Patchwork tote bag – Free sewing patterns

Essentials

Clover Trace `n Create bag template,Florida tote collectionFabric roll up: Amy Butler Soul BlossomsClover double sided basting tapeClover magnetic snap closures, 1.25cmClover shape `n Create bag stabiliser, whiteClover Create-a-strap interfacingClover Wrap `n Fuse pipingClover O-ring one, 1.6cm, satin bronze, fourClover bag feet, satin bronze, four measurementsFinished bag: approximately30cm high x 49cm wide

Please note : work a 6mm seam allowance unless otherwise stated.

Assemble The Patchwork

Select the design of bag you wish to make from the Clover template collection and trace through the relevant motifs onto the reverse of your lining material, marking the position of any closures and straps. Pin the lining material to the inner layer fabric and cut the two materials out together to save time.

Make the outer layer fabric by cutting six 6.35cm squares from each different print in the fabric roll up, giving 180 squares in total. Lay them out in three rectangles of six squares by five squares. Stitch together the squares in each row to make strips using a 6mm seam allowance. Sew the strips together in the same way to make three panels. These should be the same size as the centre panel pieces of lining material.

Lay out two more panels of patchwork, seven squares by five squares, omitting the squares in the bottom corners of each. Sew together as before to make pieces that are the same size as two side panel pieces of lining placed together. Press all the panels on the wrong side to flatten the seams and set the stitches.

Strengthen the outer fabric by layering onto the inner material, pinning and stitching through both layers, following the seam lines between each square. If necessary trim the patchwork fabric to the same dimensions as the inner material to ensure the pieces fit when making up the bag. Cut each side panel piece in half down the centre (longest dimension) and cut one of the centre panel pieces in half across the centre (shorter dimension).

Make Pockets

Cut a 30.5cm length of fusible piping. Wrap a 5cm by 30.5cm length of plain fabric around the piping and iron to secure. Trim the raw edge to 6mm wide. Take one half of the centre panel and pin the piping to the right side of the material along the cut edge, lining up the raw edges. Stitch the piping to the fabric using a piping or zip foot on a sewing machine.

Take a matching rectangle of lining material and place over the patchwork, right sides together. Pin in place and flip over the sandwich so you can see the original stitching line for the piping. Resew over this line to attach the lining. Sew along the bottom edge of the fabric sandwich, turn out the resulting tube and press. Make the second pocket in the same way. If you are planning on using magnetic snaps on the pockets, fit these onto the lining fabric at this stage while access to the wrong side of the lining material is still available.

Stitch Up The Tote

Pin each pocket to a centre panel of patchwork as indicated by the template. Stitch along the bottom of the pocket, 1mm from the edge. Take the four side panels of patchwork and pin the cut edges of each pair to each centre panel, right sides together. Stitch down the pinned lines, incorporating the sides of the pocket into the seam. Trim away any excess piping from the wrong side of the fabric and press.

Place the two panels right sides together. Pin and sew along the bottom seam, open out and press this seam flat. Cut a 10cm x 40cm piece of white Shape ‘n Create bag stabiliser and secure this over the bottom seam with double-sided basting tape. Flip the material over and stitch the stabiliser in place 6mm in from the seams of the patchwork squares that form the base. Use the template to mark the position of the bag feet and fit these using the point of a pair of scissors or a craft knife to make slits through the cotton and plastic layers.

Pin and sew up the sides of the tote right sides together. Form the bottom corners of the bag by flattening the base of the side seam against the raw end of the bottom seam and stitching together. Turn out the bag paying attention to the corners. Make up the lining of the bag in the same way as the outer fabric, omitting the pockets and feet. Leave the lining wrong side out and place to one side.

Measure the length of the top edge of the bag and cut a piece of fusible piping tape slightly longer. Cover with a strip of plain fabric as before and pin to the top edge of the bag. Stitch in place, crossing the ends of the piping over at the join so the raw edges are hidden under the seam.

Add Straps

Make four strap connectors by cutting 7.5cm pieces of strap interfacing and ironing to 5cm wide pieces of plain cotton. Fold in the edges of the interfacing and pin bias binding over the raw edges. Stitch in place. Fold each connector in half over a large O-ring and pin the raw edges to the top of the bag as indicated by the template. Stitch firmly in place over the original piping seam.

Create two magnet closure tabs in the same way. Fold in half and mark the position of the snap on each piece. Open out the tabs and fit the magnets in place, using a scrap of bag stabiliser to strengthen the tab if necessary. Fold the tabs back in half to hide the backs of the snaps and stitch to the top of the bag in the same way as before, ensuring the magnets are the correct way round to snap together neatly.

Stitch two straps from strap interfacing and plain cotton to your desired length. Cover the folded-in edges with bias binding or a co-ordinating grosgrain ribbon. Fold under the raw edges of each strap before threading through an O-ring and stitching securely to itself. 4 Pop the lining into the bag so that the patterned side of the material is seen on the inside. Fold under 6mm along the top edge and pin the the inside edge of the piping, enclosing all the raw seams as you go along. Slip the lining in place directly under the cord of the piping.