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Black and White Tote Bag with Owl Embroidery

This roomy tote bag features a bold black and white color scheme that makes it really stand out. We used the designs Owl and Birds in a Tree for the mega (6" x 8") hoop.

The finished size of the bag is about 15" high x 17" wide x 4" deep.


Front of the Bag

You will need

  • embroidery thread (either polyester or rayon), black, white, 2 shades of grey and bright green,
  • black and white canvas or duck cloth, about 1/2 yard each,
  • about 1/2 yard of polyester craft felt,
  • about 1/2 yard of black cotton fabric for the lining,
  • sewing threads, quilter's ruler and rotary cutter or scissors and graph pencil.


Back of the Bag

Embroidery:

Front Panel:

Stabilize a piece of black canvas with polyester craft felt and embroider the Owl design using white, light grey and green threads.

Stabilize a piece of white canvas and embroider the mirror image of the same design in black, dark grey and green threads.

Trim the pieces along the straight edge of the embroidery, leaving 1/2" of seam allowance. Align the stitch-outs and sew them together. Seam allowance is 1/2".

Cut the felt from under the seam allowance. Open the seam allowance and press.

Trim the piece to 19" wide and 20" high.


Back Panel:

Stabilize a piece of black canvas with polyester craft felt, embroider the Birds in a Tree design in white.

Stabilize a piece of white canvas with polyester craft felt and embroider the mirror image of the same design in black.

Trim the pieces along the straight edge of the embroidery, leaving 1/2" of seam allowance on the white canvas and 3/4" on the black. Align the stitch-outs and sew them together. Seam allowance is 1/2".
Cut the felt from under the seam allowance. Open the seam allowance and press.

Trim the piece to 19" wide and 20" high.


Cut 2 1/2" squares in the lower corners of both panels.

Black and White Owl Tote

Cutting:

Out of black canvas, cut 2 strips measuring 4" x 25" for the handles.
Out of black cotton fabric for the lining, cut

  • one piece measuring 19" x 38" and
  • one piece measuring 10" x 12" for the pocket.

Handles:

Fold the 4" x 25" strips in half lengthwise, face outwards. Press.
Tuck the raw edges of the strips 1" inside. Press again.

Topstitch along all edges twice - 1/8" and 1/4" from the edges.

Black and White Owl Tote

Position the front panel on the table, face up. Pin one handle to the upper edge - 6" from each side - as shown on the picture below: align the ends of the handle with the edge. Pin. Topstitch in place 1/4" and 1/2" from the edge.

Repeat for the back panel.

Black and White Owl Tote

Inside Pocket:

Fold the 10" x 12" piece widthwise in half, right side inwards and align the edges. Stitch 2 of the raw edges together with seam allowance 1/4"; leave the 3rd side open. Turn the working piece out.

Black and White Owl Tote

Press. Tuck the raw edges 1/2" inside and press. Topstitch this side closed 1/8" from the edge. You'll get a rectangle measuring 9 1/2" x 5 1/2".

Black and White Owl Tote

Lining:

Fold the 19" x 38" piece in half widthwise, face inwards. Press.
Cut 2 1/2" squares in the bottom corners of the folded piece.

Black and White Owl Tote

Fold the upper edges 1" back and press. Unfold.

Black and White Owl Tote

Unfold the working piece. Position the pocket on the lining approximately 6" from the upper edge and topstitch it along 3 edges.

Black and White Owl Tote

Fold the working piece once again. Stitch the sides together on your sewing machine. Seam allowance is 1/4". Open the seams and press.

Black and White Owl Tote

To shape the bottom, pinch the corners as shown in the diagram below. Pin. Stitch them closed.

Black and White Owl Tote

Fold the upper edge again along the pressed lines you made earlier.

Assembly of the Bag:

Position the front and back panels face to face. Align the edges.
Stitch along the bottom edge, seam allowance 1/2". Open the seam allowance and stitch again 1/4" on both sides of the seam.

Black and White Owl Tote

Fold the panels face to face again. Stitch one side, seam allowance 1/2". Open the seam allowance and topstitch 1/4" on both sides of the seam.
Repeat with the other side.

To shape the bottom, follow the directions above for the lining.

Attaching the Lining:

Fold the upper edge 1 1/2" inside and pin. Topstitch 1/4" from the upper edge.


Insert the lining in the bag. Align the side seams.
Align the upper edge of the lining with the upper seam (1/4" from the upper edge). Pin the upper edge of the lining.

Topstitch the lining to the bag 1/4" from the upper edge of the lining or 1/2" from the upper edge of the bag.

The tote is done!


Enjoy!

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