Friday, October 28, 2016

Halloween Improv Tote Tute -- Part Deux (#2)

Hi again. Did you read part one on how I started this tote? If not we'll wait while you catch up...
the link is: click here!
So this is a peek into how it looks open and in use.
We stopped yesterday with the quilting. The quilt backing fabric is your lining fabric. I use one color thread on top, and a different one in bobbin to match the lining. This tote is simple, without pockets or zipper. It's one you can easily make in a couple sewing sessions to your size needs. This one set up is about 18" X 15" or so.
Here is the top before quilting. There is a crazy quilt fabric in the center piecing the two sections together. It will be the bottom when folded up and sewn.

Peltex is quite firm, and doesn't like to bend to fit into the machine. That means I didn't over quilt it, as I wanted mostly straight lines. I did some free motion around the little candies however.

I broke the needles when I tried to couch the sparkly gold ribbon around the candy squares. It only did that because I had to keep turning the piece and it didn't want to turn.

Couching is just applique of thread or ribbon. Zigzag over it.  Note my favorite Bernina stitch is the spiral. My old 1630 has it, and no other machine does except there is a similar one on the expensive new model.
 By the way, look at the cute prints! I love the little frog scrap, the zigzaggy purple on green.
I admit, I did this whole thing in a speedy fashion. I didn't dither, or check tension. Just got busy.
When it's quilted trim the tops and bind. I did a speedy machine binding in purple. The handles are 1" strips of peltex about 36" long. I cut fabric 2.5" placed the peltex strip on the back, folded and over lapped the fabric over, zigzagged it closed. Fastest sturdiest handles I ever made.
I measured to make sure to attach them in the same place on both ends, and machine stitched them on.
Next step is to fold back the lining fabric out of the way, and fold the bag in half RST. (Just try and pin it thru the peltex!) and sew a quarter inch seam all the way down. Be careful if you use peltex. Go slowly.

(Since I left the lining (backing) fabric larger around than the front, I had material to use to cover the seam)

Once the side seams are sewn, I pulled one side of lining over the raw edge, then the other side was pulled the other way, covering the first side. Tuck under the last raw edge and resew the now covered seam a bit less than quarter inch catching the lining fabric, finishing off the inside edge so pretty!
I know it might sound a bit confusing, after all I am a designer, not a pattern maker.
I can easily teach a class how, by showing them, but I just hope you can get the drift.

See there how the lining covered the raw edges?
It's inside out now and you need to box the bottom so it has a flat place to stand up, and these stand up on their own.

The only way to describe it here, is sort of open the bag until it forms the V on the bottom.
This is a 45* angle. Place the ruler 45*line on one side, use a chalk marker, measure up about 2" and draw a line.
Peek inside and make sure the side seam line falls in the middle of the bottom of the bag.
sew along that drawn line.

Repeat on the other side.

Turn the bag inside out, and it's all done.
Unless you want to bead or embellish it... and you should. I would. Er, did, and might do more.
And truth be told, I might tote this around though Thanksgiving.


  1. Very cute bag. Your seam finishing is so simple and clever - with quite professional looking results. I've not used Peltex at all mainly because I've had friends talk about how stiff it is. Someday I'll have to give it a try.

  2. Your Halloween tote is so fun! I've stopped buying purses, and just make a new tote bag when I feel like I "need" one! A Halloween one is a great idea, and I love how you added fun embellishments to it. Thanks for the tutorial, too!

  3. I love that the inside of the bag ends up so neat - very clever!

  4. I understood Perfectly!!! A few of my totes have surfaced here and there it I have no purses I sight. I might just have to make a few when I get back to sewing again. Carrie is in Wilmington DE this,weekend, visiting some friends. She was intrigued by the train ride from Philly to Wilmington. We have nothing like that here

  5. I love it!!! and you need no magazine or newspaper when you have to wait somewhere, you can read your bag... there are always new things to discover :o)

  6. Wonderful bag! The inside is fab and the couching is a great touch!!!

  7. Super fun - and I like the idea of not needing an additional lining!

  8. Excellent seam finish!
    I've used peltex as an interlining, but never tried quilting it. Love the stuff, but oh my yes, it's resistant to persuasion!