For Day 3 of Red & Black Week (and the sub-theme of Red, Black & White), a tutorial for making a tote bag in which to carry your booty. ARRRR!
This tote is extremely easy to sew, and you can make it with most any medium-weight non-stretch fabric. You will need a main fabric, a contrast fabric and a lining fabric. These can be the same or different, your choice. I used a pirate-print cotton for the main fabric, a red polka dot cotton for the contrast, and a plain black cotton for the lining.
You will need about 1/2 yard each of the main and contrast fabrics, and about 1 yard of lining fabric. Some of the pattern pieces are small, so you may be able to use scraps or remnants.
Begin by cutting your fabric pieces as shown in the diagram below. Note the diagram is only for measurements of the pieces, not necessarily how you want to lay them out on the fabric to be cut.
And then it's on to the sewing!
Step 1: With right sides together, sew the top band to the front. Then with right sides together, sew the bottom to the front. Repeat to create the back.
Step 2: Fold the handle in half lengthwise, right sides together, and stitch the long side. Repeat for the other handle. Turn both handles right side out. (This is probably the most difficult part of the project!)
Optional: Topstitch along both long sides of the handles. This will keep the handles flat and add strength.
Step 3: Pin the handles to the right side of the front top band, lining up the raw edges. Space them 4" apart, at 8" and 12", as shown below. Be sure the handles aren't twisted, and stitch them in place. Repeat to attach the handles to the back.
Step 4: Place front and back together, right sides together. Stitch the sides and bottom.
Step 5: Stitch the bottom corners. This is easy to do but hard to describe. :P At the bottom corner cutout, pull the front and back apart a little and match the end of the side seam to the end of the bottom seam. Then pinch the fabric together and stitch a straight seam to close up the corner.
Step 6: Fold the lining in half, right sides together. Stitch the sides, leaving an opening in one of the seams for turning the lining/bag right side out. (If you're using thicker fabrics, leave a larger opening.) Stitch the bottom and the bottom corners.
Step 7: Turn the bag right side out and place it inside the lining (this places right sides together). Make sure the handles are folded down and inside the lining. Stitch the lining and bag together at the top.
Step 8: Turn the bag right side out through the opening you left in the lining. Stitch the opening closed.
It's easy to make variations on this bag by changing up the fabrics, making the handles longer or shorter, or adding pockets to the inside or outside.