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Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners

Lesson 20 of 23

Patching Together the Art Tote Bag

Susan Beal

Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners

Susan Beal

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Lesson Info

20. Patching Together the Art Tote Bag

Lesson Info

Patching Together the Art Tote Bag

So have three sides framing my drawing these have been constructed exactly the same way if you use fabricas I mentioned it's even easier because quoting cotton might such a little faster and then you can add your interfacing at the end but now we're going to add the base to each of these back sites and the base will be the five inch section that we cut so it's a little wider and you'll see why when the bags finished just the different the different measurements shocking here to make sure and yeah that's my five inch so now I'm going online this one and I am going to upend this one because it has a couple of seems and one of them is backwards of the natural sun orders I mentioned and the other one we'll be reinforced by the song direction I just pin this one down as well and then she's going to make one hundred percent sure that's gonna live flat there looks good then keep going forward all right so I'll trim this one and my first side is finished stitching as you can see we've lost jus...

t a bit of the drawing on all sides but it's really kind of a nice framing effect I really like how it just almost feels like a painting or a photograph that you've put in a freeman home I'll finish this one up and then we'll be ready tio top stitch to reinforce the sides so the bottom of the second syed is exactly the same as the first I'll pin just in this one little place because it'll be reinforced going the opposite way and it's the five inch strip that you're joining to the bottom a pure uh overall backside shouldn't see this one's kind of flipping up a bit so I'm gonna lift my presser foot and adjust it and then go back tio all right, so now that I have my back sides finish I am ready to give them a good press as you can see um from the back my weight fabric thie drawings backs here is all then be pressed away from the center students not quite. Did you put the five inch? Did you flank it on the sides and the bottom with five inch thiss heights are foreign charges okay, bottom is five inches. Yeah, I can right in the top is two and a half exactly. So the top is the narrowest at two and a half the sides or sort of a medium a medium what at four inches just slightly narrower and in the bottom is five inches because some of it will be lost a box corners and the base of the bag so I made it a little whiter there, so it wasn't totally symmetrical, I think. And so when we're trimming the five inch we were only trimming part of it yes eleven inches of it turned all of it let's get you some orange or if you turned more of it than that so I'm going to use my best press here on the back of my denham so it has a little bit more ever reinforcement for my seems distilled water is also great for this so now I'm going to have given my the back of my bag side a good press and I'm going to press the front the same way away from the center so that my denham it's kind of framing this one and it's really kind of lying flatter and smoother away from the white fabric or the I should say the colorful and white fabric now we're gonna do one of my favorite things and sewing which is top stitching um have any of you don't have sitting on perfects before we're used to share on the edge of seymour tio kind of reinforce it and add some stability I really like doing it it kind of winds are nice effects very simple but it catches all your seams and it's sort of frames and adds a little bit of uh a little bit of it not not necessarily decorative element but a very attractive element I think so I'm just going to go around and pen where my seem underneath is so that we're going to stitch around the right side of this and catch all the layers of the seams together it will give it a little strength and stability and it'll give it a nice clean freemark now if you want to do this with a contrast colors fred just for something like an attractive design element you're totally welcome to you, but for mine I'm going to use the medium blue thread that susan why you this is already stitched whyyou pending this is well, I'm gonna stitch again over this so that it catches all the layers and leaves it nice and flat oh impending it because that way it'll stay kind of smooth and flat, so I've got a lot of thickness with this denham and so it keeps a kind of neatly in place I often don't pen if I've already such something and I'm just reinforcing it, but for this one it's kind of nice having that little bit of extra uh keeping it neat and street, so I'm going to go ahead and change my top thread to the medium blue here it isthe and as you can see, this is a pretty good color match of the dinner you could certainly choose one that was a very different shade for fun if you wanted, like a decorative such that looked pretty and kind of might have included a you know, just sort of a more framing kind of dramatic look so I'll save my weight thread for future projects and admire blue thread here ah for this one it's not crucial I'm just thinking basically the lining fabric that I chose which I think is really fun it's kind of personal preference if you'd like to sew with bluer with white