Today we are making a ragged tote bag that is the perfect size for little girls. It’s easy to make and fun to use. I often give them for gifts filled with little toys or coloring books.
*2 packs of Moda Candy
*1/2 yard of white fabric (or coordinating fabric of your choice) for the lining
*1/2 yard of natural colored felt
#1. From your white fabric cut 66 squares that are 2 and 1/2 inches.
#2. From your felt cut 66 squares that are 2 and 1/2 inches.
#3. Open your Moda Candy packs!
#4. Layer your squares for your bag. Put 1 white square on the bottom, a piece of felt in the middle, and your printed fabric on the top. (With the right sides facing out on both the white and the printed fabric.)
#5. Choose two squares that you would like to place next to each other. Place them (still stacked with the felt and white fabric) with the white fabric together in the middle. Now your stack is 6 pieces deep! (But don’t worry…your machine can handle it! 🙂
#6. Once you are all stacked up sew down one side of your stack. Then open it up! (Your seams will be on the OUTSIDE and it will look crazy but that is ok…that is how you want it to look for this project!)
*Note: For this project use a generous quarter inch seam.
#7. Repeat the process for the 2 squares that you would like to attach underneath the pair you just made. Once you are done place your two pairs of squares together with the white in the middle (your prints facing outward) and sew them together.
#8. Unfold and see the cute little 4 patch you just created! Now repeat this process 13 more times. (So that you have a total of 14 little 4 patches!)
#9. Now select the 4 four patch squares that you would like to use for the front of your bag.
#10. Sew the 4 squares together in the same manner you’ve been sewing thus far. (With the white fabric in the middle and the printed sides out). Once you are finished repeat this process for the back side of your bag.
#11. Now we just need to sew up the two side pieces and the bottom piece for the bag. Both the sides and the bottom are made up of 2 four patch squares sewn together. The only difference between the sides and the bottom is just making sure any directional prints are going the right way on the pieces you choose for the sides. So put together 2 side panels and one bottom panel.
#12. We have all of our pieces ready so now it’s time to construct our bag. Put your front panel and your side panel WHITE sides together and sew it up!
#13. Next put that same side panel and your back panel WHITE sides together and sew it up as well!
#14. Now, I know what your thinking…it’s time add the other side panel. But it’s not. I mean I guess you could but I wouldn’t and don’t. I add the bottom panel next. So you will be sewing the bottom WHITE sides together in one long line across the front, pivot, down the side, pivot, and along the back side.
#15. Now add you last side panel…white sides together…sew down the front, pivot, across the bottom, pivot, and up the back. Now your bag is completely formed.
#16. We need to make the strap/handle now. Sew together 10 fabric and felt sandwiches (exactly how we did in steps 4 and 5 only now we are sewing 10 together in a long strip instead of just 2).
#17. Now sew a 1/4 inch seam down each side of your strap like shown in the photo below.
#18. We are ready to attach the strap now! Position it on the side panels right between the 2 small squares making up the top of the 4 patch squares as shown in the picture below. I place the strap right behind the side panel and down inside the bag about 1 inch. Then I sew the first strap on and continue stitching around the entire circumference keeping the 1/4 inch seam until I get to the next strap, which I sew on, and continue around the bag until I come back to the place where I began.
#19. The only thing we have left to do is clip our seams. Snip along all seam lines about every 1/4 inch like shown in the photo below. Clip to the stitching but NOT through the stitching!!
#20. When I finish my bags I always throw them in the washing machine on the rinse cycle and then into the dryer. This will fluff up all those clipped and snipped seams and make them soft and cute. This last step isn’t necessary but I always do it.
There are other ways that these bags can be assembled. However, I’ve made over 500 of these little guys and this is the way that I’ve found to have them best hold their shape and be the easiest to sew.
*1 little girls tote bag
(And 1 big disagreement if you happen to have more than 1 little girl!)
Simple Simon & Co.