This month the featured foot is the Brother adjustable blind hem foot. Commonly used for blind hems, this multi purpose foot has a sliding, adjustable guide making it ideal for additional tasks like edge stitching the lattice trim on the front of this tote. The prominent edge guide makes it easy to follow fabric edges so it’s also ideal for topstitching and anchoring pockets in place. In this project you’ll learn how to use this foot to help construct a practical and attractive market tote. Use the tote for shopping at fall festivals and ordinary trips to the grocery store too!
Materials and Supplies
- Brother Sewing & Embroidery Machine (note: embroidery machine used for embroidered pocket portion only)
- SA133 Brother Adjustable Blind Stitch Foot
Fabrics and notions for tote:
- Fabric #1: Front and Back of Tote: Cut two rectangles measuring 16-inches wide X 18 ½-inches long.
- Fabric #1: Tote Handles: Cut two strips measuring 5 ½-inches wide X 18-inches long.
- Fabric #2: Tote Lining: Cut two rectangles measuring 16-inches wide X 17 ½-inches long.
- Medium weight Fusible Interfacing for Tote Handles: Cut two strips measuring 5 ½-inches wide X 18-inches long.
- Basic notions including a wash out marker and sewing thread to match or contrast with fabrics.
- Wash away fabric glue stick for temporarily securing trim to fabric.
- 3 yards of ½-inch wide Single Fold Bias Tape for lattice trim.
Steps to Create Tote
- Create embroidered pocket using instructions in our companion post for the Free Design of the Month for October.
- Assemble all cut pieces. Select one rectangle of fabric to use for the front of the tote. Mark the center of the piece lengthwise and lightly glue one length of bias tape along the marked line. Set up machine for sewing with the blanket stitch featured here, setting the width at 2.5mm and the length at 4mm.
- Adjust the guide on the blind hem foot having the guide follow along the outside edge of the trim with the right hand swing of the needle falling even with the guide. See blue arrow in picture below.
- Next, stitch along each side of the center trim.
- Stitch two additional trim pieces lengthwise, spacing each one 3-inches from the center strip. Stitch the first crosswise strip 5-inches from the top raw edge, then add two more crosswise rows spaced 3-inches apart
- Select the embroidered pocket and pin in place on the tote front with bottom of pocket along third row of crosswise trim.
- Stitch pocket in place using a straight stitch.
- Fuse interfacing to the wrong side of each piece cut for tote handles. To form each strap begin by folding and pressing the piece in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together. Next, fold each long edge toward the center, leaving a very small gap in the center of the strip. Finally, fold one last time, matching long folded edges to form the strap.
- Stitch close to each long edge, setting the guide on the adjustable blind hem foot to help you stitch evenly on each side.
- To shape the bottom of bag pieces you will need to cut out a square measuring 2-inches deep by 2-inches wide at each bottom corner. Repeat this process for bottom of each lining piece. See arrows showing cut out corners in photo below:
- Change to the standard presser foot. Next, place right sides together and sew the bottom seam of the tote using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Finish all seam allowances with an overcasting stitch.
- Press seams toward back. To form the boxed corners fold bottom of bag with right sides together and raw edges even, with the side seam and bottom seam matching. Pin seams together.
- Sew a seam from end to end using a ½-inch seam allowance. Finish the seam with an overcasting stitch.
- Repeat steps 7-10 for the lining pieces, taking care to leave an opening in the bottom seam of the lining measuring about 4-inches across
- Machine baste straps to top edge of tote front, Positioning straps so they are even with the bias trim.
- Sew straps to top edge of tote back, matching position on the front.
- Turn tote right side out and slip into the lining with right sides together.
- Pin layers together with top raw edges matching. Using the free arm of the machine sew a ½-inch seam all around the top edge.
- Turn tote right sides out through the opening in the lining, smoothing the layers and matching up the bottom seams. Before closing the opening in the lining, reach inside and match up the bottom seams that were sewn to box the corners, layering each bag seam with the corresponding lining seam and then stitching each pair together to keep the lining from shifting around inside the finished bag.
- Secure the straps and finish tote with two rows of topstitching, having one row close to the top edge and the second row spaced ¼-inch from the first.
You are finished! Enjoy!
Options and ideas:
- Prior to construction, fuse medium weight interfacing to front and back of tote for a firmer, more stable tote bag.
- For yet another option you can use a heavier fabric such as duck cloth for outside of tote.
- Adjust the length of the handles if desired.
- Double the amount of trims and decorate back of tote the same as the front.
- Visit www.iBroidery.com to see additional Fruit and Vegetable designs with a hand-stitched look like the apple featured here.
- Totes like this make great gifts for family and friends!