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Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners

Lesson 21 of 23

Creating Box Corners on the Tote

Susan Beal

Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners

Susan Beal

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Lesson Info

21. Creating Box Corners on the Tote

Lesson Info

Creating Box Corners on the Tote

So when a just finished penning this let's recap where we are and I know everybody's sewing at their own pace, I just want to give you a quick catch up to what I finished and jumping right into the tote bag construction and looking forward to seeing everybody's finished pieces I've penned my eighteen inch wide by fifteen inch tall lining pieces, right sides together, so all the pretty part is facing one another I've pender on the perimeter and I have left a section of the bottom open at the center about six inches so that's ready to stitch together, and I'm just about to sew my two squared up out her bag pieces if you remember earlier, we top stitch so you can see that on the back and these air going online, so they neatly face each other, so on your finished bag will be in the same position on opposite sides of the bag, so I'm going to grab my pins and for this outer lining section, you're goingto align the top the top states unp end because that's going to air tote bag opening and we...

won't be stitching that I'm gonna just quickly pennant around the perimeter. This part is pretty quick and simple here we've got a spot with two seems and everybody's got a slightly different approach, but when I have this much fabric and one little place I arrange my seems so that their opposite facing if you see this one's press down and this one is pressed up, it's just so much easier to stitch and it doesn't create quite a switch bulk if you press them both down, you're just going to end up with a very, very thick place with quite a few layers of heavy done them together. No, I'm going to stitch my horner's and I'm gonna stitch my a stitch! Excuse me, I'm getting ahead of myself. The sewing part is the most fun I'm gonna pin my side's the same way and as you'll see on this side, done the same thing where I just gently press one seem up and one down, it's, nice and neat, and if you have a slight difference like this absolutely nowhere he's, they're not a big deal if you've got a little fabric on one side or the other, just neatly pennant together, and we're going to sew around the perimeter both of these. So I've got my handy book been using every step of the way and it's such a nice way to keep your notes or in this case, I'm looking at my own instructions to myself, and I'll be using as this tells me a half inch seam allowance. So we've been using a quarter inch and I've got the quarter inch foot on the machine I'm just going to leave it on because I actually like using a quarter inch foot kind of generally it's got a lot of visibility if you have a normal presser foot that's wonderful to whatever you want to use and the heavy duty needle is ideal because we're searching through so many layers of dinner, so I'm going to start by using my machine markings. The singer heavy duty has a great half inch mark here and drop the foot so it's neatly pressed drop my needle my half inch mark is actually between the three eighths and the five eight so there's just this marked on the center and that's what I'm going to use to align my searching I am going to back searchers hold my seem and I'm going to go all the way around the perimeter of the bag stopping here at the opposite side so here I'm reaching a place where I've got several seems as I mentioned, I nested them together, which means that one said it's kind of oriented or pointing up and one is going down and just going to help this along because this machine is sewing so well, but I've suddenly handed it five times as much materials it had thirty seconds ago, so I'm just gonna ease it over that one spot so I'm going to turn this corner ninety degree angle justus I have on some of our other projects we've made over the last two segments on this sport again, so using a half inch, so I'm not going to turn this all the way out because right now we don't we're still going to be working on it from the inside, but it is kind of cool if you can just see inside from this overhead view that it's starting to feel a little bit like a real bag. I love that feeling, so I want to set this one aside stitch my lining and for this one, if you remember, we're going to leave the bottom unstitched that bottom center, but we're going to do this side's exactly the same way that we did our dinner with a half inch seam allowance. And then, of course, I stop about a half inch before thiss turn and make my ninety degree corner again. So now, as you can see, I've stopped and backs to cheer. I want to leave this part with my hands through just totally open and uncertain own and start stitching again just on the other side of it, all right, so now I've got this lining that stitched on three sides, except for the center. Which we've left open and I may end up depending on how everything goes I may end up needing tio use my seamer for an open this a little wider but that's easy to do at the time and I've got my dinner, which is also sewn right sides together with my uh top open completely so I'm going to now add box corners and have any of you added box corners to a tote bag or handbag before in there so it's a good trick let's let me show you how to do it so let's start with clearasil little space first let's look at a finished box course you just have a bit of an idea of what they look like when they're done. If I just put handles on this turning it right side out I would have a great kind of art portfolio bag perfect for slipping a large boulder into but it's not gonna have any depth or any with in terms of putting more than just flat kind of large flat things inside box corners transformed this basic shape total flat rectangle into a neat tote bag with the bottom a lot of purses, handbags, tote bags that you see in stores or that other sewing projects include details for you use these box corners and I'll just flip this one inside outs you can see the lining of this one is also a box corner so it just fits nicely together and it's just got gives it its makes it just slightly smaller more compact dimension but it gives it so much more of a three dimensional holding ability so I love box squares I think they just make the simplest possible bag designed just so much more versatile, useful and also just really attractive yeah I can be a possible bag yes absolutely different types of material and co yes that's a great point thank you for mentioning that I think I would be loath lining that fantastic as well so you can speak you will be able to use an oil skin on the inside and have a what are they called for a wet dry bag? I think you definitely could there's several suss fabric stores that specialize in kind of these cool just waterproof for all weather fabrics and you can buy some very oilcloth is one great example but you can buy some very flexible kind of thinner more kind of more sobel in terms of a a sophisticated pattern you can buy some other things that are wonderful too. I think that would be a great option perfect her camping or swimming or anything that involves kind of ah out outside element so all I'm doing here I'm gonna pen one side and leave one side open so I can kind of describe it a little more directly but all I have done here is take my lining and the open side is down right now. This is eventually going to be the top of the bag this's the bottom I've taken this corner and I've pressed it out flat so you can see the seam. This is obviously the right side of actually really cute with pencils pointing at each other and you'll see that there's almost like this dog years apart and it's the same on the other side except it's all the same color pencils. This is a really nice lining fabric I like outs, little secrets that house for us, so you'll want to make sure that you're pressing this flat and neat and open and we're going to mark at the two and