so we can leave the white bobbing in for now and then people can decide if they want to use ah a blue or a wait sometimes it's nice not to have to change the bob in each and every time so now for top stitching I'm going to start in my upper corner go a little slowly seven can see unbelievably stitch length a little long because I'm going through so many layers of dinner right now so when I drop my needle and with top stitching or edge teaching which this is they're very similar methods you essentially parallel the edge that you've already sewn and you're just reinforcing it in a very simple, very straightforward way she can see my denham is pretty thick here so it took a minute to work its way over that this is a great machine for serving heavy duty fabric sect in on though of really in danamon oilcloth equally well so sort of a heavy duty needle and which I used for oil cloth as well and that's just a great one for dunham just so is designed to so have your fabrics really well so as you can possibly see with this top stitching it's very subtle but it just lends it a flatter kind of calmer appearance obviously just show it when it's done or on the perimeter in just a minute cern I've stopped just on to the next edge I'm turning in ninety degree angle corner, dropping the presser foot again and stitching forward the same way way and now I'm doing the same thing at this corner and just searching for it again this is my last one I'll be sitting right up to join my initial corner he needs to just just a little help moving over that thick a scene so now just to finish this up I'm going to do a quick ford and back such and this side is all top stitching reinforced I think once I'm able to show it here I'm more clearly on the screen it will be really obvious the difference between top such and not top such on these two this one's got a lot of softness in the denim is kind of curling a bit from the sewed seem and this one has just kind of a neatness and flatness of the stitching reminding it that it needs to be lying flat and lying down you nice frame that's what I think tio exactly I really like how it's subtle but it just has a really calm kind of sturdiness have you ever used a contrast cotton threat tio that's a great idea and you could even do depending on your fabric although I probably wouldn't do it with this on such a narrow quarter inch seam and such a thick one if you're using a lightweight fabric and possibly a wider sea malone's like happening very pretty of the decorative such but yeah, I really like how that gives it that effect as well. It's very calm and kind of a simple look this's why like top stitching? So I'll set this one aside for the moment I'm going to go ahead and give this one the same front and back press and then we'll be ready to top stitch that one and get our lining together and just to keep it give you a tiny peek at our future this is the fabric it shows for the lining I really love it it's so simple but it's all colored pencils it's really bright and fun I thought it would be a great one to mix with the dunham and just kind of have the inside bia's fun is the outside with the drawing or the photograph when one thing I meant to show which I'll just quickly grab is with the back of the top stitching looks like this might illustrate the whole technique a little better so you see the friends it's very simple but it's not nice and neat in flat on the back you can see that the seam is very flat and very neat and it's, this is a lot of fabric compress into a small space, a quarter inch wide with three with multiple thicknesses of dinner, miss fisher, the corners, and then this reinforced cotton so it's just got a very clean, neat effect, which serves you well if making a sturdy tote bag, you're going to use quite a bit, all right, so back to the pressing so as you were asking before jacare with thie pinning it's certainly not crucial you could top such about pending, but I would say especially the first two times you do it, I'd recommend the pending, and it is kind of a nice reinforcement because when you are sowing thiss can turn under and end up if it's not secured, it could kind of pop under and end up being ah, not as clean of a line seventy get this top stitch and the linings ready in just a moment, and then we'll be finishing up our tote bag as we move into the next segments. You what I love about making tote bags is I'm small changes can just do a lot toe just make a design totally different this bag which shall see shortly has box corners, which is what gives it that sort of death, and I means that the back is going to be whiter and more accessible, but you could leave the box corners out and you would have a really nice kind of larger flatter, almost more like a large envelope for a portfolio style bag with the same dimensions and it's just totally personal preference or what you like or what you're carrying but there's so many things you can do to change the handle wings or ad pockets a patch pocket like the one that jenny added to her lunch bag would be really nice on the inside of this one so here's my tops to trudy bag and I'm just going to top such the same way I did the first one so I won't bother to give you each and every tip again, but you'll just see me turn corners at ninety degrees and is it over? The thicker seems where it's harder to for the needle to so quite the same speed like that no events on this a few times but I just have been taking your pins out before you stitch