pretty little tote {a tutorial}

Hello, remember this little tote from a short while back? Quite a few you asked about the pattern I used (there was none since I simply made up the tote as I went), so I decided a proper tutorial was totally in order. Ready? Here we go.

Materials needed:

main exterior fabric - cut two 12.5" x 15" rectangles
pocket fabric - cut one 12.5" x 12.5" rectangle
lining fabric - cut two 12.5" x 15" and one 12.5" x 12.5" rectangles
interfacing (I used Pellon SF 101) -  cut two 12.5" x 15" and one 12.5" x 12.5" rectangles

you will also need two 14" long, 1 1/4" wide webbing for the handles (or you can make your own handles if preferred)

Following manufacturer's directions, fuse interfacing to the wrong sides of two main exterior panels as well as main pocket panel. Set the main panels aside, we'll now work with main pocket and pocket lining panels only.

Place them right sides together, if you have directional fabric make sure you placed both parts in the right direction. Stitch along the top edge of your pocket panels. Don't stitch along the sides or the bottom !!!

Press the seam open, flip the panels (wrong sides are now touching), press again and top stitch along the finished top edge of the pocket.

Place the pocket on top of one exterior panel as shown in the picture, pin and baste in place. 

Now place the second exterior panel on top of the exterior panel with attached pocket (right sides together) and stitch all the way around the sides as well as the bottom of the exterior panels. Do not stitch along the top!

Clip the corners to reduce bulk, press the seams open, and turn right side out.

Place handles 2" away from the middle of the main panel, pin in place making sure you don't twist the handle. (there's going to be 4" between the handles - see picture above)

Stitch over the handle couple of times to make sure it's attached securely. Attach the second handle and set the exterior of your tote aside for now.

Place two lining panels on top of each other, right sides together, pin.

Stitch along the sides and bottom the same way you did for the exterior panel, but make sure to leave about 4" opening in the bottom for turning (see the picture).

Snip the corners and press the seams open.

Place the finished exterior inside the lining, as shown in the picture above.

Align the side seams and pin or clip (I used Wonder Clips) to hold in place.

Stitch all the way around, remove the pins or clips and press the seam open.

Turn your tote right side out through the opening in the bottom.

Push the lining in, smooth out the top and clip or pin to hold it all nice and straight while you topstitch along the top of the tote. 

Double topstitch along the top as shown in the picture. Make sure to go slow so your topstitching will be as straight as possible.

Make a mark 2" from the bottom of the handle on both sides and clip the sides together as shown in the picture.

Stitch along the folded side of the handle (starting and ending at 2" marks) making sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end.

Repeat the step with the other handle. Don't they look pretty? and way more comfortable to hold this way :)

Now all you need to do is stitch the opening in the lining closed and you are all finished!!!

Congratulations! Hope you had fun making this Pretty Little Tote. 

Any questions? Let me know.

Also, if you make a tote using this tutorial, I'd love to see it. If you post it on instagram please use  #prettylittletote so I can look it up.

Thanks for reading. Svetlana