Friday, January 4, 2013

Handkerchief tote bag

Here's a very simple project that I did with my Girl Guides (ages 9-11) last year.  They did it as part of their needlework/sewing badge.  The girls were able to get it done on the same meeting that they learned to use the sewing machine (with some help, of course).  If you were doing it on your own, you could probably finish the whole thing in well under 10 minutes.

It makes a cute little gift bag.

Here's how you do it:

Start with 2 handkerchiefs, the same size.  Pin them together, right sides facing (not shown).  Draw a line 2-3 inches from the edge.  Cut along this line to create the strip for the handle (the exact placement of this line is not critical -- just eyeball it).

Fold each of the the narrow pieces into thirds so that the raw edge is tucked into the middle.  Pin it.  Stitch along the length of this handle, 1/8 inch (or as close as you can get) from the edge.

Pin the two remaining larger pieces of the handkerchief, right sides together and stitch along 3 of the sides, leaving an opening at one of the short sides.  I did it with ~1/4 inch seam allowance, but this isn't critical.  I also zigzagged the raw edge.  Turn the opening of the bag down about an inch and pin the handles in place.

Sew the fold down, as close to the edge as possible, going all the way around the bag and attaching the handles to the bag in the process.  Do this again as close as possible to the top of the bag, where the fold is.  And you're done!

I felt this bag looked a little too narrow, so I did another one where I cut thinner strips for the handle.  This time, when I stitched the handle, I didn't fold it into thirds.  I just folded the raw edge in a little bit and then continued with all the other steps just like how I made the first bag.

Here's the result:


Gillian said...

Hi! There are plans afoot for a Toronto Sewing Blogger Meet-up in Feb... Come check it out and let us know if you might be interested in joining! The more, the merrier! I'm really looking forward to seeing who else sews locally!

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