14 days of LillyBelle... Day Three. Skill Builder Fat Quarter Tote. (making darts)
lily bouquet fabric and vintage fence from LillyBelle... warm sunset palette.
If you haven't done much clothing sewing then you may not have ever sewn a dart before. Darts are really useful in clothing to add shape... around the hips and the bust are some of the most common places you'll see darts. In this project I added darts to a very simple tote to give it shape around the bottom edges. It gave it a bit more fullness where otherwise the bag would have just been flat. The other nice thing about this bag is that it took all of 1 fat quarter, half yard of interfacing (22" wide) and an eighth of a yard for handles. It finishes at approximately 10 x 10
Here's how you make it:
1. True up the edges of your fat quarter. (i.e.: The top should be the same measurement as the bottom, the sides should be equal and each corner should be 90 degrees.)
2. Fold the fat quarter in quarters... in half the long way and then again the short way. Press it so that you will clearly see the press lines when you unfold it.
3. Unfold and cut into four pieces along the pressed lines... 2 pieces will be the outside of the bag and 2 pieces will be the lining.
4. Cut interfacing to the size of each of the four pieces and press on the wrong side of the fabric.
5. Make darts in each of the bottom corners... for each bottom corner of each of the four pieces of fabric do the following:
• Fold the top corner down so that the side raw edge matches the bottom raw edge, right sides together.
• Mark 1/2" in from the corner and 3" up. See the photo below.
• Stitch from the 3" mark down to the 1/2" mark... do not back stitch at the top (3" mark) because it will cause puckers. Rather, leave a long thread tail and tie a knot to keep the thread from coming loose.
• Press each dart to one side.
6. Make the handles:
• Cut 1 - 4" strip x Width of the Fabric, and cut the strip in two pieces for the two handles.
• Cut 2 pieces of interfacing the same size of the handles and press onto the wrong side of the fabric.
• Fold each handle piece in half lengthwise, right sides together and sew along the raw edge using a 1/4" seam allowance.
• Turn each handle tube using a safety pin or tube turner.
• Press flat with the seam centered down the back of the handle.
• Fold each handle in half lengthwise and mark three inches from each end.
• Along the edge that is open, and starting and finishing at the 3" marks, edge stitch the folded handle together. (Each end will be open.)
7. Sew the bag panels together:
• Place the out side of the bag right sides together and match the darts on each side. Pin in place.
• Using a 1/4" seam allowance start at the top right corner, sew down to the bottom right corner, pivot, sew across the bottom and up the other side, leaving the top of the bag open.
• Repeat the first two steps for the lining pieces except leave a 4" opening on the bottom of the bag to turn through later.
8. Attach the handles (see illustration below):
• On the outside of the bag, mark the top center of each side (you can find it by folding in half with the seams together.
• Mark 2" to each side of center on each side of the bag.
• For each handle on opposite sides of the bag: With the seam side up place a raw edge of a handle end aligned to the outside of the 2" line. Without twisting the handle, place the other edge on the other 2" line. Use a scant 1/4" seam allowance to stitch each end of the handle in place.
9. Turn the outside of the lining so it is wrong side out. Place the outside of the bag into the lining so that the right sides are facing together.
10. At the top opening, pin the side seams together, then pin along the rest of the top.
11. Sew all the way around the top of the bag opening using a 1/4" seam allowance.
12. Turn the bag through the opening in the lining and press well.
13. Top/edge stitch around the entire top edge of the bag.
14. Press the opening in the lining toward the wrong side of the fabric, then edge stitch the opening closed.