a half inch mark. We're going to mark our box corner, but my first thing I always do to test to see if the cyst rate by ice up a straight pin into my seem and I flip it over there is showing me that there these air a little off, so I'm just gonna gently rearrange a bit and slide the server and there that is just perfect. So now that this is aligned, I can tell with my pen in place, it's gonna pan into the ironing board, so it's stay stone give it a quick press and I'll be doing this twice on the lining and twice on the dinner so you'll have many opportunities to see it and exactly how you do it using this blue water race a bullpen and this one which is the quote roar remove this pen away now that I've made sure it's neatly aligned and I'm going to measure two and a half inches from this corner not the dog years if you see the dog years those air just extra fabric but from this top of the triangle this corner I'm going to measure down two and a half inches using my quoting ruler one two and a half and then I'm going to carefully trace it as a line right here so you can see here I've got that is a marked box corner and I put a pen in here to hold it and I'm going to do the same thing on the other side just kind of open out this area shake it a bit smooth the seams where you can see the right side of the fabric peeking through this's always on in this project always working on the wrong side of the fabric for these box corner show wanna have the wrong side of your dinner in the wrong side of your lining showing for this it's going to give it a quick preliminary press and then shake it again so it's flat and to make a box corner uh you really have a lot of freedom if you're designing your own tote bags or doing your own variations for a size that works better for you or for your kid. One thing I really like about box corners is that you're actually able to change how keep you make your bag so if you want to do one that's only an end she'll have a very on very close to that rectangular flat but I'll have a little definition if you make one that's four inches you'll have a very uh almost like a trap is oid where the bag comes in quite a bit more this one has a two and a half inch box corner and as you can see it gives it a nice I experimented with my first try and with a couple of other bags I've made of the style and I just really like this kind of with that just gives it a nice to mention but you're totally free as long as you keep it consistent between the lining and the outer fabric you're totally free to change it as much or as little issued like so that lined up on the first try which is great and now I'm gonna use my same marker again and measure from right here where my half and so I want to say I'm right here one two two and a half to here and again, that's my mark. So I'll stitch this first box corner so you see that and then I'll quickly make that dinner one the same way. But as you can see, even just penned it's already starting to feel a little bit like a three dimensional bag with a wider base and a more sophisticated shape. Thiss yeah, that I made a little bit of adjustment cause my one picture is smaller so should your lining be the same? Basically the same size is your bag lining should be the same because I guess just scale it down. If it's smaller that's a great question lining is essentially going to be the same size is your bag. You will want it to fit snugly so you could make some tiny adjustments at the end. But cut it the same size and that's a great start soon ominous touch this with a straight stretch normal such length and back stitching at both, uh, beginning and end of the scene on and you want to stitch with the seam lying open and flat justus, we made our box corner. You'll want to sew it that way the same way you hit it out, and then just for sturdiness, I go ahead and take this off and just make sure it looks good on the front in the back it's looking fine and then I'm just going to stitch this one a second time I'm going to do it the same with the denham so it's very sturdy because this is just like a you know, a bit of a structural it's going to be a weight bearing bags you want to make sure it's nice and strong so they're that one's double stitch and I'll do the exact same thing on the other side I love these fabric markers because a lot of sewing machines do have inch marks just wonderful to follow but something as far overs for example, a two and a half inch mark is really you know it's forever there you could also if you prefer, you can put a piece of tape or something on your son machine where you want the alignment to go if you're using a fabric that's harder to marker doesn't show anything quite as easily that's another option no one is so this one the same way as the first and I'm just going to do my little reinforcement all right? So I'll just put the south's all right side out just for a second, but so you can already get a little hint of what this landing is going to look like I really like how simple and cute this pattern isthe so I'm going to do the same thing with my denham section using the fabric marker and thie iron and cultural or for two and a half inch mark so denham is obviously sturdier and heavier but you'll be able to create the same shape but with this angle I'm gonna once again test it with my street pen it's pretty low fi but it's a pretty accurate way of seeing if you're lined up correctly so there's that and now this blue is going to be more subtle in the daytime but on the back of the dinner mitt is easier to see that on the front where it kind of merges together as you can see here oh good it's showing up pretty readily that's great and then my final box corner on this side I tried a line these up a bit before I pressed them their ego swing this fall and then once again I just want to mention one last time since our fourth and last box corner you're measuring two and a half inches down from this corner here the top of the triangle not the's dog years which are the seems from this so if it's harder to see with a quoting ruler on top of it that made me a little more sense is a general description of starting place so now I get to stitch thes and then we're going to turn out the box corners and power back together I don't want to do the same thing where I double stitch because this fabric so sturdy and great and it's I think it's going to be a wonderful bag that's going to last a long time that things like this are nice to just make sure that you have a good joint on and a double stitch is a good way to do that here you see a quarter inch foot has gotten underneath that seem so got stuck so I just dropped my needle so it's neatly anchored in the fabric lifted the presser foot and eased it out from under that folded seem and now we're going to go again ok last last reinforce her of these and we're good so now we have kind of ah liberating part you can either use pinking shears or a quote ruler and rotary cutter it's completely up to you but now we're going to term away this extra triangle of fabric on both are lining and our outer bag so that we don't have so much bulk on the inside of the bag as you can see here I'm not cutting it terribly close you could also as I mentioned, use the pinking shears with us but as you can see this blue line is my stitch line I'm going to give it about almost half of an inch so that there's no fraying or fabric damage and then I'm going toe I'm just glad we got a full happen. It and I'll trim that. And now you have this interestingly shaped little puppet. Pave your kids will like this, you know, it's, just a funny little shape for all those seems intersecting in the same basic place. It's. Just interesting how little things like that look, when you dissect them, so I'm going to do the same thing on this side. So there's, our it's, our ah, inside out, back with the box corners, all done, knew the same thing on this one. Internally, the access, and then we're gonna join our layers at the straps and have a tote bag all ready to go. So for this one, it's the same, but even easier, because the quilting cotton is so much later, wait! And on this window, a surgeon with those.

