Welcome to summer! We're celebrating this glorious, sunny season with the Bella Casa Summer Tote tutorial, made with none other than the Bella Casa fabric collection. We hope you enjoy the tutorial! Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win some Bella Casa prints for yourself (see details at the bottom of the post).
The tote has exposed boxed out corners just for fun--cover the tips with a button if you like!
These fresh red and blue fabrics really put you in the mood for berry picking--strawberries and blueberries! We used the chevron for the main print on the tote, though the circle print would be equally fun. Two great prints--one for the outer bag, and one for the lining!
2/3 yard red chevron print
1 yard blue tonal print
2/3 yard blue/white circle print
1/3 yard red tonal print
Pellon Decor Bond
Pellon 987F Fusible Fleece
Two 18" x 21" pieces for outer bag
Three 8" x 42" strips for handles
Two 10-1/2" x 21" pieces for outer bag bottom
Two 20" x 21" pieces for lining
One 10-1/2" x 21" piece for inner pocket
Two 18" x 21" pieces
Two 20" x 21" pieces
Three 2" x 36" strips
Step 1 Cut one 8" x 42" blue tonal strip in half. Sew each half strip to the short end of a full strip. Press each strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Unfold and fold each long raw edge to the center fold line. Position a 2" wide strip of fusible fleece on the blue strip as shown, and then half of a second fusible fleece strip (Note: This makes a handle approximately 54" long. The straps on this bag each measure 44-1/2" long. You can adjust the length as desired, adding more fusible fleece to fill out the length of the blue fabric handle pieces if you like.) Following manufacturer's instructions, press to fuse in place. Repeat for second handle.
Step 2 Fold the fabric in to create a handle approximately 2" wide, with raw edges sandwiched inside. Topstitch 1/4" from both long edges and then again two to three times in the handle center as you like.
Step 3 Following manufacturer's directions, fuse each 18" x 21" Decor Bond piece to the wrong side of an 18" x 21" red chevron piece. Measure 10-1/2" up from the bottom edge of the chevron piece and mark a horizontal line. Position one handle so the ends extend 1/2" below the marked line and pin in place, 5" in from the left and right sides of chevron piece. Test handle over your shoulder to decide on length. (Ours measured 44-1/2", but you may prefer yours longer or shorter.)
Step 4 Position the 10-1/2" x 21" blue piece right sides together on the top of the chevron piece, aligning the bottom edge of the blue with the marked line. (See how the handle ends peek out?). Stitch along the bottom edge of the blue using a 1/4" seam allowance. Flip blue down, press, and topstitch 1/4" from where the blue meets the red chevron in the middle of the bag. Trim blue piece at bag bottom to align with red chevron piece if needed. Repeat handle and blue fabric addition on second red chevron outer bag piece.
Step 5 Stitch a box and X on the handle to secure it to the outer bag chevron piece approximately 2-1/2" from the top edge. Repeat on all four handle pieces.
Step 6 Position the two outer bag pieces right sides together and sew along sides and bottom. Turn right side out.
Step 7 Manipulate bag so a side seam and bottom seam are aligned, creating a pointed corner as shown. Measure 3" in from the corner and draw a horizontal line.
Step 8 Fold the corner up on the marked line (line will be inside what you see here) and pin tip in place.
Step 9 Stitch across the tip to secure, making sure that you are not sewing through all layers of the bag--just the tip and the side of the bag the tip is pinned to. Stitch back and forth a few times to secure. Repeat on opposite side. Note: If you're prefer a more traditional hidden corner, turn the bag right side out, skip steps 7-9, and follow Steps 14 and 15 that explain how to box the lining corner.
Step 10 Fold the 10-1/2" x 21" red tonal piece in half wrong sides together to measure 10-1/2" square. Sew around 3 sides, leaving an opening for turning. Turn right side out and press, including pressing the raw edges in on the opening. Topstitch along the folded edge for the pocket top.
Step 11 Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse each 20" x 21" fusible fleece piece to the wrong side of a 20" x 21" blue/white circles piece.
Step 12 Position the pocket (topstitched edge up) on one 21" x 20" blue/white circle piece (21" dimension should be the width; 20" the height). Center pocket from left to right and pin 6" up fro bottom edge. Topstitch along sides and bottom to secure (this also closes the opening in the pocket).
Step 13 Layer lining pieces right sides together and stitch along sides and bottom using a 1/4" seam allowance. Leave an opening for turning along the bottom.
Step 14 Cut 2-1/2" squares out of both bottom corners.
Step 15 Fold lining so side and bottom seams align, matching raw edges, and stitch along raw edges to box the corner. Repeat on opposite corner.
Step 16 Slide the outer bag (right side out) inside the lining (still wrong side out) and pin along the top edge, matching raw edges and side seams. Make sure handles are tucked inside! Stitch around the top edge of the bag to secure.
Step 17 Turn bag right side out through opening in lining. Handstitch opening closed. Tuck lining inside the bag.
Step 18 The lining is taller than the bag, creating a strip of lining that peeks out of the bag top. Align outer bag and lining bottoms to determine how much lining will be exposed at top. Pin in place and topstitch on outer bag just below the lining edge.
A peek into the inside of the bag:
This bag looks and feels like summer!
Perfect for beach or lake house trips, or just for errands around town.
How would you like some of the Bella Casa prints to play with? Simply leave a comment sharing your favorite summer activity for a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Bella Casa. This giveaway is open through Monday, June 30 at 11:59 pm EST. We'll randomly draw a winner on Tuesday.