Saturday, October 8, 2011
Tutorial for cutting mat tote
Want to make a bag to carry your cutting mat? I cut a large mat in half, so this tote is for a mat that measures 24" X 18". If your mat is a different size adjust the measurements for your tote accordingly, and you may need a little more fabric.
This bag features a pocket inside that keeps your mat and large ruler snug up against the side of the bag. It has a flat bottom to give you width to carry plenty of supplies, and smaller inside pockets to carry a smaller ruler, your cutter and some scissors.
You will need:
1 yard of fabric for the outside
1 yard for lining
1 yard for large pocket
1 fat quarater for the smaller pocket
1 yd of fusible fleece
Step one: Cutting main pieces
Measure the widest side of your mat, and add 5 inches. My mat is 24 inches long, so I cut my fabric 29" X the width of fabric. Cut two of these, one of the fabric and one of lining.
Cut one piece of fleece 1/2" smaller each way, so with my measurements, I cut my fleece 28.5 by the width of the fleece.
Your fabric should be slightly bigger than your fleece, and should look like this.
Step 2 : Make the pockets
For your large mat pocket, on the fold, cut a piece that is 29"(on fold) X 16", right sides together, sew around raw edges, leaving 4 or 5 inches open to turn it.
Cut a 15"X15" square from a fat quarter, fold it in half, right sides together, and sew around the raw edges, leaving 4 inches open along the long side to turn it.
You are going to sew the pockets to the lining (the piece that has the fleece on it). Fold the lining piece in half and press a crease in the fold, you will need to use the crease line to orient your pockets. The crease will be the bottom of the tote.
Now it should look like this. Sorry the lining matches the pocket so well it is hard to see! Now place your large pocket on the other side of the lining, bottom of pocket toward crease in lining. Center it about 3" above the fold, and sew around the three sides.
Now is the time to sew the sides of your bag together. Fold the outer fabric, right sides together and sew the two shorter sides. Fold the lining fabric, right sides together and sew the same way EXCEPT leave an 8 inch opening in one side. You will need this later to turn your tote right side out!
Step three: The Straps
Cut four strips of fabric 26"X 2 1/2" and two pieces of fleece 26"X 2 1/2". Depending on the amount of fabric you have left, you may want to cut two of the strap pieces from your outside fabric, and two from the lining.
Fuse the fleece to the wrong side of two of the strap pieces.
Now put each of these fleeced strap pieces with the remaining strap pieces, right sides together. Sew on each side of the straps, making two long tubes.
I turn them by putting a large safety pin through the fleece side,
Then I push the ends down in...
and push the pin through and then pull the strap right side out.
Now that your pockets are on, sew up the two sides of your lining and your bag piece, right sides together, but leave a 7" opening on one side of the lining piece for turning. Make sure you have pressed the fold at the bottom of both pieces, you will need this later for reference.
To place your straps, find the center of the top of the bag, place your straps 6 inches apart, 3" to each side of the center.
Pin, Sew across top edge. Make sure you haven't twisted your straps.
Now it is time to make the bottom corners so your bag has a flat bottom. You will do this four times, twice on the bag and twice on the lining. Take your bag piece, remember that fold that has a nice crease in it along the bottom? OK, turn the bag over, you want to make a triangle at the corner. Pull out the fabric from each side of the crease and flatten it down so the crease lines up over the side seam. You can feel through from the crease to make sure you are lined up with the seam.
Now measure up 2" from the point, and draw a straight line across.
Sew on this line and then trim off corner.
One important thing I have learned is to sew with my iron - you thought it would be my sewing machine, didn't you? Pressing things between steps as you are sewing can make the difference between sloppy and precise. Press your seams open on the sides of your bag and your lining before we go on to the next step!
OK, now turn the lining piece right side out, poke out the corners, and slide it inside the bag piece, which is still wrong side out, now the right sides are together.
Mine is half pinned in this picture. Sew around the top edge, make sure the handles stay down inside where you can only see the ends, but make sure you reinforce where they are basted on as you go around the top.
Now reach inside the opening you left in the side of the lining and pull your bag right side out! Almost done!!
Press the top edge and top stitch all the way around with a longer stitch. Hand sew up the opening in the lining!
Poke all your corners so that they come out together and hand sew a few small stitches in the corners to keep your lining from pulling up. Ta Da! All done! Fill up your pockets and you're ready to go!
at 10:54 PM