A tote is a GREAT starter project. Most sewing classes offer a tote project for beginner classes. Let’s face it – it’s a very useful, very practical and very satisfying sew! If you’ve sewn your share of simple totes and really want to kick it up a notch, you will want to continue reading.
I often get asked how I get my totes to maintain their shape and today I’m sharing my secret! These tips are super easy to incorporate and I promise you won’t need any new or advanced sewing techniques.
What You Need:
- Your favorite tote pattern
- Fusible Fleece (enough to cut your main exterior pattern pieces)
- Firm or Extra Firm Sew-In Peltex (Buy yourself a 1/2 yard and keep it around for future totes. You’ll only need a small piece per tote.) Pellon 70P works well.
Before you begin sewing, cut 2 pieces of Fusible Fleece identical to your 2 main exterior pieces. Fuse to the back of your fabric following the manufacturer directions BEFORE assembling the bag!
The fusible fleece creates an excellent, sturdy backing to the fabric that will allow it to stand upright when the bag is complete.
For added balance, cut a piece of that Firm Peltex 1/2″ – 1″ smaller all around than the bottom of your bag. Pin and sew it to the bottom of your bag (on the inside). This is easier to do if you sew it BEFORE sewing up the sides!
Once this is finished, go ahead and assemble the rest of your tote as you would normally. The added structure is intact!
One thing you need to know is that this can only be done for LINED totes…..obviously. You don’t want to see all this interior stuff when you open the bag!
And there you have it.
A tote that offers you a little more structure!
Go ahead, give it a try. You won’t go back!!!