I really liked the test bags but I made quite a few changes to the construction. So here's how I make reversible, reusable tote bags:
1 yard printed cotton or home decor fabric
1 yard solid or coordinating printed cotton or home decor fabric
rotary cutter (optional but recommended)
serger (optional but recommended)
self - healing mat
**Warning: DO NOT CUT OFF THE SELVAGE! You're going to need every bit of these 2 yards of fabric. I promise the selvage will be hidden. Just trust me.**
The first step is to press your fabric then fold lengthwise and press fold flat. I suggest that when folding your fabric that you have the right side of the fabric on the inside, it makes things easier later.
Measure 6 inches from the top of the fabric and cut. Set this piece aside, we'll get back to it later.
Fold your fabric in half widthwise and measure. Hopefully you're using fabric that is 44 or 45 inches wide, which means that your halfway point should be 19 to 19.5 inches from the top, cut at your midpoint. At this point you should have two pieces of fabric that folded is 18 inches wide and 19 inches long.
Cut 3 by 3 squares from the bottom of the fabric.
Remember that 6 inch strip of fabric from earlier? It's come back into play now. So first you need to iron out the fold crease. Next make cuts every 8 inches, this will give you four 8" x 6" boxes and an extra piece.
You need a 5" x 3" template. I cut a 8" x 6" box out of a cereal box and then cut a 5" x 3" whole in the middle. You don't have to do that, honestly you could cutout a 5" x 3" box out of a piece of paper, as long as you center it. Regardless of how you make your template trace the 5" x 3" and draw something that resembles an envelope. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT!
Open the large piece of fabric and pin the box to the top, right sides together. The box should be centered on the large piece, which basically means there should be 5 inches on either side of the box. (See I told you the envelope didn't need to be perfect)
Cut along the inside "envelope" lines, cut as closely to the corner stitches as you can but DO NOT cut through them.
Pull everything through the hole you just made and press the opening down.
Serge down the side and across the bottom.
Now open the holes at the bottom of the bag, lay the top of the opening on the bottom of the opening and sew closed. Repeat on the other side.
Repeat all the above instructions with the second yard of fabric.
Once you have two bags constructed, put one inside of the other, right sides together and serge the two bags together along the top. Leave an opening so you can flip the bags to the right-side-out.
I also top stitch along the bottom of the handle opening but that's optional.
There are a lot of steps involved but overall it's a quick process and the end result is fabulous.
Give it a try and let me know how your bags came out.
If you read this tutorial and think, "That's really cool but I'm not/can't/don't have the time to do all that" I sell these totes. http://www.etsy.com/shop/kaclopton
Until next time,