Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tea towel turned Cross-stitch Lunch tote

I've got another lunch tote tutorial here. Actually, you can also use this bag for any short marketing trip if you want. It's the first time I've tried to incorporate a cross stitch design onto a bag. I didn't do the beautiful cross stitch. My colleague did it and had asked me if I can help her to sew a bag to display the work.

So, from here,
to here

1/4 yard of choice main fabric or a tea towel
1/4 yard of lining fabric
cross stitch design
button (optional) or magnectic snap

Cutting Instruction
Main bag body (Outer & Lining)
1. Fold fabric with Right Side Facing.  Cut 1 piece from main fabric and 1 from lining fabric. For this project, I've used a nice tea towel that I got from Ikea [yes! if you didn't know by now how much I love that place : )]

2. Depending on your size of the bag or cross stitch, you will need to make adjustment. See diagram below. Just remember to cut out 1" square at both folded corner to make the base. The size of your bag should allows you to have a border to frame your cross stitch so you must leave enought allowance.
3. My cross stitch measure 4.5" X 5.75" so my bag is about 8" X 8" at base.  Give about 3/8" seam allowance at top and sides but not the base.

4. You will need another piece of fabric to frame your cross-stitch.  Cut a piece from the main fabric, slightly bigger than the cross-stitch. So, I cut another 6.75" X 5".5" from the main fabric. I will call this B in short.

Cut 2 pieces of straps measuring 1.5" X 11"

Sewing Instruction
Bag Body
1. Place the fabric Right Side Up and decide which is the front of the bag.  Mark out the size of your cross-stitch position on your main fabric.  Try to centralised it at the middle of the bag.

2. Cut out the box.

3. Place the fabric B to cover over the window that you have just cut out, make sure that you have allowance all around the box.  Pin in place.

4. Turn the fabric over and sew close to the window.

snip at the 4 corners

Turn the fabric B through the window to the Wrong side of the main fabric.

Pin and Press.  You now have your frame to insert the cross-stitch

5. Place your cross-stitch behind the window and pin in place. Sew close to the window to secure the cross-stitch.

6. Fold the main fabric Right Side Together, align side seams and sew with straight stitch.

7. To make the base of the bag, press the base flat so that you see a U shaped gap when you press open the side seams.

8. Fold in the flap to cover the gap. Pin.

9. Sew with a straight stitch to close the gap. Do the same for the other corner.

10. Repeat steps 6 to 9 for the lining piece.

1. Serge the raw edges of the straps and fold in 1/3 from both long edge. Sew 2 parallel stitches along the length of the strap. Do the same for the other strap.

2. Measure 2.5" from both side seams and sew the strap to the top of the bag using a box stitch.

Note: As I'm using the existing hem of the tea towel, I didn't need to fold in the edge. If you are using regular fabric, you will need to fold in the top edge before you sew the strap on.

3. You can also make a loop from the main fabric (about 2")  and sew to the middle of the strap.

Putting the bag together
1. If you are using the normal fabric, you will need to do the same steps that I did for the messenger bag and turn it right side out.  BUT, since I'm using a tea towel with the hem all nicely sewn, I just need to fold in and press the top edge of my lining bag before I insert it (Right Side Out) directly into my main bag (Right Side Out)! So convenient!

2. Pin and sew all around the top of the bag. Just adjust the top edge of the lining bag to hide all the raw edges of my loop and straps.

3. Sew on the button on the front of the bag and you are done!


Anonymous said...

I would love to get the cross stitch pattern for this bag. Email me at danynew@

Eunice said...

It's nice isn't it? But I'm sorry to add that I don't have the pattern as this is done by my friend and I only helped to sew up the lunch tote for her : )