Summer weather in Texas is H-O-T, hot. It seems by the time July or August gets here, you can’t make it to the car without breaking a sweat! May provides us with the most perfect pool weather. I am sooooo ready to splash around in the pool with my little ones. However, when packing for them, it seems that I can’t ever find a big enough bag for all their neccessities. Maybe this will get easier when they can carry their own things, but for now it’s up to me to lug it all back and forth. I think I’ve created a just the right sized bag with a couple interior pockets and I wanted to share it with all of you. If you have any questions about the pattern or instructions, subscribe to the blog and post them. There might be others that have the same question. I tried to be clear in my instructions, but this is my first go of it, so any suggestions that might help would be great.
What you’ll need:
1 and ¾ yards of print fabric of your choice
¾ yards of solid fabric
2 yards of fusible fleece
*Please note that you will most likely have extra fabric and fusible fleece depending on how you layout your pattern pieces on the fabric. It’s better to overestimate then have to go back to the fabric store because you don’t have enough.
½ yard of ¼ inch elastic
Cut from the fabric:
2 pieces of the top of the inside / interior panel (blue and turquoise print of example)
2 pieces of the bottom of the inside / interior panel (solid blue in example)
2 pieces of outer / exterior bottom panel (solid blue in example)
2 pieces of the outer / exterior main panel (blue and turquoise print of example)
4 straps that measure 16 ½ x 4 (blue and turquoise print of example)
2 solid blue bottom panels that measure 20 ½ x 4
Cut from the fusible fleece:
2 pieces of the top of the inside / interior panel
2 pieces of the bottom of the inside / interior panel
2 pieces of outer / exterior bottom panel
2 pieces of the outer / exterior main panel
4 straps that measure 16 ½ x 4
2 bottom panels that measure 20 ½ x 4
1. Lay your fabric pieces onto your fusible fleece and cut. Note* You will use all of the fabric pieces with the exception of the interior pocket, labeled “E.”
2. After all the pieces have been cut, fuse the fleece to the wrong sides of corresponding fabric pieces.
3. Assemble the exterior
a. Lay the right sides of the fabric together and sew the bottom of an exterior main panel to the top of an exterior bottom panel
b. Lay the right side of one of the straps to the top of the exterior main panel and sew the strap to the main panel on the right hand side
c. Repeat the sewing technique by laying the right sides of the fabric together and sewing the other end of the strap onto the left hand side of the fabric
d. Repeat steps a through c to sew the other side of the exterior panel. This will give you two complete exterior panels and straps
e. Lay the two right sides of the exterior main panels together and sew down the sides. Your bag will start to look like it’s coming together. Your bag will have an open top and open bottom at this point.
4. Assemble the interior pocket
a. Put the right sides of the interior pocket facing together and sew the entire width of the top
b. Your going to sew the right and left sides of the interior pocket together, just make sure you leave enough room to thread your elastic. I left a half inch.
c. Starting from the top of the stitch you sewed down the sides, sew a half inch parallel to your first stitch.
It should look like this:
d. Thread your elastic from one end to another
e. When the tail end of your piece of elastic is right at the point where you inserted the elastic, sew the elastic in. Once the elastic is secure, you can pull it through the opening at the opposite end and sew the other side
f. Turn your interior pocket right side out
g. Fold the interior pocket in half and find the middle in order to iron a little crease
h. Fold the interior bottom panel in half and iron a little crease
I. Match the two creases and sew them together
J. Now stretch the interior pocket so that it matches up to the interior bottom panel and sew them together on each end
You should have three seams – one down the middle and one on each end
k. Measure from the middle seam to the outer seam on the right hand side. Bring the excess fabric up. Where the fabric is pinched, sew a line about an inch and a half in order to make the pleat.
l. Repeat for the left side of the pocket
m. Lay the interior pocket flat onto the interior bottom panel. Push the pleat down so the fabric is nice and flat. Sew along the bottom in order to complete.
5. Assemble the interior panels
Repeat steps 3a to 3e to assemble the interior
6. Attach the bottom panels to both the interior and exterior panels. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to start from the sides. Make a little crease in the middle of the right side of the bottom panel. Line it up with the seam that goes down the side of the main panel, and start stitching.
7. Attach the Interior and exterior panels
a. Place the interior of the tote inside the exterior of the tote.
b. Fold in the unfinished seams at the top of the tote.
c. Iron them to keep them in place.
d. Once they are ironed and alligned properly, top stitch around in order to complete the tote.
**** Click the link below for the printable pattern pdf