I know, I have not been bugging you all today. Other things had to be done! Tara’s promised craft carryall bag was made today. Paper, Iron, scissors, sewing and embroidery machines…

It’s not that hard to do, just a little concentration and patience. I’ve been a bit lax with both of those lately. Today seemed a bit calmer, time to create!

For the pattern, you will need a large piece of paper. Freezer paper works well, newspaper will work but is not as sturdy.

The pattern starts with a 26 X 21 inch rectangle. This is where Hubby and his square came in handy! After you get the tectangle, it’s just some basic math with a ruler.

Back to making your pattern: Measure in 3.25 inches from the outer edges of 21 inch side of rectangle measure down 10 inches. Cut those rectangles off. Measure from the new ‘ends’ in 3.75 inches, and again down 10 inches cut out that rectangle.  There you have it. Your pattern is made! If you want to get a little more elaborate, you can round off the corners into curves on the handles. Hubby’s talents again, using a milk jug lid to make a nice soft curve.

 You need 2 yards of fabric. One yard for bag outside and one for lining. Pin the pattern to the fabric and cut. You simply cut four pieces of fabric from the pattern. Two will be the lining, two will be the shell.

If you are making pockets, like this one,  sew the pocket(s) onto the lining. I use the four pieces  10 X 6.75 fron the center cut out of the handles. Put 2 pieces right sides together and stitch around them with a 1/4 inch seam, leaving a 2 inch opening  along one long side. Clip off corners diagonally and turn inside out. You have a nice lined pocket face. Embellish or not, it’s your project.

I put the first  one on an inch from the center and about 3.5 inches from tht top of the lining using a zigzag stitch the embrodered one is set over an inch and an inch lower,  zigzag  around that and you have three pockets. A narrow one for knitting needles or crochet hook, or even a pen, and two larger ones for other items. Like I said this is your bag, make it your way! 

Place facing and outside pieces right sides together and stitch around  the handle area  of the bag using a 1/2 inch seam. Clip the curves.  Do not sew across top of handle at this time.

Fold out fabric so lining and outside are lying right sides together and begin sewing on the lining edge 4 inches down from the handle seam. Using a half inch seam, go around the rectangle to the handle seam you measured from. 

Carefully, turn the bag right side out, through the 4 inch hole you left in the lining. Hand stitch the hole. I made a little craft related tag and sewed that in the seam.

Finishing the handles,  Fold open edges of handles in 3/4 inch. you want one fold going up and one down. Press and interlock the folded pieces. Use a straight or decorative stitch to secure.

You have just completed a lined tote bag. Congratulations! And did you notice, there are no seams showing, it’s reversible too.

I am pleased to note at this time that a friend has volunteered to try making a bag, using these instructions.