Sewing is one of my favourite crafts.
It’s also the most frustrating.
When I saw the fabric choices for the Hillarys Craft Competition, I knew I had to get my hands on the Rayna Apple pattern. Problem is, I’m a novice. And directional, bold patterns can be pretty intimidating to sew with.
After a few failed ideas, I decided to keep it simple and make a tote. Pretty and practical—my favourite kind of DIY. Good thing is, the Rayna Apple fabric makes even this simple tote look sophisticated. I think I’ve gotten over my fear of using bold patterns!
If you’ve followed my lined tote bag tutorial, this tote is exactly the same except for two key differences:
A directional pattern like Rayna Apple needs two matching pieces for the front, with the pattern going in the desired direction. Before attaching the liner, sew the two front panels right sides together on the bottom edge. Do not flatten or open the seam.
Before turning the fabric right side out, “box” the corners. Pinch the corners together and flatten the fabric, matching the seams on both sides. Make a mark 1.5″ from the point toward the centre of the bag.
Sew along the pinched corner, in line with the 1.5″ mark. Trim the excess fabric. Repeat for all the corners.
Turn the fabric rightside out, and sew the gap closed with invisible or whip stitch.
Sewing the handles
I used the same fabric as my liner to make wide bias binding. After sewing the edges, I pinned everything together to test the placement.
The handles were secured with the tried-and-true crossed box method. I have to admit I tried to hurry this part and had to undo some stitches after sewing through the opposite side. Whoops.
The results were worth all the hassle, though.
It’s not the amazing basket liner I had planned, or the beachy crochet + fabric tote (those ideas will have to wait for another day), but I’m pleased. This tote will be the perfect bag for squeezing through busy summer markets.
Even just 1.5″ cuts into the corners make a nice squared bottom.
What have you been making lately?
Lots of crafty love,
Rayna Apple tote measurements:
- 5mm seam allowance used throughout
- 2 x Front: 32cm width x 30cm height; centred pattern
- 1 x Liner: 32cm width x 58cm height
- 2 x Handles: 13.5cm width x 35cm length; fold into quarters with raw edges in