Triple Tone Tote

measures 14.50” x 12.50”

measures 14.50” x 12.50”

lead 2.jpg

Three fabrics, three colors, and triple braid-look straps are the main features of this brown and beige tone tote bag.  Rows of brown stitching circle the top which is vinyl.  The brown vinyl bottom leads up to a woven midsection with one easy access pocket on the front and other pockets on the back.  The purely decorative silver studs compliment the round silver strap rings that came from an old belt.  I used a tan and brown print fabric lining and included a large zipper pocket as well as some smaller ones inside.  A center inside flap with magnetic clasp connects and gives closure to the bag.  Many elements go into the construction of a handbag. This tote was inspired by a Feragamo bag that didn’t completely appeal to me but it had a multi-stitched top band.  As you can see, I used that here and added my own touches. The colors blend. The contrasts meld and the details make this a very special tote.

Note: Fusible interfacing was used throughout.  Place a protective cloth over the vinyl and iron on the wrong side.

Fabric

17" x 24.25” one piece for front and back bag - woven fabric and interfacing
17" x 9" Front pocket piece and lining - woven fabric, cotton lining and interfacing
17" x 6.5” back pocket and lining - woven fabric, cotton lining and interfacing
17" x 9.75" brown vinyl bag bottom
4” x 4” clasp flap - vinyl - plus interfacing
17"x 9" top vinyl band - two pieces plus interfacing
33" x 3.50" fleece band
3" x 4.50" strap tabs - cut four brown vinyl
3.25" x 16” - straps brown vinyl - cut four
16.50" x 12.50" fleece lining - cut two

Extra lining, interfacing and zippers for custom lining pockets you design

Directions

step 1 - Cut out all pieces. Be sure to download the instructions which include a template for the front pocket shape.

 

step 2 - Pockets Use the template to cut out the pocket opening shape.  Sew the linings to the pocket pieces right sides together with stay tape on the 5/8” seam line.  Topstitch seam allowance to the lining.  Trim the seam allowance.  Press with wrong sides together.  Align the top of the front pocket to the top of the woven fabric with the lining against the right side of the woven fabric.  Machine baste the top edge and sides.

step 2 - Pockets

Use the template to cut out the pocket opening shape.  Sew the linings to the pocket pieces right sides together with stay tape on the 5/8” seam line.  Topstitch seam allowance to the lining.  Trim the seam allowance.  Press with wrong sides together.  Align the top of the front pocket to the top of the woven fabric with the lining against the right side of the woven fabric.  Machine baste the top edge and sides.

step 3 - Position the finished edge of the back pocket 2.50" from the other end of the woven fabric with the pocket edge facing the fabric edge.  Baste in place. Attach masking tape to mark and sew vertical stitching lines for the pockets.  Create sections for storing sunglasses, cell phones, etc.  Design this area so that it suits your needs, making the sections the right size for the items you usually carry.

step 3 - Position the finished edge of the back pocket 2.50" from the other end of the woven fabric with the pocket edge facing the fabric edge.  Baste in place. Attach masking tape to mark and sew vertical stitching lines for the pockets.  Create sections for storing sunglasses, cell phones, etc.  Design this area so that it suits your needs, making the sections the right size for the items you usually carry.

step 4 - Attach The Brown Bottom With right sides together, match the top edges of the front and back of the bag.  Cut slits to mark the bottom fold which will be the bottom center of the bag. Fold the brown vinyl for the bottom of the bag with the long ends together and mark or cut slits to indicate the bottom center of the bag. Turn a .25" seam on both long edges of the piece and topstitch at a little less than .25" from the edge. Align the wrong side of the brown vinyl to the right side of the woven fabric matching up the center bottom slits.  Sew the brown edges to the woven fabric close to the existing stitch lines.  

step 4 - Attach The Brown Bottom
With right sides together, match the top edges of the front and back of the bag.  Cut slits to mark the bottom fold which will be the bottom center of the bag.

Fold the brown vinyl for the bottom of the bag with the long ends together and mark or cut slits to indicate the bottom center of the bag. Turn a .25" seam on both long edges of the piece and topstitch at a little less than .25" from the edge.

Align the wrong side of the brown vinyl to the right side of the woven fabric matching up the center bottom slits.  Sew the brown edges to the woven fabric close to the existing stitch lines.

