Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Good Book Tote

Hey everyone! Hope you have had a great Mother's Day, however you celebrated (or didn't.) I had a great day and treated myself to some sewing. I've really been wanting a bag for my Bible, so I took a few hours today to make one.

Supplies Needed:

2 denim pant legs (from making cutoffs for the kids)
1 fat quarter in your choice of fabric
coordinating thread
denim needle for your sewing machine

I've never put a tutorial together before, but I've read a lot of them! If you have any questions, let me know.


First, cut out a piece of denim that covers your Bible (or other book) with about two inches to spare and square it up. 

 Then cut a piece from your fat quarter that is the same size plus about 1/2 an inch.(You'll iron yours. I did iron, but after I took the picture for some reason.)

If you'd like to add a pocket, cut an additional piece of fabric that is the same width. How tall is up to you, but remember you'll be folding it in half.



Fold the fabric right sides together and sew all three sides. Leave a space so you can turn it back right-side out. Turn it right-side out and press.

If you are adding a pocket, sew the pocket piece to one half (right side) of your fabric piece. I recommend folding the fabric like it will be as the lining, and then choosing where to place it. I put mine toward the top since I'm always losing my phone and keys (and mind), and I wanted easy access.

Fold your denim and fabric in half, long sides and right side of fabric together. Sew the short sides together and turn it back right side out. Press.

Now we are going to make straps. I tried just making denim straps, but I had a terrible time trying to turn them. So I decided to make binding out of my fat quarter fabric instead. I didn't bother with cutting on the bias. I'm lazy that way.

From your other denim leg, cut two straps that are the length you would like. Remember, your width will be folded in half. Stitch the long sides together wrong sides together. See that ugly seam? We're going to cover that.

To make your binding, cut a strip of your fat quarter fabric that is a little longer than your denim strap. I recommend making yours a bit fatter than mine.



Iron the strip in half, long sides together, wrong sides touching.


Open it up, and fold the top half of the half (fun, right?) into the middle. Press that seam.


Do the same thing with the bottom half. The picture is just the beginning done so I could get the picture and then get to work!


 Do this again for the other strap.

Now we are going to use the binding on the ugly seam of the straps. Stick the ugly seam into the pocket made by the binding. No ugly edges. Then stitch, making sure the binding and the denim are included in the stitch. Take your time!



Almost done! Now it's time to make the sandwich that is The Good Book Tote.

Take your denim bag with the right side facing in.

If you made a pocket in your lining, and it's toward the top, fold the top part of the pocket down and pin it so you don't accidentally sew the pocket shut when you sew the bag together. Put the fabric bag in to the denim bag. Right sides of each should be touching. Take a handle and place the two ends on one side of the tote BETWEEN the lining and denim. Pin the handle ends in place, and push the handle down in between the layers. Do the same on the other side.

To sum up:

You should have the following layers working from the inside out:

Wrong side of lining should be showing

Handle should be inside the lining and denim

Wrong side of denim should be showing.

Here's a lousy picture of what I'm trying to explain followed by an equally lousy picture:



 Now, carefully sew the layers together, making sure to leave an opening to turn this beast right side out! This is why you need to make sure you use a denim needle. Take your time, making sure to catch all the layers of fabric. I use a pretty loose stitch for this, because if I make a mistake, I want to be able to fix it easily. Plus, we will topstitch this next.

Carefully turn the bag right side out. Remember, there might be pins in there!

Check along the top to make sure the only opening is the one you left deliberately. Once you are sure it's all sewn up, then fold in the opening and topstitch around the top of the bag. Again, take your time.

This is how mine turned out:



I love it! It is just the right size to carry my Bible, study books, pen, keys and phone.

Happy Mother's Day to me!!

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