ruler/tape measure

Pins

An iron 

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1. Start by cutting out your pieces - you'll need a large piece for the bag itself, 90cm by 40cm, plus two pieces for the straps 90cm by 8cm. Draw where you'll need to cut the fabric with tailors chalk, which will easily rub off once you've finished. Make sure you measure accurately and cut the pieces out as straight as possible.

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2. Start by sewing the straps - fold each piece in half widthways so the pattern is facing inwards and sew along the length of the strap, around 1cm from the edge.

3. Turn the straps the right way out.

4. Iron a hem at both of the short edges of the bag, folding the edge over twice before ironing this in place. At this point also iron the straps - it may seem unnecessary but ironing is important in sewing, as creased fabric can sometimes mean you sew things wonky, and a well ironed item will look so much better when it is finished. 

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5. Pin the straps under the hem of the bag so that they're facing towards the inside of the bag and sew along the edge to secure the hem and the straps underneath. Be careful at this point to make sure the straps aren't twisted.

6. Remove the pins and fold the straps upwards, and sew them in place again. It's important to sew them securely, perhaps sewing a cross over them (see image) as they will be taking the weight of whatever you carry in your bag, so you want to make sure they stay in place well.

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7. Sew the side hems of the bag, again with the pattern facing in. Finish off the raw edges with a zig zag stitch to stop them fraying, or use an overlocker (if you're lucky enough to have one, although if you are I expect you're an experienced seamstress and probably don't need this tutorial).

8. You can now turn your bag the correct way out and start using it! You may want to iron it again at this point, just to make sure it looks extra good! Well done on your finished bag! 

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Anna WardComment