Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wilco Circle Tote Bag for Mom

MATERIALS: old t-shirt, double sided fusible web/interfacing, 1 ½ yards duck cloth, thread, paper bag

A few weeks ago I found this Wilco t-shirt in a pile of clothes a friend was getting rid of.  I grabbed it right away, immediately starting to brainstorm what to make out of it.  I’m pretty sure Wilco would put me to sleep, but I know they are one my Mom’s favorite bands and her birthday is today!  The shirt had a lot of stains on it, so I decided it would have to become a patch for a tote bag.  And after a bit of searching I stumbled upon this duck cloth that is totally my Mom’s colors!

First I made my pattern by using another bag of mine.  You could easily just sketch this basic shape out if you don’t have a similar bag.  The main thing is just to have your fabric all the same size, so the shape you use can be modified.

Then I folded my fabric, lined my pattern up against the fold line and cut out 4 “bib shaped” pieces. 

I used the excess fabric from the inner circle to make 4 pockets.  I serged around the edges (or you could press the fabric under and stitch with a regular machine) and added 2 pockets on the 2 pieces I chose to be the inside of the bag.

Next I cut the logo on the t-shirt out and fused one side of my fusible web to the back of the patch.  I made the patch bigger than I wanted to begin with because it’s much easier to cut crisp lines when the fusible web is attached.  So after trimming the sides down I pinned the patch to one of my outer bag pieces, fused it to the fabric and stitched it in place. 

I pinned the outer pieces with right sides together, (matching stripes or pattern if neccessary) and stitched around the outside circle.  I did the same thing with the inner pieces.  Then I turned the outer piece right side out and pressed the edges.

Now comes the hard part.  I put the inner bag piece inside the outer bag and matched up the sides.  Then I pressed about ¼ inch on each side towards the inside of the seam line, pinning as I went.  I sewed each side together and there you go!

I had a little extra fabric left over so I made a matching coin purse by cutting 2 rectangles.  I folded them in half to make a square and then pressed ½ inch inward to attach a zipper.  It’s ok if your zipper is bigger than the fabric, just cut off the excess.

Then I turned the coin purse so that right sides were together, and stitched up the sides.  Be careful when stitching over the zipper end, I usually just manually turning the machine at this point so I don’t snap a needle.  And leave the zipper half open before doing this so that you can easily turn the purse right side out and then press if necessary. 

My mom’s going to love it!

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