Monday, July 9, 2012

Millie Tote/Purse Tutorial

Pin It

Hello from Andrea!

{This tutorial is sponsored by Southern Fabric.}

My goal is to show you how to turn our Millie Skirt pattern into a Millie Tote, but ultimately, after this detailed tutorial is done, you will have learned some of the basic skills needed in tote/bag/purse making.

You will learn how to:
~ Create a sturdy strap
~ Attach magnetic snaps
~ Create "box corners" at the bottom of your bag
~ Create a D-ring strap (handy for keeping track of keys!)

To learn how to do all of these skills properly, I spent a LOT of time attempting multiple tutorials and trying and failing and trying again until I got it hopefully we can get you doing it right the first time...all in once place!

So let's jump right into this!
(remember to click on the photo to enlarge it)

At this time you will have already purchased the
You will be using the fabric measurements for the size 5 skirt.
(you can actually make this tote smaller or bigger by using
a different size pattern rather than the 5)

Cut out your skirt piece and then cut and create the ties according to the pattern instructions.

Set your unfinished skirt pieces and prepared ties aside and let's move on to making the pieces we will be adding to create our tote.

Here is what you will need for the strap:

~ Fabric measuring approximately 28" x 7" 
(this is TOTALLY adjustable to fit your needs!)
~ Lightweight to medium fusible interfacing about the same size
(When shopping for this, ask for the fusible interfacing BY THE YARD. It is much cheaper than buying the pre-packaged stuff. Though, since it is typically only 20" wide, you will have to get it cut to the longest measurement for your this case, that will be 28". But then you will have extra to make more totes. One 28" cut will make 3 straps!:)

The strap instructions that I will give you are going to result in a sturdy one that is about 1 3/4" wide.
The first purse that I made for myself didn't have interfacing and I wasn't a fan of how floppy the handle was.
You can decide whether to add the interfacing or not for your tote.
If you want to skip the interfacing, move on to the part where we fold, press and stitch.

Cut your strap piece.
(My pictured strap was shorter than the marked measurements and I feel it needs to be a tad longer)

Cut your interfacing.
It needs to be 1/4" shorter than your fabric on all sides.
(For example, if your fabric is 7" x 30", then cut your interfacing to 6 1/2" x 29 1/2")

Attach interfacing according to manufacturer's instructions.

Here's how I do it:

Lay interfacing shiny side down on wrong side of fabric.
Line up with 1/4" of fabric exposed on all sides.
Lightly and quickly touch iron to all edges to baste. 

Wet a piece of cloth and wring it out really well. 
(I use a thin dishcloth)
Cover the interfacing side with the cloth.
Begin at one end and press each spot for 10-15 seconds.
(A dry cloth underneath lets you know what has been pressed.)
Make sure to press EVERY inch of the strap.
Remove cloth, flip it over and steam the other side.
(You want NO bubbles or wrinkles on the right side of the strap.)

Fold strap in half lengthwise.
Press, creating a hard crease.
Open it back up and fold one long side
into the middle line and crease that side.
Repeat for other side. 

Close the strap up lengthwise and press one last time.
Top-stitch along the 2 long sides about 1/8" from the edge. 
Reinforce ends with zig zag stitch or serge.
(not pictured)
Your strap is now complete and can be set aside until later.

This little guy will be super helpful in a sizable tote like this.
I, for one, despise digging for keys!
We are adding a small strap with an attached D-ring
to hook your key ring or key fob to.
And aren't you lucky...
next week we will be making a coordinating key fob!

Here's what you will need:

~ A small piece of coordinating fabric
(at least 2" x 4")
~ A metal D-ring
(as seen in this pic being quite the character
with his magnetic snap friends!)

Cut out a 2" x 4" piece of fabric.

 Fold wrong sides together in half lengthwise
and stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance.
(Back stitch at beginning and end.)
Turn inside out with safety pin.