Class Description

Are you intimidated by your sewing machine? Don't be! Join experienced sewist Susan Beal as she guides you through the basics of sewing, including using straight stitches, zigzag stitches, simple appliqué, and easy binding.

Using simple projects in kid's sizes, Susan will teach you to customize t-shirts, create simple tote bags, reusable napkins, and more! You'll learn tricks that the experts use to create their own contrasting binding tape, how to sew on a variety of fabrics, and how to incorporate snaps and eyelets into your projects.

If you're a beginning sewer this course will give you clear, easy-to-follow ideas and inspiration for projects that tap into your family’s creative spirit.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Susan Beal Back to School Craft Ideas and Projects.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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What a great class! Susan does a fabulous job explaining each project and is great at giving you a heads up on what issues you might face with each project. I've now made two applique projects with another in the works. I've also made two of the girls skirts. Susan gave me the confidence to try and I am really happy with the results. Hope to try the binding tape soon. Thanks for offering this video.

Amanda Siska

Susan's projects were the best introduction to sewing I could have hoped for! I wasn't able to watch every project, but the ones I saw were simple, VERY clearly explained, and perfect for a beginning seamstress like myself. I'd never used binding tape before, or elastic, but now I'm confident about making my own binding tape and adding elastic waistbands to pretty much anything. I was immediately inspired to make a few skirts for myself after watching the simple children's skirt in this course, and I'm planning to make cloth napkins and an oilcloth lunch sack as well. I wish I'd gotten to see the applique portion, so I think I'll have to purchase the course in order to see that part. I'm positive that it will be just what I need to learn the process! I see that the previous reviewer was disappointed by the lack of diversity of crafts for this course, but I find that the name "Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners" was completely accurate for what it was. Perhaps it was categorized in a craft category, which would still seem applicable. I think it was advertised as having back to school projects to make for your kids, which is an even more detailed description of the course, since it includes clothing for boys and girls, as well as a lunch tote, cloth napkin, cape, and maybe more things I missed. Overall, this was my first Creative Live experience, and I was blown away by how informative and fun it was to watch!


Fun projects to make for your little one. Susan explains things so clearly. Very nice that she also offers patterns and written instructions for free