How to Make a Fat Quarter Tote | a Shabby Fabrics Sewing Tutorial

Updated : Oct 09, 2019 in Articles

How to Make a Fat Quarter Tote | a Shabby Fabrics Sewing Tutorial

[ Intro: instrumental strumming ] Hi! I’m Jennifer from Shabby Fabrics.
Today I’m going to show you how to make this simple Fat Quarter Tote and Flower
Pin using the Seventh Heaven sets that are available at the Shabby Fabrics website.
The Seventh Heaven sets are a coordinated set of seven fat quarters that are coordinated by
color. They’re from a variety of manufacturers and they’re really just
geared toward one colorway, so, if you don’t like picking your own fabrics,
coordinating, we’ve done that for you. So be sure to pick up your favorite Seventh
Heaven set, and let me show you how to make this bag. Now we’ve done this in two
kind-of styles: one was made with a fusible fleece and the other was made
with a fusible foam. The foam gives it a much firmer, sturdier look—almost like
a tote bag. Whereas this, with a fusible batting, gives it a little bit of a
softer—like you could go shopping with that, where this is like a caddy, almost, like
a craft caddy. So depending on what you’re going for, you might want to
choose the fusible batting or the fusible foam. So the first thing you need
to do, of course, is choose your colors. You will need a lining fabric, a main
fabric, the top of the bag, and then the handle fabric, and then whatever you want
to use for your pretty flower pin. You’ll have your lining fabric, and you have
your top hot pink here—that’s what we used— and you’ll just be right sides
together, simply. So, press the seam open and we’ve done that ahead of time and
that’s right there. You’ll repeat the exact same steps for your main fabric
which, in this case, we’re using the yellow. Again, right sides together, so
press the seams open. We’ve done that, again, ahead of time
just to speed up things. We’ll put that aside for now, and that’s what we have
right here. Now, I want to mention that some people really like a quilted
tote. If you want to do the quilting, now is the time to actually do it. The
bag on your left—my right—is quilted, whereas the one on my left is not. So if
you do want to go ahead and do the quilting, this is when you grab your big ruler and your FriXion pen and just start drawing
diagonal line spacing, oh, two to three inches apart, so they have a nice rhythm
to the interval of the stitching and it’s just a straight stitch. And once
you’re done with that, you’ll just iron that away with the hot iron, and then
it’ll just disappear. So we— I’ll be, today just to save time, again, I will not
be doing a quilted version, but if I were that’s exactly how I would do it. The
next step is to make our handles. Again, very simple. You’ll need two fabrics: one
fabric cut twice is really what I mean. Three and a half—or three and a quarter
by seventeen. Don’t worry about those measurements. On the homepage, Shabby Fabrics
Free Downloads. Click there, and you’ll be able to pull up all of these
measurements, so you don’t have to jot those down right now. We’ll be using the
fusible batting today so all you’ll need to do— okay, let me show you one that was
partially done so you can see how it went together. We cut these into 1-inch
strips. So you’ll take your strip, fold it up a quarter of an inch and press. Do that on both sides and then you’ll simply insert the batting strip. Iron that down, because it’s fusible. Then you’ll bring this together and you’ll
top stitch on both sides. And we’ve done those ahead of time so let’s—let me show you how we will pin these now to our main fabric.
I like to always find the center of a project and that’s again where that
FriXion pen comes in so handy, because you can just put a little mark right there. Now, you can also just put a little pin or you can just kind of do a little
crease and remember that, so I can just put a pin right there.
And that reminds me of “that’s my center.” Now I like to line this up on my mat and
have my mat help me out. So I’m going to measure two inches above my pin. And I
will secure that. Make sure you don’t get a loop in there so it lays nice and flat.
You don’t want to get a twist in your handle. Two inches below my pin and I’ll do the same thing here. All right, and I’ll
repeat those steps on the other side. Just pin exactly. And then we’re gonna
take this to the sewing machine and run the basting stitch 1/8 of an inch—I’m just gonna run here—and might as well just keep going and come here and
stop and we’ll repeat that. When I come back I’ll take you to the next step. Now
that the handles are basted on, we will bring this right sides together. Now, you
definitely want those seams to match, so go ahead and pin that first. Because you can imagine, you know, as you’re looking at the bag from the side you don’t want
to have those to be on different heights. You want that to be the same, so it just
kind of flows from one to the next. Um, pin that, and we will do the same on
the side, and we’re gonna go ahead and sew here. and then I’ll show you how to
box the corners. That may be something you already know how to do. If it is, fantastic, but just in case not I will show you how to do that. But the first thing we’ll do is go ahead and sew just a quarter of an inch all the way down,
