Monday, May 19, 2014

Springtime in Paris Tote

I found the fabric used in this project while I was browsing online for something else. (That's how most of my online shopping adventures seem to go.) When I stumbled upon "Springtime in Paris" and "Paris Ville" on the Michael Miller Fabrics website, I just had to order a few yards of each. Then came the hard part: deciding what to make with my serendipitous purchase. I think this chic little tote was the perfect choice.

To make the bag, cut two 10" squares from the "Springtime in Paris" fabric and two 5" by 10" pieces from the "Paris Ville" fabric. For the bag front, place the rectangle piece facedown and upside down over the top edge of the square piece. Stitch the pieces together along the long edge and then flip the top piece up. You should have a band of "Parish Ville" fabric above a square of "Springtime in Parish" fabric--and both designs should be right side up. Create the tote's back the same way. Pin the finished pieces together, right sides facing, and stitch around the side and bottom edges. Turn the tote to the right side.

For the handles, cut two 2½" by 7" pieces from one of the fabrics. Fold them in half lengthwise, right sides facing, and stitch along the long edge of each. Turn the handles to the right side and iron them flat. To make a lining for the tote, cut two 10" by 12½" pieces from one of the fabrics, pin them together with right sides facing, and stitch them together along the side and bottom edges. Leave the lining inside out.

Fold the top edge of the tote over ½" to the inside and press it in place. Fold the top edge of the lining over ½" to the wrong side and press. Place the lining inside the tote and pin the top edges of the tote and lining together. You may have to adjust the edges a bit to get them to match up evenly. Slip the raw edges of the handles in place between the tote and lining and stitch along the top edge of the tote.

When I made this bag, I had some pink-and-white polka-dotted ribbon that matched the fabrics perfectly. I sewed a band of ribbon around the tote to conceal the seam between the two fabrics. For a finishing touch, I made a charm from beads and broken jewelry. The silver bow is part of an old pin; the Eiffel Tower charm had been waiting in my bead box for the right project.

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