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Starlet Tote Bag
This roomy, soft tote bag features an embroidered pocket on the front panel. The design we used on the pocket is Starlet.
The finished size of the bag is about 16"W x 13"H x 4"D.
Finished tote bag with embroidery of a girl on the front panel.

You will need :
  • embroidery threads, either polyester or rayon,
  • a piece of white cotton canvas or duck cloth, big enough to be hooped,
  • about 1/4 yard of red cotton fabric,
  • small amout of black cotton fabric,
  • 1/2 yard of black-and-white patterned cotton canvas,
  • 1/2 yard of cotton fabric for the lining,
  • medium-weight cut-away embroidery stabilizer,
  • thin batting
  • iron-on sewing interfacing,
  • quilter's ruler,
  • rotary cutter,
  • iron,
  • #12 and #14 universal needle,
  • sewing thread,
  • magnetic snap closure or sew-on snap closure 1/2" large.
Out of the fabric for the outer bag, cut 2 pieces measuring 19"W x 17"H,

Out of the fabric for the lining, cut
  • 1 piece measuring 19" x 30" and
  • another piece measuring 7" x 15".
Out of thin batting or sewing interfacing, cut 2 pieces measuring 19" x 17".

Out of red cotton fabric, cut
  • 2 strips measuring 2 1/4" x 47" (if the fabric is not long enough, cut several strips and sew them into 2 strips);
  • a piece measuring 8" x 10".
Out of black cotton back, cut 2 strips measuring 2" x 47".

Out of sewing interfacing, cut 2 strips measuring 1" x 47".
Stabilize a piece of white canvas with medium-weight cut-away stabilizer. Hoop the fabric tightly. Upload the Starlet file into your machine and embroider it.
Stitch-out of the Starlet design.

Press the stitch-out and trim the piece to 8"W x 9"H.
Outer Pocket:
With right sides together, cover the stitch-out with the red 8" x 10" piece. Align the short upper and lower edges. The lining piece is longer than the embroidered piece so the lining will crinkle a little.

Sew the short sides, seam allowance 1/4".
Red lining over the stitch-out.

Turn the pocket right side out. Press. 1/4" of the lining will show at the upper and lower edges.

Topstitch along the short edges in the ditch.
Finished outside pocket.

Fold the black 2" and red 2 1/2" strips lengthwise in half, align the long edges and lightly press to mark the center of each strip.

Fold the long edges to the center and press.
Black strips with folded long edges.

Position the interfacing strips inside the black strips. Press.
Red and black strips with folded long edges.

With back sides together, position the black strips over the red ones. Red strips should show at the edges.
Pin. Topstitch along the edges.
Finished handles.
Position the bag panels over the batting panels. Align all edges. Baste along the sides.
Turn the upper edges of both panels 1 1/2" back and press.
Position the pocket over one of the panels 2 1/2" from the folded edge, 3 1/2" from the lower edges and equal distance from the sides. Pin.

Topstitch the pocket to the panel along the side and lower edges.
Embroidered pocket attached to the front panel.

Pin one handle to the front panel, starting from the lower edge, overlap the pocket 1/2".

Topstitch the handle along its outer edges, starting from the lower edge of the bag and finishing on the upper edge of the pocket.

Attach the handle to the back panel.
Handle pined to the front panel.

On the lower edge of both panels, cut out 2"x2" squares at the corners.
Close-up of the quilting and embroidery.
Position the panels face to face, align all edges. Pin the bottom. Stitch together with seam allowance 1/2".

Open and press the seam.
Bottom seam pressed open.

Topstitch 1/4" on both sides of the seam.
Topstitch 1/4" from the seam.

Fold the bag with right sides together, unfold the upper edges and align all edges. Stitch one of the sides, seam allowance 1/2". Unfold and press the seam. Topstitch 1/4" on each side of the seam.
Repeat for the second side.
Fold the bottom of the bag so that the bottom and the side seams align. pin.
Align the bottom and side seams at the bottom.

Align the bottom and side seams at the bottom.

Stitch. Seam alliowance 1/2". Stitch several parallel lines.
Stitch the bottom with several parallel lines.

Fold the upper edge back, pin or baste. Topstitch along the outer edge, seam allowance 1/4".
The Lining:
Fold the 7" x 15" piece widthwise in half, face inwards. Stitch along 2 sides, seam allowance 1/4". Turn right side out. Press.

Tuck the unfinished raw edge 1/4" inside. Press. Stitch it closed.
7" x 15" piece of lining for the pocket.

The piece folded widthwise.

Fold the short edges of the 19" x 30" lining piece 1" back and press.
Pin the pocket 2" from one of the folded edges and equal distance from the sides.
Pin the pocket 2" from the uooer edge of the lining.

Topstitch the pocket in place.
Topstitch the pocket in place.

Unfold the upper edges. Fold the lining widthwise in half. Align the edges. Stitch the sides together.
Press the bottom line. Fold the upper edges back. You can topstitch the folded edge in place, optional.
Sew the sides of the lining together.

To make box corners, separate the front and back sides at the corners. Center the seam on the side with the bottom creased/presses line.
Center the seam on the side with the bottom pressed line.

Measure 2" along the seam from the corner.
Measure 2" along the seam from the corner.

Draw a line perpendicular to the seam across the corner.
Draw a line perpendicular to the seam across the corner.

Stitch along the line.
Stitch along the line.

Insert the lining into the bag. Match the side seams.

Pin the upper edge of the lining to the bag, overlapping the folded edge slightly over 1/4".
Insert the lining in the bag.

If you use a magnetic snap, insert it now. If you use a sew-on snap, you can sew it later.
Insert the magnetic snap.

Stitch the lining to the bag by hand.
The inside of the bag.

Have fun!
FInished bag.

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