and when I come back we’ll box those corners. Now that I’ve sewn the sides
together, of the bag, now we’ll box the corners. You have a decision to make here.
If you are looking for a bag that is more of a bag that you maybe go shopping with, that has a small boxed corner, then you’ll be looking for a two inch boxed
corner. If you’re looking for a more of a craft tote, so to speak, this is a six
inch boxed corner. So this is where you’ll just decide what it is you’re trying to
go—going for. I—today, I’m going to be going for this bag. So, to box a corner,
what you’ll do is turn the bag this way and you’ve got a seam. Now I just like to
open it, and with my fingers— you could certainly press it if you’re—you know, you don’t want to do that with your fingers. This is again
where this ruler—I love this six and a half inch ruler because I—it’s so
perfect for things like this. Now, because I’m going for the 6-inch boxing, I’m going to put that seam right down the middle of that 3 inch ruler, so I’ve got three inches on the left and three inches on the right. And somehow, let’s
see here, I almost got—yep, I’m there. Sometimes it
takes me just a little bit to find the perfect spot. I’m there right now. So I
want you to see that I got the three inches here, my ruler goes from here to
here. You can just—if you need to adjust it, just adjust—and you’re gonna draw a line. Now before I go mark the other side, I like to pin that. Because, as you can see, when you—you have to move this to go to the sewing machine, and you don’t
want that to shift at all on you. So go ahead and just put a couple pins in
there. And I’m gonna take this to the sewing machine right now. Some people like to box both corners and mark the corners and then sew. I like to sew one at a time.
So I’m gonna go ahead and show this to you, and then I’ll box the other
corner off-camera, just to save us a little bit of time. So bring this to your
sewing machine. You’re gonna sew exactly on that line,
pressing the seam open with your fingers. Let’s get that open. Then you’ll take this to your… mat,
your cutting mat, and you’ll just— you can put you ruler up there, or just do a
visual quarter of an inch. Okay. And you will repeat that on this side. So I’ll
do that off-camera, and then when we come back I’ll take you to the next step. So now that the main bag has its corners boxed, for the lining fabric you had the
two hot-pink ends on it, and you’re going to to prepare that exactly the same way. Wrong sides together, sew down the sides, box the corners with the six-inch seam,
if that’s what you’re choosing to do, or if you like the smaller boxed corner you
will be doing the two-inch, and you’ll go ahead and turn that one right side out.
Leave the the main bag wrong side out. So, now, you have your side seam and you have
your side seam. We will go ahead and insert this bag, the lining, into the
actual bag—the main bag. And we have those two seams—let’s line those up—and
we’re going to pin. And pin all the way around. Just keep in mind that you will
need to leave an opening. We’ll pin all the way around, making sure we line up
those side seams first, and then you’ll leave a good healthy opening—probably a
good six inches—to turn the bag through. So, I like to just pin all the way around
initially, and then take out a few pins where I’m not going to be sewing, rather
than trying to leave it loose, and try to move the sewing machine that way. So I’ll pin all the way around, and then we will sew. We’re going to sew all the way
from about here, all the way around a quarter inch, stopping about here.
reinforce the beginning and the end and then we’ll turn our bag through, and I’ll
show you how to finish up your bag. Now that I’ve sewn around the bag and I’ve left a nice opening here, we are going to do my very favorite part— and I’m sure
it’s your favorite part too— and just turn the bag through, and finish it up. You’re so close to being done with this bag. Okay. And then—just, of
course, push the lining back in— and if you’ll notice, around the top there is a
top stitching. So, all you have to do— you don’t have to do any hand sewing. I
always love that part, when I don’t have to do that! Tuck this under a quarter of
an inch—you may want to pin this— and a quarter of an inch here. Now, what I probably should have done—
let me show you what I did do— let me show you what I
did do here. I should have not had the opening here, where the handle is. I should have made that on the side,
so I don’t have to deal with the strap too, with the bulk of the strap. But that’s no big deal. Just turn it under a quarter of an inch, turn this under a quarter of an inch, pin,
and then you’ll take this to the sewing machine and you’re just going to sew a
quarter—an eighth of an inch all the way around the top, and you’re completely
done. Now the—for the flower pin accent, that’s a separate video. Be sure
to subscribe to our YouTube channel, so that you never miss out on a video! So
for the flower pin accent, just go click on the next video and we’ll show you
exactly how to make that. [ Outro: “So Far So Close” by Jahzzar ]


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