Friday, January 13, 2012

Two Toned Tote + Tutorial

When I saw this gorgeous Joel Dewberry fabric, I immediately thought of my mom! I snatched it up and got to sewing and came up with the perfect bag for her to take her books to church in...

Here is how I made it...

Supplies needed for the bag:
1 yard main fabric
1 yard coordinating fabric
1/2 yard fusible interfacing
4 d-rings
(if you want to make a tag of some sort to hang from your bag like mine, you will need a small piece of fusible fleece (the size of your tag), a piece of ribbon or whatever you want to hook your tag to, and a safety pin if you want the tag removable... this will all make sense once you get to the tag steps)

Cutting your fabric:

Main fabric:
2 pieces that are 15x14 inches
2 pieces that are 15x4 inches
1 pieces that is 6x24 inches
4 pieces that are 3½ x 2½

Fusible Interfacing:
2 pieces that are 15x14 inches
2 pieces that are 15x4 inches

Coordinating fabric:
2 pieces that are 15x17 inches
1 piece that is 12x24
2 pieces that are 5 inches by whatever length you want the straps of your bag to be

TAG: trace or freehand a tag, cut out two pieces of fabric and two pieces of fusible fleece in the shape of the tag

Ok... now that your fabric is cut you are ready to roll...

Step 1: Take both of the 15x4 inch pieces of main fabric and fusible interfacing and iron the interfacing to the fabric. Set aside.

Step 2: Take your 12x24 inch coordinating fabric and fold it in half right sides together and sew along the long edge to create a tube. Do the same with the 6x24 inch piece and turn both right sides out.

Step 3: Once both tubs are turned right sides out, iron them flat... But make sure that you put the seam on the back off centered so that it is not visible once your create your ruffle... this is how the backsides of mine looked. Make sense??

Step 4: Set your stitch length to the widest length your sewing machine has and take your 12x24 inch tube and sew down the middle of the tube (don't back stitch at the start or finish). Then pull the under thread and create your ruffle. Once it is all ruffled up (should be 14 inches long) place the ruffle on top in the middle on the 15x14 inch piece of main fabric. Pin and sew in place.(make sure you set your stitch length back to normal before sewing the ruffle onto the bag)
Step 5: There are two ways to do step 5... You can either create a ruffle with the smaller tube like in step 4 and sew it on top of the first ruffle, or you can do it like I did. I wanted my ruffle to look clean and only have one thread instead of the thread to create the ruffle and then the thread to sew it to the bag (and I didn't want to have to pick out the first thread once sewn to the bag) so I just eyeballed it and pinned it on top of the first ruffle so that it just waved over top (using about 20 pins to pin it in place) Then I just sewed and pushed the fabric in place as I sewed to create the top ruffle. This technique is not perfect, but I liked the clean finish that it produced. So choose however you want to sew the top ruffle to your bag and do that.
Once you are done sewing both ruffles to the bag, it should look like this... Notice my ruffles aren't totally straight on the bag, but it was hardly noticeable once the bag was finished so don't fret if it isn't looking totally perfect at this step.
Step 6: Take one of the 15x4 inch pieces of the main fabric and place it right sides together with the ruffled front piece of the bag (align it at the top of the bag) and pin and sew in place. Do the same with the other 15x4 and 15x14 inch pieces. When you are done, open up the seams and press with an iron. It should like this when you are finished.
Step 7: Place the two piece of the bag right sides together. When lining everything up, make sure that the sides match up. Meaning the piece that you sewed together matching up on each side so that once sewn the flow of the bag isn't disjointed on the sides. Pin and sew around the sides and bottom of the bag leaving the top edge unsewn.

Take both of the 15x17 inch pieces of the coordinating fabric and place it right sides together and sew along the sides and bottom as well.
Step 8: Create box corners on the bottom corners of  both the outside and inside lining of your bag... Here is a great tutorial if you don't know how to create box corners
Once they are done, they should look like this. (but probably more centered then mine! ha ha) Once done with the box corners on the outside of the bag (the ruffled part) turn that bag right side out. You can leave the liner bag inside out since that is how it will be facing in the bag. Set these two pieces aside.
Step 8: You can do this step now of after you finish the bag, but I was too impatient to wait- I wanted to make my tags to see how they looked with the bag... Ok... iron your fusible fleece to both pieces of your tag (front and back piece) Loop your ribbon so that the two raw ends of the ribbon are at the bottom of the loop(I used a piece of crocheted ribbon) put the tag wrong sides together and place the bottom of the looped piece of ribbon in between both layers of the tag at the top of the tag. Sew all the way around the edge of the tag. Then zig zag all the way around the tag with the zig zag slightly off the edge of the tag to keep the raw edges from unraveling... 

