The weather has been glorious this weekend, so it was a bit of a shame that I chose this weekend to sew my dog fabric tote bag. I still made sure I spent plenty of time in the garden though, so I don’t feel liked I missed out on the sun too much!
I saw this dog print fabric on the M is For Make website before Christmas and instantly fell in love. Being totally dog crazy this had my name all over it and J kindly got it me for Christmas!
I created a pattern from some old paper that was 41cm high and 36cm wide, with a 1.5cm seam allowance. The fabric was slightly frustrating as the print on the fabric is not inline with the weave. It took me AGES to work this out, as the dogs weren’t lining up as I wanted. In the end I decided to use pattern line as the straight edge, which seems to have worked fine. I’m a very inexperienced sewer, so I have no idea if this is right/normal!
After cutting out the pieces, I used the over locking stitch across the top and folded it down to make the edge neat. After looking at a bought tote bag I realised this was a mistake as I needed to fold the top down after the sides were stitched together, so I had to unpick it. I’m glad I did though, as I’m really proud of the finish across the top and where the sides join.
In hindsight I wish I’d allowed for a greater seam allowance at the top, as I folded it down twice to make it look neater, which could have made the bag too short. I decided to use the seam and overlock stitch on my sewing machine to sew the sides and bottom. This is only about 0.5cm wide so this saved the day. I also did a straight stitch to strengthen this seam.
For handles I had bought some navy blue webbing, but once the bag was made up I didn’t like it. Luckily I used some black, thicker webbing in my stash and used that instead. I stitched 3cm of the webbing to the fabric to make it really strong, and sewed the webbing in place in three different areas. I have no idea if this is the right way to do it, but I like it!
The fabric is natural (I think) and I was really pleased that I managed to get some thread which completely matches so from the right side you can’t really see where the handles are sewn in place.
Overall I’m so pleased with the bag! It took me about 4 hours, which seems a long time. I’m pleased with my sewing though and I’ll be using my new favourite tote at every opportunity!