Let me just say, this is my very first (ever) tutorial, I took 121 pictures and I’ve dwindled that number down considerable, but there is still a TON of pictures, so I apologize ahead of time! I hope it all makes sense. And let me just say, the quality of my pictures isn’t the best, but they will have to do, and I think you’ll get the idea. 🙂
This is the bag I made, while making the tutorial. Yes, the flower is different, but I will show you how to make both kinds.
You will need: a place mat, 2+ yards of ribbon, fabric scraps & button (for the flower), thread, and of course your sewing machine. Make sure to back stitch anywhere you are starting or stopping. 🙂
Are you ready to get started? Lay out your place mat, right side up. Figure out where you want your straps. I put mine 3 3/4 inches from the edges on both sides. I put the end of the ribbon in the center of the place mat. (This will end up being the bottom of the bag.)
Pin it into place. Once you get to the top of one side, figure out how big you want the handles then measure the other side and pin ribbon into place there. Pin all the way to the other end of the place mat.
Make the handles the same size. I did this by folding the place mat in half then measuring with my hands.
Measure from the edge again and continue pinning ribbon into place on the same side you started on.
When you cut the ribbon, let it over lap by a couple of inches, then roll it under and pin it into place.
If your sewing machine has the option, keep the needle down when it stops sewing. (This is what my button looks like.)
Start sewing with a straight stitch where the ribbon overlaps.
When you get to the fold, turn and sew across it. If your needle stays down, you can just lift the presser foot and turn, then put the presser foot back down.
Then turn again when you get to the other side of the ribbon.
Sew all the way to the end of the place mat, then across the ribbon. and back to where you started, but on the other side of the ribbon. (Is any of this making any sense?!?!)
Sew past the seam where you started.
And all the way to the other end and then back again to the center. When you are done with that side, sew the other side, but you won’t have the end of the ribbon seam, so just sew a big long rectangle. When you get it done, it should look like this.
Now that you have the ribbon on, it’s time to make it into a bag. Fold it in half, with the ribbon on the inside.
Line up the top edges. I don’t even pin it.
Sew a straight stitch with a 1/4 seam, all the way to the bottom. Do this on both sides.
It should look like this. Now we are going to ‘box’ the bottom.
I used a piece of chipboard, cut to be 2 1/4 square. Lay it on the corner of your bag and trace it with a pen. You need to do this to both corners, on both sides. You will trace it a total of 4 times.
Your corner should look like this.
Put your hand inside the bag and separate the corners, so you can grab them. Pinch both sides of the bag, on the drawn corners, and pull them.
It should look like this, and you are going to sew across the line you see.
Make sure to back stitch, and sew across the line.
I separated the seam on the bottom when I was putting it through my machine. Do this to both corners, and turn you bag right side out! You can trim the corners a 1/2 from the seam, or just leave them.
Your bag should look like this now!
To make the quick and simple flower, here is what you do. Cut 3 or 4 random, layered circles out of scrap fabric. (Mine were mostly oval, DO NOT worry if they are not perfect.) If you don’t want them to fray at all then I would sew around them, or use some fray check. I have not tried either of these methods, but I *think* they would work.
Fold each of them in half, then half again. Take a needle and thread and put through all 4 layers, just a couple of times will do.
It will look like this. Do it to all of your circles.
Layer them back together, and put a button in the center. It is now ready to attach to your bag. Did I leave anything out, or does everything so far make sense? If this is the kind of flower you want, then you can stop reading now, I know you probably feel like you’ve read a novel by now! 🙂
If you want to make this flower, then keep reading…
Change the length of your stitch to a long as it will go.
Get yours scraps. For the largest (back) circle on the flower, I used a piece that was 15 inches by 4 inches. The green fabric was about 3 to 3 1/2 inches wide by 11 inches long, and the orange was probably 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide by 11 inches long. (Sorry I didn’t measure the widths.) Fold it in half, and sew a 1/4 seam with your loose stitch all along the edge. DO NOT BACK STITCH THESE, OR IT WON’T WORK!
They should look like this when all the seams are laying on each other.
On one end of each of them, tie a square knot or something in the end with the threads. Just make sure it holds well.
On the other end, pull on ONE of the threads (which ever one will move). It will gather your fabric into a circle.
Match up the seams, and sew them so it is secure as a circle.
Layer your circles and hand sew them together.
Put your button on and then sew it all to the bag!
And there you have it! You are all finished! If you have questions, PLEASE let me know, and I will try my best to answer them. Thanks for sticking with me to the end of my very first tutorial, and I really am sorry for ALL of the pictures. I just didn’t know how else to show you how to do it! 🙂 If you do make one, I would love to see it. If you post it on a blog, please link back to here. I hope you enjoy your tote!