***tip: I wanted my tag removable in case my mom wanted to take it off so I used a funky safety pin to pin it to one of the d-rings once the bag was finished, but it you want yours on permanent, then when you loop your ribbon, loop it through one of the d rings before sewing it to the tag.***
It should look like this when you are all done. 
Step 9: Take all 4 of your 3½ x 2½ inch pieces and fold them each in half and press, then open up and fold the edges into the center and press... Now fold back over (all the raw edges should be in the inside) and press.
Step 10: Sew along both sides on each of the pieces. They should look like this.
Step 11: Place the liner bag into the main bag and tuck and pin the raw edges of each fabric into the inside of the bag. (I use my iron to press the top edges to make them nice and neat)
Step 12: Take each of the 4 d-rings and thread one of the folded straps on each and tuck and pin them in between the layers of the bag. Make sure that you measure and place them each evenly... I placed mine each 3 inches in from the side seams.
Step 13: Sew all the way around the top edge of the bag.

Step 14: Take both of the pieces of fabric for your shoulder straps (should be 5 inches by the length you desire for your bag) and fold them like you did in step 9 for the tiny straps for the d-rings. Sew along both  edges of the straps. 

Step 14: Thread your straps into the d-rings and sew them on. I threaded mine onto the d-rings, folded the raw edge over 1/2 inch and then folded over again 2 inches and sewed to the strap.
I forgot to take a picture, but you can kinda see it in this one... Sorry!

That's it!! Enjoy!


  1. LOVE it! That is some of my favorite fabric-- how funny that I thought of my mom when I saw it too- and totally made her pouches with it!!
    Loving the "so you think you can sew"-- SOO fun!

  2. This is such an adorable design Ashley! I'm putting it on my to do list! Im so sad the lampshade got voted off.i loved that!

  3. Gorgeous bag. Thanks for sharing the tute.

  4. Excellent tutorial - wow. Gorgeous bag - you had the right idea with the fabric.

  5. Your tutorials are always so perfect. Your step-by-steps are so clear and organized. Super cute bag - love the ruffly front. Thank you!! Pinned it!

  6. Sooo stunning ... can't wait to make one! Thanks so much for the time & effort in sharing the tutorial ... love your blog & your stunning creations ... sooo inspiring!

  7. What gorgeous fabric!!! I love the ruffle and the litle taggy, thanks for sharing the tutorial, can't wait to try this!

  8. Ash, this is so amazing!! Your mom will love it! When are they coming to visit you? I'm home now, so when they're gone, lets get together! ps- Happy Bday to little B! Hope you're having fun celebrating!

  9. Oh my goodness, you are pretty amazing Ash! I am beyond impressed at your beautiful sewing skills. Great choice of fabric as well!

  10. Love your bag - it would be a perfect church bag for me too!!!

  11. Just beautiful! I love love love the fabric as well :)

  12. Hi!!! Your blog is adorable....thank you....xoxo

  13. What a pretty tote! Love the fabrics!! Thanks for sharing it :)

  14. This is GORGEOUS! I have some fabric waiting for something special, and I am definitely trying this bag out on it!

  15. This is so cute! I love the patterns and the ruffles!

  16. Love Love Love this! I really need to touch up on my sewing skills!

  17. Great tutorial Ashley! I have that fabric in my stash, I really love it!

  18. Oh I LOVE it SO much. Hope you can link this up at my turquoise lovin' party going on!!

  19. What a terrific tutorial! Thank you!

  20. I'm making this right now--yay! And can't wait to show you the result...
    but I want to make sure my patterns on my fabric are running the right way.
    So for the main fabric, up and down would be 15? What about the 6x24 piece?
    My coordinating fabric also has a up and down pattern...which way should I cut those out?

    Thanks in advance!!

  21. K, Ashley--finished it, and I love it!
    Come check it out:

  22. Very pretty, I love it.

  23. This is so cute, and that little tag is the perfect finishing touch!

  24. This is amazing! I love it! Great job!

  25. Just saw this on Pinterest and it is darling.

  26. Just saw this on Pinterest and I love it. You did a fantastic job.

  27. making this bag now..... will not be as cute as yours, but it's my first bag & I'll love it anyway! : ) How long did you make your straps? I like the length of yours & am terrible at guesstimating from a photo..... thank u for posting this tutorial!!

  28. Love the bag & tutorial. I made one to use as a diaper bag. I made it from a vintage pillow case and added an inside pocket. Turned out super it!! Thanks for sharing!!


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I honestly love reading every single one! If you have a question you would like answered- be sure to include your email so that I can get back to you!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!
xoxo, Ashley