Jenny's Bag: Red and White Pillow Ticking Stripe with Contrasting Lining,Two Inside Pockets, Square Corners, Plus an Antique Button Closure

Finished bag!
My best friend asked me to make a tote bag for her daughter Jennifer.  She was recently married so today I sat down and made one for her and plan to fill it with some of my favorite kitchen and household items.  Seems like everyone always needs another bag for something and since they live near the ocean it could be handy for day trips to the beach. 

Red ticking, red cotton mini print, and light weight batting.
The most important things to me when I set out to make one as a gift is that I like the color scheme,  and that I make it to hold up.  Actually the first one I ever made was over 35 years ago and the owner is still using it.  It has held up just fine!  I just start.  They can be any size you like. 

I stitched the batting and ticking every 4th stripe to form channels.
The stitches are easier to see on the back side.
After selecting the two fabrics I decided to quilt the ticking so it would have more body.  I channel quilted running a lengthwise line of stitching down every fourth red stripe using just the batting beneath and the ticking on top. So this is one long piece of quilted fabric.  I trimmed it to the size I wanted planning to fold it in half at the bottom and close the sides eventually.  Then I sat it aside and started the lining.

The pressed underside of the lining and the right sides of the two pockets.
Next I cut the lining exactly the same size as the trimmed batting and pressed with a hot iron.  Since I want two pockets inside this bag I next cut them to the size I wanted plus 1/4" seam allowances.  One tall and narrow and the other wider and deeper one for either side of the bag.

After pressing 1/4" all the way around turn the top of each pocket down 1" at the top and press again.
When forming the pockets I first press 1/4" on all four sides then turn the top of each pocket down another inch and press.  Sew near the folded edge the three sides but not the top. Next pin the pockets into the desired places on the right side of the fabric being sure the top of each pocket is going to be with the opening up towards the top of the bag.  I drop the pockets down about 3-4" from where the opening will be.

Top stitch the pocket on the three sides to the right side of the lining positioning the tops of the pockets so they will open up towards what will be the top of the bag.  Now you should have a flat piece of fabric that will be the inside lining of the bag with the two pockets top stitched on each side of what will be the inside of the bag.  Fold the fabric in half to form a fold for the bottom of the bag with the right sides of the fabric facing each other and sew the side seams together.  Press and set aside for now.

You can see where I started, over lapped, and ended the strap midway on the right of the photo.
Now spread the fabric for the outside of the bag flat.  Measure top to bottom, multiply by two and add the length you want for the straps times two then add these totals for the total inches you need for the straps.  EXAMPLE;  top to bottom 36" x 2=72"  then 24" per handle x 2=48.  72+48=120" add an additional 2" for wiggle room to overlap and trim, thus 122" total. I use one length of cotton strapping material I have pre-washed. (I PRE-WASH EVERYTHING BEFORE I EVER START A PROJECT.)  I start 4 or 5 " from the outside edge of the side of the bag and start pinning the straps.  When I am 2 1/2" from the top I mark as this is where the sewing will cross the strap to the other side of the strap and sew down the opposite side.  I start the strap, end the strap, and overlap the strap towards the bottom of the bag.  This makes for a very strong bag.

Sew down both sides of the straps.
Next sew the straps down sewing at the edge on both sides of the strap and reinforcing the stitching at the overlap and at the top 2 1/2" down from the top of the bag.  I usually sew a second line of stitching a half inch below the first.

Box corners.
Now you can fold the ticking in half at what will be the bottom of the bag with the right sides facing each other and sew the side seams closed.  I want box corners at the bottom so with the bag inside out I fold the corners the opposite of the way I stitched them to forma triangle.  Sew 1 1/2" across the triangle and when you turn the bag you will have a box corner.  Repeat with the lining.

Since I am using a big antique button as a closure I centered it and sewed it between the straps on one side.  Next I used red ribbon and fitted it around the button to see how much I would need.  After determining I measured and cut the ribbon to size. 

This is looking down inside the pinned lining into the bag.  The ribbon is fitted to the button for closure and pressed down for when not in use. You can also see one of the pockets down inside the bag.
Time to give everything a final pressing.  Turn the BAG RIGHT SIDE OUT.  Turn the lining so YOU ARE LOOKING DOWN INTO IT AND THE RIGHT SIDE IS INSIDE.  Press the raw edge at the top of the ticking stripe bag to the INSIDE and down 1/2".   Press the top raw edge of the inside out lining to the OUTSIDE and under 1/2".  Ease the lining down inside the bag,  fit the side seams together and pin.  Pin the lining 1/16" below the top edge of the bag all the way around easing any fullness.  Fit the ribbon around the button and position it on the opposite side of the bag centered.  Undo the button and pin the ribbon in place extending the desired amount for closure and placing the two ends down between the lining edge and the bag edge.  It will be caught and sewn in place when you stitch the top of the bag closed.

Top stitch 1/4" all the way around the bag back stitching to start and to stop to secure.  Press again ironing the ribbon closure down flat so it will lay down inside the bag when not in use.

I like to attach a label to gifts I make just inside the finished bag. 

I have already purchased several items to place inside this gift bag but I will do a bit more shopping tomorrow to finish up.  Who knows maybe I will make a few more items too?


Jeannette said...

Very nice. I made a small reversible tote bag child sized this week. The handles are continuous- of the cloth. It turned out well. It made me feel like making a few more too.
Yours is going to be a very nice gift.

Diane Cosby said...

Great idea. I will have to try that! A few years ago before my blog I made a reversible silk clutch for one of my sisters. Your self fabric continuous handles would be especially good using a sturdy fabric. Certainly an inspiration to visit with you. Thanks for your comment. dkc