Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A 20 Minute Pillowcase Market Tote Tutorial-What to do with Vintage Linens

Seriously-This tote bag is quicker to make than loading all the pictures for the tutorial;) I have a step by step quick way to make an easy, unlined market tote from a simple pillowcase. This project is best made with a king size case, but you can easily modify it to use 2 standard cases especially if you want more than just the one print for your tote!

What you will need for this project....

1-king size pillowcase or 2 standard cases
scraps for applique
stencil for applique of your choice
scissors or rotary cutter
iron and ironing board
sewing machine

Once you have all your supplies, you need to decide how deep you want the tote to be.
I chose to cut mine to be 20 inches deep. Leave the hem intact for the top of the tote.
Next,You will need to cut two straps for the tote. I cut mine from the same case since it was a king size and provided enough fabric to do so. If you are using two standard size cases, this is when you would use the second case- for the straps. I cut my strips 6 inches wide.
Then take both straps and lay one on top of the other.
Cut of the side hem so that they are no longer a tube.

Next you want to cut the applique you have chosen for the front of your tote. Of course, this part is optional. It can be fun though, choosing a shape to applique. You can find shapes, animals, birds, flowers, etc in so many places. Coloring books, art books for kids, clip art online, etc can be good sources.
I use fusible interfacing for the back of my appliques to help them last longer. It is also a good surface for tracing on.
Trace your shape.
Cut it out.....
And pin it in a spot that suits you.
You can go ahead and put the body of the bag aside for a few minutes. Take your handle strips to the iron. I have made these straps in a similar fashion to making bias tape. Fold the edge of the strips into the center and press.

Repeat that process again by folding the ironed edges in half and press. Now you can gather up all the parts of the tote and head to the sewing machine.
It is easiest to applique the shape you have chosen before hemming up the tote and adding the handles. I used a simple satin stitch to do so.
Next you want to turn the tote inside out. Take the open edge opposite the hemmed edge and fold it up twice, hiding the rough cut edge. Do a simple topstitch on that to close up the tote. You may want to do two rows of stitching depending on what you will be carrying in it.
After closing the tote up, set it aside for a few moments.

Take the two straps and topstitch on both side to give it a nice even look to it.

Take each end of the straps and clip a small triangle off. This will help to hide the edges and make them less bulky when attaching them to the tote.

Fold each end of the strap up an inch or two and pin to the tote at the desired place.

I attached my handles with a box and crisscross which helps to bare a good amount of weight and keep the stitching from pulling apart.
Here is the inside of the tote-it shows the stitching a bit better.
And there you have it! A 20 minute simple pillowcase market tote!! Sometimes it is just nice to go simple!! They hold a good deal too!

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