Hooked on Needles

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tote Bag Tutorial - Lesson 3: Handles

Here is a quick little lesson on how to sew handles for this Tote Bag or for any other project that might require handles. I have already done a little tutorial on this technique I use for handles and trim from when I was making my Angel Swap tote bag for Lyn. I'm going to add this tutorial in here to go along with the other lessons just so the series will be complete. Besides it would look a little weird to have those blue denim and paisley handles on this very black and gingham tote bag!

If you are interested in the previous lessons for this series, you can find Lesson 1 HERE, and Lesson 2 HERE. I'll put them all together in a neat little package on my sidebar shortly so they will be easy to find.

Now on to Sewing Handles!

Tote Bag Handle StripsLay out the 4 strips of handle fabric -- 2 Black and 2 Gingham. Fold each of them long ways with the right side out and press or pin. Sew a half inch seam along the long edge keeping the raw edges even.

Tote Bag Handles in ProgressOpen the seam allowance and press it open, pressing each strip flat with the seam running down the middle as shown in the Gingham and Black strips above. Then turn a Gingham strip over onto a Black strip so that the seams are hidden between the strips. Pin in place. Sew just inside the long folded edges of the Gingham through all layers to complete the handles.

Isn't that just the easiest way to make a pretty and sturdy handle? I have never enjoyed turning tubes of fabric right side out and now I can avoid that unpleasant task altogether while making a very attractive tote bag handle. And you can too!

Stay tuned for Lesson 4 in which you will see how to sew the pockets and trim on the outside shell of the tote bag. I have also added Lesson 4a where you can see an alternate way to do the outside with set-in pockets.

If you haven't yet signed up for my Whirl Into Winter Giveaway, make sure you check it out before it's too late. The winner will be announced on January 15 and I'd sure love for it to be YOU!

Happy Stitching!

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