Friday, July 2, 2010

Small tote with zipped pocket

Small tote with large outside zipped pocket
I bought a cheap fabric tote at Oliver T's on Hill Road in Grand Blanc and liked it so much I wanted to replicate it for a goodie bag gift for an upcoming getaway weekend with friends. I liked carrying the tote because I could put my money and phone, etc in the large zippered outside pocket, but still had room to carry a book, and other bulky items in the pouch. I plan to add photos to the directions below, but in case experienced seamstresses want to give it a try right away, I've listed the unillustrated directions today. Photos added 11/16/10.

General instructions:
Use 1/4 –inch seams.
Press after every stitching.
RST = Right Sides Together.
WST = Wrong Sides Together

Materials and equipment:
Cut two outside tote shell pieces each 14 inches by 22 inches.
Cut two tote lining pieces each 14 inches by 22 inches.
(Stack all four pieces and cut a U-shaped piece 7-3/4 inch wide by 9-1/2 inches tall out of the top center of all four pieces. Save two cuts for inside pocket.)
Cut two pocket pieces (of contrasting fabric if desired) each 14 inches by 8.5 inches.
Matching thread for construction; contrasting thread for topstitching if desired
One 14 inch zipper
One large drapery tassel
Zipper foot

Prepare lining using two tote lining pieces:
Make inside pocket from two of the U-shaped pieces cut and saved from the lining or tote shell fabric. With RST stitch around curved edge of pocket. Turn right side out and hem straight edge top 1/4 inch. Press and topstitch. Center pocket on right side of tote lining piece, decorative top-stitch to lining around curved edges.
With RST, pin and stitch sides and bottom of two lining peaces leaving a four-inch opening in one side seam to use in turning tote. Do not stitch tops of handles.

Fold birds’beak in bottom seam and stitch across about 1.5 inches long seam to form square bottom corner. Repeat for other corner. Trim beaks. 
Put tape around end of drapery tassel cord to prevent unraveling, and cut to 3.5 inches from end of tassel. Stitch cord to center of back lining with cord end toward outside of seam and tassel hanging toward inside of lining. Pin tassel down to keep out of the way. (Photo shows method using a hair elastic to use as a closure around a button, instead of a tassel closure.)
Set aside while preparing outer tote.

Prepare outside tote shell:
Using zipper foot, install one side of zipper in right side of outside pocket piece. Press seam allowance and zipper tape to inside of pocket.
Turn under top of pocket lining piece 1/4 inch, press. With WST pin pocket lining to pocket piece right under zipper. Stitch lining to top of pocket over zipper tape by hand. (below)
Flip pocket toward top of tote with zipper face down on front of tote piece. Using zipper foot, stitch the other side of the zipper tape to the front of the tote. Stitch edge of zipper tape flat on front of tote. Flip pocket down and press.

With RST, pin two tote shell pieces together and stitch along both sides and bottom of tote. Press.
Fold birds’beak in bottom seam and stitch across about 1.5 inches long seam to form square bottom corner. Repeat for other corner. Trim beaks.
Turn outside tote shell right-side-out.

Put tote together:
With RST, insert outer tote shell into lining, making sure that the lining pocket is on the opposite side from the outside pocket of the tote shell. Pin along the U-shaped curve of one side of the tote.
Stitch and clip curved seam. Repeat for second U-shaped curve.
Turn through hole in side of lining.
Stitch turning hole in lining seam closed.
Tuck lining inside outer bag.
Pin along U-shaped curved seam and decorative topstitch near edge of curve, leaving 1.5 inch UN-topstitched at tops of handles.
Fit ends of handles together and topstitch closed.
At top of handle, fold edges to middle and topstitch down.
Flip tassel to front of purse. Or stitch button to middle of front to use as closure with hair elastic.