Tutorial Tuesday, Tutorials, UK craft blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog

Tutorial Tuesday: Disappearing 9 Patch Tote Bag

Hi! I’m really glad to be back, and I hope you like this little tutorial I’ve got for you today. I used a charm pack but you don’t have to – in fact, this is a great scrappy project because all you need are 18 5″ squares for the blocks. Easy!

If you want to leave a link on Manic Monday Linky Party, it’s not too late!

I’ve written this tote bag tutorial as a blog post, but you can print it off it you want by using the button at the bottom if you want to. If you make one, I’d love for you to add a pic to the SewHappyGeek Flickr group!

© Copyright, J C Excell 2011

Disappearing 9 Patch Tote Bag Tutorial, by Jenna Excell of www.SewHappyGeek.co.uk. © Copyright 2011 JC Excell

Finished Size: About 12” x 15” plus handles. Gusset 2” deep at bottom.

Ingredients List for Disappearing 9 Patch Tote Bag:

18} 5” square charms for front and back
8} 5” charms for handles OR 2} 5” x 20” for solid handles***
2} 3.5” x 13.5” for bottom (I cut mine a little longer and trim)
2} 13.5” x 16.5” for interior (Again, I cut mine big and trim later) (I used 2 FQs for the interior and exterior strips)
2} 13.5” x 16.5” wadding/batting
2} 2.5” x length of your tote handles wadding/batting/fusible fleece

***You can easily make these longer by sewing more charms together, or using a long piece of fabric.

Extra: any zipper pockets or patch pockets you want to include inside.

To assemble front of tote:
Take 9 charms and sew them together in a 3 x 3 formation. Note that the middle charm will be the small square in each of your disappearing 9 patch blocks. (see below and it’ll make sense!) Once you’ve got your 9 charms together, cut VERY CAREFULLY in half:

Now turn it and cut those two pieces in half again, as shown in the picture below:

See how the centre square becomes the small square in all 4 blocks? Nifty, eh?

Repeat this process with the other 9 blocks to end up with 8 blocks to mix and match. Each side will require 4 blocks, like so:

Side One
Side Two
Sew your blocks together when you’re happy with the arrangement.

Sew the 3.5” x 13.5” strip to the bottom of each. Press your seams in whatever way you usually do. Then baste your tote bag front and back to your wadding/batting. You do not need to back it as it won’t be on show.
I did a meandering stipple with 4 colours of thread, and ‘crossed the streams’ so to speak.
Set these aside for now.
Sew 4 of your charms end to end to make a length 5” by about 20”. Repeat with the other 4. (Or sew more than 4 together to get a longer strap, or just use a 5″ x 20″ piece of fabric. The length is flexible, but it needs to be 5″ wide.

Take them to your ironing board and press them WST down the whole length. Then take your 2.5″ strip of wadding and put it in the middle of the joined charms.

And carefully wrap the raw edges in to meet in the middle. Pin and edgestitch:

Get your front tote pieces and trim all around the sides.
Line up your tote handles where you like them, pin and stitch them to the top of each side:

Now you need to sew both sides together, RST on the sides and bottom. Make sure you have them the right way up!:

Now we’ll make the bottom. Take the bottom corners and squeeze them so the seams meet. Trim carefully so you can see the seams inside. Once you have the seams lined up perfectly, pin in place. Get a ruler out and mark a line 1” on either side of the seam. Sew 2 or 3 times down that line to make sure it’s a strong seam.
Repeat for the other bottom corner seam.
(If you’ve never made a handbag/tote before, have a look at the free tutorials Lisa Lam has on her blog, U-Handblog: http://u-handbag.typepad.com/uhandblog/ They are a treasure trove of handbag goodness!)

Now you need to sew your interior pieces RST around the sides and bottom, but MAKE SURE you leave a 6” opening in the bottom. You’ll be so mad if you don’t! Press the seam open.

Now to sew the interior to the exterior. You’ll need the quilted part to be Right Side Out, ok? And the interior needs to be Wrong Side Out. Therefore, it’ll be Right Sides Together, got it? The picture below might help.
Line up the side seams first and pin. Then pin all the way around. Remove the free arm thing from your sewing machine and edgestitch all the way around. You can do it twice (carefully!) if you want it to be a very strong seam.

Now you can pull the bag through that 6” opening you left, and it’ll look something like this. Alarming, isn’t it?

Here’s what it look like all pulled through. Now you’re so close to being done! Just pin up that 6” opening.
And edgestitch it closed. Tuck the interior into the bag and iron all around the top opening. Topstitching that is totally optional, and I didn’t bother.
Ta-Da! You rock!

© Copyright J C Excell, 2011. You are welcome to use any SewHappyGeek tutorial for personal use. You are even welcome to make a couple to sell, but you are not given permission to use my pictures or my words without giving me credit and linking back to the original. You are NEVER allowed to copy an entire tutorial or post.
Sometimes my pictures have my family in them and they are never intended for public use. Also, I work very hard to provide free tutorials for my lovely readers, and anyone copying or selling my tutorials is guilty of copyright infringement.
This website/tutorial is protected by Copyscape and is checked regularly, which means I WILL find you.

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