over them justcause especially this victim it's an easy way to break a needle or have the pen break and fly towards you just better to get out of the habit of sewing too close to them and breaking one by accident needle you using early ok? Yes still good one absolutely I understand the fuss all right, so I've got both of these and you course so at your own pace, but I'm just going to check now, this's eighteen inches, which is the width of my cutting math so that's, exactly right by eighteen inches wide by fifteen inches tall and I'm going to true up the side. It looks like this one in particular is just slightly from piecing. This is so common there's just slightly more fabric from the piecing than there should be cell, just trimming away neatly with my quilting ruler and this is very common and patchwork and quoting, we always square up for blocks, so here we go. I'll just trim that threat that one's all set, and we'll just have time to cut our linings and prep those and then we'll finish the bag at the beginning of our next segment, so I'm going to measure this one as well. It is eighteen inches across, perfect and fifteen inches tall, and once again this first one, which is the one of the most seems the top edge. I'm just going to clean that up so that it's need and straight for future sign, so wei go so now, after all this din ahman cutting and dealing with it, the lining is a snap, so I'm going to go ahead and remove my solid jizz this is such a cute fabric I think I'm going to use the solvents or something else I'm going to cut it generously you'll just need eighteen inches across and since this is quoting cotton well more than enough it's about let's see off several inches left over just a little scraps I'm going to keep my new if you ever make any sewing aircraft with salvages but they can be so cute in this one has such a nice little pencil design it's gonna cut it here and save that for something else and now all I need to do is cut the suits eighteen inches across and actually way my cutting mattias aligned it's just easier to cut it this way so I've got it on zero on the side and then I have it eighteen inches on this side so it's lined up with zero mark and I have it in eighteen inches here how's it going oh good and then I'm just gonna use my delivery cutter to turn away this extra piece this's acute scrap would be a nice little extra for something so here's our lining make sure it's the same size as our sides of our bag or outer fifteen by eighteen inches and that's fifteen and just hauled by eighteen inches wide so I've now got my spring picture my fall picture both men into backsides and then two pieces of identical size lining fabric ready to go just to get us ready for the top of the next segment or will finish up this back we go ahead and press my lining in pennant right sides together so it's all ready to go for our next a few steps quilting cotton is so light and easy work with after the heavier dunham and the fuse herbal and all the sort of steps that go into building this thirty bags so now I'm gonna shake the south in pennant right sides together and if you have a directional print like this one I want my pencils to be pointing out because they just think it looks really cute when you open the bag you'll see that so I'm making sure that this is going to be the top edge I'm leaving on penned you're gonna pen around the sides and the bottom of this lining fabric every few inches so that's neatly aligned already just so in a few minutes and then the lining I'll just mention now since we're finishing up this problem we're gonna pin the bottom but we're going to leave a section of it open and if you've ever made a tote bag or any type of handbag purse messenger bag that's lined and you don't necessarily close the lining while you so it's you can turn it right side out at the end that's what we're going to be doing today ah back they're gonna turn inside out exactly so I'm going to leave this part on soon amazing, I think people in the chat rooms are really blown away that you could take a child's drawing the actually original and have it printed onto fabric. So you know, it's really nice is a great idea I feel like toothy other thing that's kind of cool with having a finished piece toe look at as well is this is theoden nickel size in the identical shape here, the threat for me toe always another threat, tio everyone but you'll see this is just the flat piece, and once we build in the box corners and join it, it has more of a sophisticated shape you'll see the bottom is neat and flat it holds quite a bit and it's just a sort of a more ah more detailed shape rather than you could certainly so these together just as is and have a nice neat envelope back that had no specific web, but no, it looks really great on dh I love the way that the stitching is framed, the committee as well, but the inside is really cool they've got that incredible contrast the fabrics you've chosen for those this one and this one looks so good oh, thank you, I know I love this one, even this little section of it such a cute little scrap this really great. We're going to put all that together in our next segment, ladies, how are we doing over here? We were close. Good. Well, we're going to take a look at this in our next segment, so stay with us. We're going to put everything together for this and finish the tote bags.

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.



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