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Two-Way Tote Tutorial

Two-Way Tote Tutorial

When this echino decoro Zebra print came into store the other day, although I loved it, there wasn’t much that immediately came to mind when thinking about how to use it.  These directional panel prints can be tricky.  It was only when I was bagging up some of our dungaree clips to take to the Alexandra Palace knit and stitch show and idly thought to myself that they would make good bag handle fixings, that the two slotted into place together and formed a workable plan in my head.  It’s just a reversible bag, really, but personally I think the straps work pretty well, for something just a little different.

You will need:
80cm zebra print.
80cm fusible fleece
1.5m x 1″ thin webbing (apron tape would be a good option)
4 dungaree clips
4 stud fasteners

I’m going to give you the instructions for the zebra print, but it works well with any other print, just ignore it when I tell you to cut along specific zebra lines!

Cut your 80cm fabric along the bolt fold, and then on the more patterned side, cut the stripy strip off at the top of the fabric.  Cut this same amount off the top of the zebras too.

Making your handles:
Cut your stripy piece in half, so you have 2 long strips that measure approximately 80cm x 5cm. Iron a little fold on either side.

Place your webbing tape between these folds, about 2.5cm from the ends, fold in the ends for a neat edge, and then fold in half lengthways.  I used a really strong webbing tape and really wished I had used something a little thinner – I had forgotten my plan to fold it in half and it made the final stitching pretty tough.  A nice finished product but I am pretty sure that apron tape would work just as well but be easier to stitch. Stitch along each open side.  Repeat for both strips.

Here’s the fun bit: punch holes centrally 1cm and 5cm from each end of each handle, and thread on your dungaree clip, fold over your end, and fix your dungaree clips in with the stud fasteners.  Make sure to get your dungaree clips the same way around each time!  I think you could achieve this just by stitching these down, but personally, and without trying to sound slightly insane, I quite like an excuse to get the hammer out.  Do this for each end of each strap.

Making your bag:
Iron your fabric pieces to your fusible fleece, and trim to size.  Fold each piece in half lengthways (right sides facing) and sew down the side and the bottom.

Make your gussets by flattening out your corners, and sewing a line 6cm from the corner on each side.  Trim. 

(when turned out the right way it should look something like this)

Turn your lining bag right sides out, and place it inside your main bag (still wrong way out) and line up all corners and seams.  Sew all around the top, leaving a gap around 4″ somewhere for turning.

Pull your bag the right way out through the turning gap, and push the lining bag inside the main bag.  Top stitch around the top, sealing the turning gap as you do so.

Fix your straps to your bag and you’re done.  The bag can be turned whichever way you want to use it, and the straps can be attached to any bag you want to use.  So in actual fact, it’s more than two-way, it’s multiple way.  It’s a blimmin’ bargain.


 Anna x

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