Monday, November 29, 2010

Tea towel turned tote bag with attached pouch

Like I said, I was in a Creating mode. So I'm updating the blog with another tutorial. This one is real quick and easy. You should be able to finish this in 1 hour or so if you have all the material with you. It's a tea towel turned tote bag with attached pouch. Yes. It's another tea towel refashioned project aside from my apron tutorial.

I saw these cut tea towel from Spotlight and the material was quite thick so I immediately thought that they would really look good as tote bag. I thought my mum would really love this when she goes to the market or library. The little pouch attached can hold her keys or library card.

Here's the simple instruction.

Tea towel (17" X 27.5") preferably thicker material
Cotton heading tape - 2m
velcro tape

Fold the towel into half - 17" X 13.75" and cut away 5.5" from the 17". This portion will be used later for the front pocket and pouch.

From the cut off portion, open up the full length. Cut 14.5" from 27.5" to form the front pocket.

Serge the raw edges.  For the top of the pocket, fold in 0.25" and sew the seam in. Attach this piece to the front of the bag (right side facing up) and sew 2 side seams to form the pocket. I've also sew a line in the middle so that I've 2 pockets.

If you have a serger, serge around the raw edge at the bottom.

Turn it so that right side facing each other and sew the side seam together. You can use the existing towel hem as a guide. Later, you will need to cut this edge off and serge the raw edge else it will be very bulky at the side seam. Keep this cut-off as you will later use them as a fabric tie for the pouch to the main bag.

Sew the bottom of the bag. Flip over to the right side and you have your bag. Next, we will do the strap. Easy right?

For the strap, I've used the white cotton heading tape which is quite soft. So I've use 42" long and fold them and sew the long edge together using a straight stitch. The strap is now 21". You can adjust the length accordingly. My mum is not too tall so I don't want her to drag her bag. Pin the strap, roughly about 3 1/4" from the side.

Make sure that you get the both straps at the same location else it will be messing to pick the threads. Sew them securelly.

Next, the pouch. Take the remaining tea towel piece and serge the raw edges. Fold and sew 0.25" of the serged side seam allowance.

Fold 4" with wrong side facing each other, to form the bottom of the pouch.  Fold the top 0.5" seam allowance inwards and sew in place.

As I intend that the pouch be small, around 4" tall, I cut off the excess 2.5". Serge the raw edge and sew 0.25" seam.

Next, sew the seam seams with 0.25" to form the pouch.

Add the velcro patch to the middle of the flap, about 2" or so.

Lastly, attach the pouch to the tote bag. I want the pouch to be permanently attached to the handle so I use the excess fabric left over and sew them to the inside of the pouch flap. If you want to remove this, you can either add a button or removeable clip.

There you go! A nice and customed made tote bag with a handy pouch to bring to the library or marketing!

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