City Tote Bag Free Tutorial. Added a 3-d pocket to the front, nice large and roomy. The zipper pocket is not sewn shut! My stitching was even and no more ghastly corners!
First you need to make the pattern. I like to use cardboard paper. I usually make a half a pattern and just place my pattern on the fold of the fabric.
So, first draw a trapezoid. I think mine was 13 in on top, 17 in on bottom and 11 inches height. Then you will extend the top and bottom lines (in red) and connect them to make the gusset. I extended mine 2 inches on each side. I do not bother with seam allowance on a pattern.
I know what I like to sew with and I add it to my original finished size, then round up or down for convenience. When it comes to making bags, you can get away with not being so precise.
On the bottom I drew a line parallel with the bottom line 2 in apart and then connected the lines at the corner. Make sure you draw right angle corners.
Then once my pattern was done I drew in the details as you can see on the following picture.
Now that the pattern is done, gather you materials.
You will need :
- main fabric
- felt (optional)
- hardware of your choice (optional)
- heavy weight stabilizer
- medium to heavy weight fabric for straps and bottom
From top left:
1. Cut out pattern from the main fabric (2), lining (2), interfacing (2). Iron interfacing on main fabric. Fold and iron in the side gussets.
2. Top stitch along the fold.
3. Add pockets to the main fabric. For the 3-D pocket (pictured in the bag) please refer to THIS tutorial. For a flushed or welt zipper pocket please visit LiEr from Ikat Bag, both ladies have written an already great tutorial.
4. Measure your bottom gusset and cut 1 from a heavy weight stabilizer. Cut another from medium weight or heavy weight fabric, but make sure to add 1/2 inch to both long sides. Place stabilizer on fabric, center it and fold extra over. Pin and stitch along both sides.
5-6. Place bottom over bottom gusset, pin in place and sew it on.
7. Right sides facing, sew sides together.
8. Open corners then pin them together and sew.
9. The shell or outside of the City Tote is done.
Next, cut the lining pieces. If you wish to add pockets do so now. Right sides facing, sew along sides and bottom. Open corners, pin them together and sew.
Next, make the straps. It is up to you how big you want the straps to be or if you want to use any rings to attach them I made mine 1.5 inches wide and 22 inches long, plus the smaller straps were 6 inches long. Instead of sewing, I used rivets. They are not only decorative, but work well when you are working with thick material in multiple layers. They hold great. You just need hole puncher in the right size (same as the rivet size) and a hammer. Plus rivets. You can find them in most craft stores.
See, it is super easy. Just punch the holes, insert the rivet on one side, add the cap/top , hammer and done.
Last few steps. 1. Fold down and iron 1/2 inch on the main shell and the lining. Then position your strap and sew just the strap to the main fabric or the lining. It is easier and stays in place better then pinning and then sewing all those layers together hoping it will not shift. Then just place lining inside shell and top stitch around.