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Fringed Tote Bag with Celtic Embroidery

This beautiful tote bag features ever-popular Celtic motifs. The charming two-tone fringe gives it an additional eye-catching touch. For this tote bag, we used the designs from the Celtic Knotwork Set.

The finished size of the tote is 16" x 16".

Our measurements are based on fabric width of 60". You will need 3/4 yards each of faux-leather polyester (for the outside) and medium-weight denim fabric (for the lining and fringe), two pieces of heavy-weight Pellon Peltex fusible interfacing measuring 16" x 16", 16/100 sewing needles, topstitch threads for sewing, 12/80 embroidery needles, embroidery threads and light-weight fusible stabilizer for the embroidery.

Out of faux-leather polyester, cut 2 rectangles measuring 24" long by 20 1/2" wide.
With a chalk pencil mark a 16" x 16" square, 1/2" from the upper edge of the rectangle, as shown on the picture below. All the other margins should be 4".

Stabilize with light-weight fusible stabilizer and make an embroidery of the Celtic Knotwork designs. You can choose any designs and position the embroidery as you like, provided that it's situated within the 16" x 16" square.

We used one design and repeated it three times on each of the panels.

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Out of denim fabric cut 2 rectangles measuring 24" x 20 1/2" for the bag and one square measuring 10" x 10" for the pocket.

Take the pocket square, fold each edge back 1/2" and press. Fold the upper edge back 1", press and topstitch.

Place one of the denim rectangles on the working table face up and mark a 16" x 16" square on it about 1/2" from the top. Pin the pocket approximately in the middle of the 16" x 16" square. Topstitch it in place.

For the handles, out of the denim fabric, cut 2 strips measuring 2 1/2" x 28". Out of the faux-leather polyester, cut 2 strips measuring 2" x 28".

Working on the ironing board, fold the long sides of the denim strips so that they meet in the center and press. The wrong side of the fabric should face inwards.

Repeat for the polyester strips.

Place the denim strips with the raw edges facing up. Cover them with the polyester strips with raw edges facing down. The polyester strips are slightly narrower than the denim strips. Align them so that the denim borders on each side of the polyester are the same width. Pin. Topstitch both edges of the polyester strip to the denim strip. The handles are ready.

Now pin each handle to the upper edges of the front and back faux-leather panels, as shown.

Cover each panel with the denim lining rectangles, face down. Align the edges. Pin in place. Stitch along the upper edge, 1/2" from the edge. Stitch again, this time 1/4" from the edge.

Turn the working pieces right side out. Pull the denim up slightly so that about 1/8" is visible above the polyester. Top-stitch the polyester about 1/8" from the top edge.

Tuck the 16" x 16" pieces of pellon interfacing between the polyester and denim panels, the fusible side of the interfacing to the denim. Leave 4" borders. Press the denim side to fuse the interfacing to the fabric.

Now place both halves of the bag on top of each other, denim to denim. Align the upper edges and the handles. Pin together. Topstitch a 16" x 16" square through all layers, leaving 4" borders left. Topstitch again using either a parallel straight stitch or a decorative stitch from your machine's library.

With a pair of sharp scissors, cut the borders into a fringe of 1/4" wide strips.

You can also decorate the fringe with beads, if you like. The tote is done. Enjoy!

We hope that you liked our idea and will come up with many of your own.

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