Press with seam centered on one side,
this will be the underside of the strap.
Slide D-ring on and stitch ends together.
You can do a quick stitch with your sewing machine
or run through the serger.
Set this aside for later.

Now, ready your main piece!

Pre-iron the casing at the top of your "skirt" piece according to the instructions in the pattern.
Do NOT create the bottom hem.

Unfold the casing.
(Oops...forgot to picture it this way)

IMPORTANT (Time to use the pattern!)
Use pattern instructions on how to line up and attach ties at top.
(Well...I forgot to get the ties in this pic!
Gosh! But just pay attention to the pattern for that:)
Stitch/serge along sides with ties attached as stated in the pattern.
Stitch/serge along bottom edge being careful not to catch the ties in your stitching.

Serge around the top of fabric to finish edges. 

This will give some fullness to the bottom of your bag...
it is completely optional,
but definitely is the best look for this type of bag.

Grab flat sides of corners and pull outwards.
Line up two seams and lay flat.

Find and mark 4" point.
Stitch along marked line.
Trim off excess and reinforce. 

Voila'! You have the bottom of your tote complete!


Here's what you will need:

~ Magnetic snaps 
(Just a little tip...go to the purse-making section of your craft store and sometimes they will have less expensive and better color choices than they have in the notions department.)
~ Small piece of felt, fleece or other thick material for reinforcement

The snaps needed for one bag will have 4 parts...the back and front snap parts and 2 metal reinforcement plates that go on the inside.

Start with either the front or back snap and one piece of your felt/fleece/etc.

Lay felt on flat surface.
Rub snap prongs back and forth until mark is made.
Snip at mark lines with tip of sharp scissors.

Repeat with other piece.

Find the center of the top edge on both sides
of the bag and crease to mark.
Line one snap piece up with center line.
Measure up from edge about 3/4".
Rub against hard surface again to mark.

Snip marks on fabric as done on felt.
From right side of fabric, place prongs of snap through holes.
Place pre-snipped felt over prongs.
Place metal plate over felt.
Use thumbs to bend prongs outward.
Repeat for other side/snap.

The placement of the snap is going to change where the top line of your casing will fall because you have to allow room for your stitches and presser foot to get past the snap.
The bottom stitch line will be done as instructed in the pattern,
but the top line should be measured to fall about
1/4" above the snap edge.
My top line fell about 1 1/4" above the bottom stitch line.

Continue with pattern instructions for creating the casing
(with now adjusted top casing line) and inserting the elastic.
DO NOT close elastic opening just yet!


Slide stitched end of D-ring strap about 1/2" into the hole
you used to insert the elastic and pin in place.
Close opening as instructed.


Lay strap end along the inside seam line at the top of your bag.
Center strap with seam and ensure that the bottom edge
of the strap falls along the bottom edge of the casing.
Pin in place.
From the outside of the bag,
stitch along the bottom casing line, on either side of the tie.
Repeat stitching along the top casing line.
Repeat this process for the other end of the strap.

We're almost finished!!

Since there isn't a waistline to hold the bow up like in skirt mode,
we will have to stitch the straps in place to the bag.

Lay bag on flat surface.
Lay ties towards the middle and feel where your snap is on the inside.
Sew a few stitches about 1/2" out from either side of the snap.

You can now tie your pretty bow and
admire your gorgeous creation!

Do you love it?
Good because YOU will have a chance to win this tomorrow!
Come back and happy sewing!!!

PS ~ We partied at these places today...

I’m participating in Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.


Kara Yuskewich said...

I absolutely adore this purse...the design, the fabric...perfection! Love, love, love!

Unknown said...

I like the purse very much.A perfect bag for every occassion . Love it

Anonymous said...

I love the bag and the designs! However, I have been trying to make it myself and was wondering what the length and width of the fabric for the actual bag should be. In the first step, it just says to cut it but doesn't say how many inches, please help.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...