Episode 812

Sara Lawson

Totes Adorbs by Sara Lawson

Showcase favorite coordinating fabrics in a sturdy bag that has grommets for straps and a pretty flap. Inner zippered pockets provide plenty of storage and special foam interfacing gives the bag great structure.


Supplies listed are enough to make one 8 1/2"x13" bag. Use 42"-wide fabrics.

1/2 yard each of print cotton (exterior) & solid cotton fabric (straps & base)

1 yard of coordinating or contrasting print cotton fabric (lining)

2 1/2 yards of 20"-wide lightweight fusible woven interfacing (See "Sources.")

3/4 yard of foam interfacing (See "Sources.")

Four 1 9/16"-diameter plastic coated curtain grommets (See "Sources.")

1/2" square magnetic purse strap

Removable fabric marker

4 metal purse feet

Hand sewing needle (optional)

Cut It

Download the Totes Adorbs pattern HERE; print and cut out. For help printing large patterns on your home computer, click here.

From the exterior fabric, cut two main panels and one flap on the fold.

From the solid fabric, cut two straps, one base and one lower accent panel on the fold.

From the lining fabric, cut two main panels, two inner pockets, one base and one flap on the fold.

From the foam interfacing, cut two main panels, one base and one flap on the fold.

From the fusible interfacing, cut two main panels, two straps, one base, one flap and one lower accent panel on the fold.

Interface It

Align the lining flap wrong side with the foam-interfacing flap; pin. Baste the perimeter using an 1/8" seam allowance. Repeat to attach foam interfacing to the lining main panels and base.

TIP: When applying foam interfacing to fabric, pull the fabric taut but not tight to avoid ripples.

Place the fusible interfacing strap with the fusible side down on one strap wrong side. Fuse, following the manufacturer's instructions. Repeat to fuse interfacing to the remaining straps, bag flap, lower accent panel, lining main panels and lining base.

TIP: Use a press cloth when applying fusible interfacing to avoid gumming up the iron. Lightly spritz the press cloth with water and then press for approximately 10 seconds for a secure hold.

Sew It

Using a removable fabric marker, mark the snap placement mark on the lining flap as indicated on the pattern. Center the smaller snap piece over the mark; mark the prong placements. Using a seam ripper, make small slits at the prong markings. Insert the snap prongs through the slits, and then bend the prongs outward (1; how-to images to come).

TIP: When inserting magnetic snaps, apply a dab of seam sealant on the fabric cut edges around the prongs to avoid fraying.

Align the exterior and lining flap with right sides together; pin. Stitch the sides and lower curved edge using a 1/4" seam allowance. Notch the curved edge. Turn the flap right side out through the open upper edge; press. Topstitch 1/8" from the sides and lower edges; baste the upper edge using an 1/8" seam allowance.

Press the lower accent-panel upper edge 1/4" toward the wrong side. Position the accent panel over one exterior main panel with right sides facing up and aligning the lower edges; pin. Topstitch the lower-accent panel perimeter 1/8" from the edge (2). Repeat to attach the remaining accent panel to the remaining exterior main panel.

Using a 1/2" seam allowance, stitch the pockets together along the perimeter with right sides together, leaving a 4" opening along one edge (this is the upper edge). Clip the corners, and then turn right side out; press, folding the opening edges 1/2" toward the wrong side. Topstitch the pocket 1/8" from the upper edge.

Designate one lining main panel as the back panel. Fold the pocket and back panel in half widthwise; finger-press, and then unfold. Measure and mark 1" above the back-panel lower edge along the pressed foldline. Place the pocket lower edge along the mark, aligning the center foldlines; pin. Topstitch the pocket sides and lower edge 1/8" from the edges (3).

Transfer the purse feet marks from the pattern onto the solid-fabric base. Using the seam ripper, make a small hole at each mark. Apply seam sealant to the holes, if desired. Insert one purse foot through the fabric right side at each mark. Turn over the base so the wrong side is facing up; open each purse foot prong outward.

Measure and mark 3 1/4" from one exterior main-panel upper-edge center (this is the bag front). Attach the remaining snap piece at the mark, following the previous instructions.

Transfer the grommet-placement marks from the pattern onto the exterior bag front and back. Align the bag front and back with right sides together. Stitch the sides; press open the seams.

Transfer the side-seam placement lines onto each base piece. Separate the bag front and back from the inside, creating a large tube. Align the base side-seam placement marks with the bag front/back side seams; pin. Generously pin the remaining base edges to the bag front/back lower edges with right sides together, beginning at the center front and center back, easing the curved edges to fit (4). Stitch the base perimeter using a 1/2" seam allowance; notch the curved edges. Trim the seam allowance to 1/8".

Repeat to stitch the lining sides and base using a 5/8" seam allowance and leaving a centered 8" opening along the back lower-edge for turning.

Turn the exterior right side out. With right sides together, center the flap along the bag-back upper-edge; pin, and then baste using a 1/4" seam allowance (5).

Place the lining over the bag with right sides together, aligning the side seams, fronts and backs and tucking the flap inside the layers. Pin, and then stitch the bag upper edge using a 1/2" seam allowance.

Turn the bag right side out through the lining opening; press. Topstitch the bag upper edge 1/4" from the edge.

Finish It

Center one grommet opening over one grommet-placement mark on the bag front. Install the grommet through all the layers, following the manufacturer's instructions. Repeat to install the remaining grommets at the remaining marks.

TIP: If the foam interfacing is too thick to accommodate the grommets, gradually trim the interfacing only (not the fabric) until the grommets fit.

Fold one strap in half lengthwise with wrong sides together; press, and then unfold. Fold the long edges to meet at the center foldline with wrong sides together; press. Fold in half lengthwise again to align the long folded edges; press. Topstitch 1/8" from each long edge. Press each end 1/2" and then 2" toward the wrong side.

With the bag front facing up, insert one strap folded end through the grommet along the left edge, making sure the strap wrong side faces inward. Stitch a 1/2" rectangle along the strap folded end above the bag upper edge (6). Repeat to insert the strap opposite end through the bag-front grommet along the right edge.

Repeat to attach the remaining strap through the bag-back grommets.

Slipstitch or topstitch the lining opening closed.


Art Gallery provided the fabrics: (888) 420-5399, artgalleryfabrics.com

By Annie's carries By Annie's Soft & Stable foam interfacing: (435) 674-9816, byannie.com

Pellon provided the SF-101 Fusible interfacing fusible woven interfacing: (800) 223-5275, pellonprojects.com.

Prym Consumer USA provided the curtain grommets: dritz.com.

Products used in this episode:

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