Episode 406


Gusset Up by Aurora Sisneros

Create a handy tote to store all of your essentials. Give the bag more shape by incorporating a flat bottom, also known as boxing the corners.


1/2 yard each of 2 coordinating cotton fabrics & canvas

Coordinating all-purpose thread

Rotary cutting system

Zipper foot

Removable fabric marker or chalk

Seam gauge

Cut It

Designate one coordinating fabric as the outer fabric and the remaining fabric as the lining. Use a rotary cutting system to cut each piece.

From the outer fabric, cut one 4"x44" strap and two 14"x15" rectangles.

From the lining and canvas, cut two 14"x15" rectangles each.

Sew It

Press the strap in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Unfold the strap, and then press each long edge to the meet at the center foldline. Fold the strap in half lengthwise along the previous foldline; press (1).

Set the machine to a 3.5mm stitch length. Install a zipper foot onto the machine. Topstitch each strap long edge.

Cut the strap in half to create two 22"-long straps.

Position one canvas rectangle on a flat work surface. Position one outer rectangle wrong side down over the canvas. Position the remaining outer rectangle right side down over the fabric stack. Place the remaining canvas rectangle over the fabric stack; generously pin the perimeter through all layers.

Align the lining rectangle edges with right sides together; pin the perimeter.

Install the standard presser foot onto the machine. Set the stitch length to 2.5mm. Using a 1/2" seam allowance, stitch the fabric-stack short side edges and lower long edge. This is the outer bag. Repeat to stitch the lining rectangles.

Position the outer bag on a flat work surface. Manipulate the bag to align the side seams with the lower-edge seam (2).

Gusset Up 2

Using a sewing gauge placed along the side seam, measure 1 1/2" from the corner, and then draw a line across the triangle (3).

Gusset Up 3

Stitch along the drawn line, and then trim the excess fabric to 1/2".

Repeat to box the remaining outer corner and each lining corner.

To mark the strap placement, measure 3" from one side seam along the outer-bag upper edge; pin through the upper two layers (4). Repeat to pin-mark the bag-front and -back upper edge 3" from each side seam, creating four pin-marks.

Gusset Up 4

Position one strap along the bag-front right side, aligning the bag and strap raw edges and the strap ends with the pin-marks. Position the remaining strap along the bag-back right side, aligning the strap ends with the pin-marks; pin, making sure the straps aren't twisted (5).

Gusset Up 5

With right sides together, place the lining bag inside the outer bag. Align the side seams; pin. Make sure the seam allowances are folded in the same direction from the outer and lining bag lower edge to the upper edge.

Pin the bag upper-edge perimeter. Stitch the upper edge using a 1/2" seam allowance, leaving a 4" opening between two handles on the bag back for turning. Turn the bag right side out through the opening. Push the lining inside the bag. Press the bag upper edge, turning the opening edges 1/2" toward the wrong side.

Beginning at one side seam, topstitch the bag upper edge using a zipper foot and a 3.5mm stitch length, closing the opening edges with the stitching.  


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