 

step 5 - Outer Shell Construction Outer Shell Construction Starting at the bottom, sew up the side seams with the right sides together.  Reinforce the stitching across stress areas like the tops of pockets. Flatten the bottom corner of the bag and create a triangle .  Draw a line across the triangle at 4" with a marker.  Use a ruler to be sure the side seam is centered 2” from each edge.  Sew across the line which will result in the 4” bag bottom.

step 5 - Outer Shell Construction

Outer Shell Construction
Starting at the bottom, sew up the side seams with the right sides together.  Reinforce the stitching across stress areas like the tops of pockets.

Flatten the bottom corner of the bag and create a triangle .  Draw a line across the triangle at 4" with a marker.  Use a ruler to be sure the side seam is centered 2” from each edge.  Sew across the line which will result in the 4” bag bottom.

step 6 - Top Band Sew the side seams with right sides together.   The decorative top stitching starts one inch from the center of the band when it's folded in half.  Use disappearing ink to create five straight lines with a ruler .50” apart on the right side of the front and back pieces. Turn the vinyl to the wrong side and press the fusible interfacing into place.  Align the fleece with the top fold line of the band and glue or fuse in several places.  Allow to dry.

step 6 - Top Band

Sew the side seams with right sides together.   The decorative top stitching starts one inch from the center of the band when it's folded in half.  Use disappearing ink to create five straight lines with a ruler .50” apart on the right side of the front and back pieces. Turn the vinyl to the wrong side and press the fusible interfacing into place.  Align the fleece with the top fold line of the band and glue or fuse in several places.  Allow to dry.

step 7 - Clasp Flap With wrong sides together stitch three sides .25” from the raw edge.  Cut close to stitching to create a tiny clean edge. 

step 7 - Clasp Flap

With wrong sides together stitch three sides .25” from the raw edge.  Cut close to stitching to create a tiny clean edge. 

step 8 - With the band open, (not folded in half) align the raw edge of the flap against the first line of stitching at the top inside of the band.  The center of the flap should match the center of the band. Sew the flap to the third line of decorative stitching then trim the allowance.  Turn the flap up and sew another line of stitching to secure it to the top line of the band.  Trim the flap with a thin strip of brown vinyl if desired. 

step 8 - With the band open, (not folded in half) align the raw edge of the flap against the first line of stitching at the top inside of the band.  The center of the flap should match the center of the band. Sew the flap to the third line of decorative stitching then trim the allowance.  Turn the flap up and sew another line of stitching to secure it to the top line of the band.  Trim the flap with a thin strip of brown vinyl if desired. 

step 9 - Attach the magnetic clasp to the flap center.  Attach the matching clasp piece to the opposite side of the band reinforcing it with a piece of cardboard on the back side of the band between the front and back clasp piece. Fold the band in half and pin the raw edges together.  

step 9 - Attach the magnetic clasp to the flap center.  Attach the matching clasp piece to the opposite side of the band reinforcing it with a piece of cardboard on the back side of the band between the front and back clasp piece.

Fold the band in half and pin the raw edges together.

 

step 10 - Strap Tabs Center two strips of fusible tape side by side on the wrong side of the tabs.   Fold the raw edges in to meet at the center and iron the vinyl with a pressing cloth to fuse the hems in place.

step 10 - Strap Tabs
Center two strips of fusible tape side by side on the wrong side of the tabs.   Fold the raw edges in to meet at the center and iron the vinyl with a pressing cloth to fuse the hems in place.

step 11 - Position each tab 4” from the center of the band.  Sew the right side of a tab to the right side of the top band with the edge of the tab aligning with the first line of stitching.  Sew over the second stitch line.  Trim the tab close to the stitching. 

step 11 - Position each tab 4” from the center of the band.  Sew the right side of a tab to the right side of the top band with the edge of the tab aligning with the first line of stitching.  Sew over the second stitch line.  Trim the tab close to the stitching. 

step 12 - Slide a ring onto the tab.  Turn the tab with the right side facing the right side of the band, tucking the end against the trimmed edge.  Sew the tab across the first stitching line of the band. Sew in a rectangle moving across the bottom edge and ending where you started.  Repeat for all four tabs.

step 12 - Slide a ring onto the tab.  Turn the tab with the right side facing the right side of the band, tucking the end against the trimmed edge.  Sew the tab across the first stitching line of the band. Sew in a rectangle moving across the bottom edge and ending where you started.  Repeat for all four tabs.

step 13 - Connect The Band To The Bag Match up the bottom edges of the band and sew together with a half inch seam.   Match the raw edge of the folded band to the raw edges of the woven fabric and sew together.

step 13 - Connect The Band To The Bag
Match up the bottom edges of the band and sew together with a half inch seam.  

