Last week we announced our Garden Gift Set Giveaway: our favorite gardening products along with seeds and gloves and more, all wrapped up in this garden tote. If you haven’t entered yet, make sure to click on over and leave a comment before June 7.
If you’d like to make your own tote bag for a gift or maybe for your own garden tools or books, here’s how I did it.
You’ll need fabric in the following sizes and dimensions (I used remnants of heavy cotton in two different patterns, washed and pressed before cutting):
– 1 piece 16″ x 28″ (This is the bag)
– 1 piece 7″ x 8″ (This is the pocket. I made this in the second fabric pattern, but you can make it the same as the bag if you’d like. Cut two if you want a pocket on each side of the bag.)
– 4 pieces 2″ x 18″ (These are the straps; I cut two in one pattern of fabric and two in the other.)
You’ll also need scissors, thread, measuring tape, and of course a sewing machine and iron!
If you’d like a second pocket, repeat steps a and b above to prepare it, then pin and stitch as you did for the first pocket.
Now you can prepare the straps. Take two of the 2″ by 18″ pieces you cut earlier, one of each pattern. Pin along the long edge with right sides together, then stitch with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Press seam open, then press under 3/8″ along the outside edges (as shown below). Press corners toward the center to make triangles (as you did with the pockets), then fold under to make a clean corner. Fold in half lengthwise along the seam with wrong sides together and pin along outside edge.
Next you can stitch the side seams. Fold the bag in half bringing the straps together and pin sides with right sides together. Stitch with 1/2″ seam. Repeat on the other side.
Press side seam flat at the top (as shown on the top at left), then fold under 1/4″ and tuck under (middle left) to finish the top edge (bottom). Press and stitch 5/8″ from the edge to finish the top seams we made earlier.
Repeat for the other side.
Flatten the bag with handles together and press the bottom edge flat. Then turn the bag inside out to create the gussets, which will give your bag a flat bottom.
With the bag inside out, take one bottom corner and fold it toward the middle, lining up the seam with the center bottom of the bag (using the press line you just made as a guide). Pin the fold to create a triangle, then repeat with the other corner (see below).
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