How-To: Crayon Monster Art Tote Bag Sewing Tutorial
for the monster:
(1) 8″ x 8″ piece of fleece for head
(1) 5″ x 8″ piece of fleece for mouth
(2) 1.5″ circles of white fleece or felt for eyes
(2) .5″ circles of black fleece or felt for eyes
(1) 1.5″ x 1″ oval of fleece or felt for nose
(1) 10.5″ x 25″ piece of felt
4 ft. belting for strap
matching and contrasting thread
1″ wide masking tape
scissors and/or rotary cutter
HOW TO MAKE THE MONSTER
Sew a 1/4″ hem along the top of the 5″x8″ pice of fleece. Place this piece on the bottom of your 8″x8″ square of fleece and pin* it into place. Find the center of the square and put a piece of 1″ wide masking tape down. The tape will be your sewing guide so that you can make nice, evenly spaced pockets for the crayon teeth.
Without sewing your tape, sew as close to your tape as possible along both edges, back-stitching a couple of times at the openings.
Move your tape over so that it is to the right of your last stitch line, then stitch along the right edge of the tape.
Continue to move the tape across the bottom until you have five crayon pockets (a total of six stitch lines). Round off the corners of your square. You can free-hand this, or, if that makes you nervous, make yourself a rounded corner template out of a piece of paper or cardstock. Lay this template over each corner and cut for symmetrical corners.
Sew on the eyes and nose. I like to use black thread in a straight stitch for the eyes, going around the circle twice. For the nose I like a zig-zag stitch in a contrasting thread. Sew these pieces on slowly, taking care to lift the presser foot and smooth the material every few stitches.
You now have a completed monster patch! For this tutorial, I’ll show you how to add your monster to a super simple felt tote that is just big enough to hold a couple of coloring books. However, you can sew it onto any bag of your choosing-just sew the monster onto the right side of your material before make your bag. Or you can customize any messenger bag by sewing you monster onto the flap.
HOW TO MAKE A SIMPLE FELT TOTE
Fold the long piece of 10.5″ x 25″ felt in half. You should have a 10.5″ x 12.5″ folded rectangle of felt.
Iron down a 1/4″ hem along the top of the bag (folding toward the inside of the bag).
Cut the belting into two pieces, 24″ each. (This may seem a bit long for a child, but I like my straps to be long enough for Mom to sling over her shoulder, since she always ends up carrying everything in the end…)
Going in about 2″ from the edge, place one end of the belting under the hem you just ironed. Fold the flap of felt down over the belting, then flip the belting up over the felt hem. Pin into place and repeat on the other side, taking care that your strap isn’t twisted. Repeat on the other side of the bag.
Pin the monster patch to the front of the bag. You now have the straps pinned to the top and the monster pinned to the front. It’s time to sew!
In this order:
1. Sew a zig-zag stitch along the top hems, securing the straps to the top of the bag.
2. Sew the monster to the front of the bag. Tip: Start along the top of the monster’s head. Fleece is stretchy and tends to shift, and it may get a little uneven, even if you pinned extensively. Sew along the top first so that the top edge of the monster is even with the top of the bag. Even if it shifts, this will make it look better over all. Also, be sure to pick up your presser foot and smooth the fabric every few inches. This will help prevent shifty wonkiness.
3. Straight stitch the sides of the bag together about 1/4″. Cut with pinking shears.
That’s it! Stuff the pockets with crayons to make the teeth and show off your cute new tote!