Match the raw edge of the folded band to the raw edges of the woven fabric and sew together.

step 14 - Lining and Fleece Padding Add zippered or open pockets to the front and back lining pieces as desired.  Sew the side seams of the lining and fleece.  Sew across the bottoms, three inches in from the sides.  Leave the middle sections open.  Sew the four inch corners as you did with the woven fabric. Sew the fleece to the wrong side of the lining in a 75" seam at the top edge.  Trim the fleece close to the stitching.   Place the cardboard into the bottom of the bag fitting it into the corners. Slip the bag into the lining right sides together.  Sew the lining to the the bag with a normal 5/8” seam.  Machine or slip stitch the bottom center of the fleece followed by the lining.  Push the lining and fleece  into the bag.

step 14 - Lining and Fleece Padding

Add zippered or open pockets to the front and back lining pieces as desired.  Sew the side seams of the lining and fleece.  Sew across the bottoms, three inches in from the sides.  Leave the middle sections open.  Sew the four inch corners as you did with the woven fabric.

Sew the fleece to the wrong side of the lining in a 75" seam at the top edge.  Trim the fleece close to the stitching.  

Place the cardboard into the bottom of the bag fitting it into the corners.

Slip the bag into the lining right sides together.  Sew the lining to the the bag with a normal 5/8” seam.  Machine or slip stitch the bottom center of the fleece followed by the lining.  Push the lining and fleece  into the bag.

step 15 - The Straps
Hem only 12” of each strap buy folding it in half on the length and turning under the raw edges .50”.  Secure with paper clips.  Create a row of stitching .25” from both strap edges followed by a line of stitching outside the .25” line.

 

step 16 - The Braid Cut .75” long slits in the center of the straps with a craft knife as follows:   Cut slit number two 3” from the finished end of the strap.   Cut slit number one 1.25" from the previous slit. Cut slit number three 1.25" from the previous slit.

step 16 - The Braid
Cut .75” long slits in the center of the straps with a craft knife as follows:  
Cut slit number two 3” from the finished end of the strap.  
Cut slit number one 1.25" from the previous slit.
Cut slit number three 1.25" from the previous slit.

step 17 - Insert the hemmed end of the strap into the metal ring from back to front.  Bring the end of the strap through slit one. 

step 17 - Insert the hemmed end of the strap into the metal ring from back to front.  Bring the end of the strap through slit one. 

step 18 - Bring the unfinished strap end through slit 2. Bring the hemmed strap end through slit three.  (You might want to try these steps on a scrap piece of fabric to see how it works before cutting into the vinyl.) Add a .50” brad above the braid through only one strap thickness. Sew the short hemmed end of the strap horizontally to the long front strap.

step 18 - Bring the unfinished strap end through slit 2.
Bring the hemmed strap end through slit three.  (You might want to try these steps on a scrap piece of fabric to see how it works before cutting into the vinyl.)

Add a .50” brad above the braid through only one strap thickness.

Sew the short hemmed end of the strap horizontally to the long front strap.

step 19 - Strap Covers Fold a cover in half to measure 2” by 4”.  Sew a .50” seam with the right sides together.  Turn the cover right side out.  Slip it over the unfinished end of a strap and slide it close to the brad to hide the stitching that holds the two straps together.  Turn the raw edges of the covers under on both sides so the cover measures 1.50” long.  Apply E6000 glue under the covers to keep them from sliding up the strap.

step 19 - Strap Covers
Fold a cover in half to measure 2” by 4”.  Sew a .50” seam with the right sides together.  Turn the cover right side out.  Slip it over the unfinished end of a strap and slide it close to the brad to hide the stitching that holds the two straps together.  Turn the raw edges of the covers under on both sides so the cover measures 1.50” long.  Apply E6000 glue under the covers to keep them from sliding up the strap.

step 20 - With right sides together, sew each set of straps with a .50” seam to create one long strap on the the front and one on the back of the bag.  Turn the edges .50” to finish hemming the strap with top stitching. Add a .25” brad to teach of the strap tabs.

step 20 - With right sides together, sew each set of straps with a .50” seam to create one long strap on the the front and one on the back of the bag.  Turn the edges .50” to finish hemming the strap with top stitching.

Add a .25” brad to teach of the strap tabs.


Supplies

At Fabric Store  

  •  fabric detailed at the top of the page
  •  fusing tape
  •  craft knife
  •  fusible interfacing
  •  .50” and .25” brads
  •  four 1.50” silver rings
  •  stay tape
  •  sewing notions
  •  invisible ink marker
  •  fabric glue
  •  E6000 glue
  • 10.50" x 4" cardboard

Recommended Items