Posted on

Tote Bag Pocket: Totally Finished Inside and Out

I’m am using corduroy fabric for this particular pocket. The print is my main fabric letter A and my contrasting/solid fabric will be lettered B.

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 3.30.10 PM



Using a fabric pen mark your Fabrics A and B ~

Cut: 1 – 6″ x 5 1/2″ Main fabric A  and   1 – 6″ x 7 1/2″ Contrasting Fabric B

You may adjust the size pocket to any size you would like 🙂



1. On wrong side of fabric (A) draw a 5″ x 5″ square centering from the top of the 6″ end, these lines will be your seam allowance (Fig. 1).


2. Place fabric (A) on top of fabric (B) with right sides together. Leave the 1 1/2″ excess fabric at the top of your pocket (Fig. 2).



3. Sew pocket following the drawn lines. Clip corners at an angle (Fig. 3).




4. Turn pocket right side out and press (Fig. 4).



5. Turn excess fabric (B) down to meet top edge of fabric (A) press (Fig. 5).


6. Fold fabric (B) over top of fabric (A) press. Top stitch across bottom edge of fabric (B) as shown in (Fig. 6).

Tah Dah! You are now ready to sew this finished pocket on your project. Simply center and pin pocket into place on your tote bag, sew close to edges on the sides and bottom of pocket leaving the top open.

Note: If you would like to make this pocket so it has it’s own special place for your ink pen or pencil simply sew a straight line down one side of the pocket once it’s attached to your tote bag, allowing enough room for your pencil / pen. I allowed 1″ for mine.

Posted on

Rope Handles

1. Sew two strips of fabric the desired length for tote bag handles plus an approximate 5″ for the ends of handles.  Fold in half lengthwise with right sides together (Fig. 1).

2. Turn right side out, press with seam in the center. (Fig. 2)

3. Fold handles in half lengthwise with seam hidden inside. Top stitch close to edge leaving a ”opening at each end. (Fig. 3)

4. Wrap one end of  Cotton Filler Cord with tape such as painters tape, push a safety pin through the taped end of cord for ease of feeding rope through the fabric, insert through one opening in handle, feed cord through, having each end meet at openings (Fig. 4). Fold each end over ½” to the wron side press. Set aside for now. Repeat for opposite handle. 

5. Pin the ends of one handle to one side of bag as desired, place the ends of each handle outside of bag with the seams of handles facing inward, pin or baste into place (making sure not twist handles). Repeat for second handle placing on opposite side of bag (Fig. 5).

 (Fig. 5)

6. Top stitch completely around bag close to top edge and bottom edge to catch handles, and bag. Optional ~ Stitch a capital M on each handle for reinforcement (Fig. 6).

 (Fig. 6)

Posted on

Making Bias Tape to Edge Your Tote Bag

Making 3/4″ wide bias tape.

Cut 1 1/2″ strips of fabric of your choice. You may need to cut one to several strips depending on the desired length. Keep in mind, if you need to join two or more strips you will loose a small portion of length when joining your strips.
This particular blog is making  3/4″ wide bias tape.
Okay, here we go 🙂

1. If you need to make your strip of fabric longer, place right sides of fabric strips together matching corners. Stitch at an angle from one corner to the opposite corner through both layers

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 7.44.11 PM                Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 7.44.22 PM

2. Trim excess fabric, and press flat.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 7.47.46 PM

3. Place bias tape right side down, fold lengthwise with raw edges meeting in the center, press.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 7.47.54 PM

5. Fold over again, leaving one side slightly wider and press.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 7.48.02 PM

Tah Dah…Congrats you now have bias tape! Now, let’s have some additional fun! Attach your bias tape to your project:


1. Place bias tape on the edges of your project. Feel free to pin in place if it makes you more comfortable or baste stitch as you go to hold in place. Once you’re happy with the placement sew close to edge of bias tape catching all layers. Finish by forling the end under 1/2″ overlapping bias tape about 1 inch.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 8.19.31 PM


Copyright © 2012 Jessab LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Posted on

6 Ways To Step Up Your Purse And Tote Bag Making Skills.

Looking for some inspiration for a gift or new ideas for your next purse or tote bag project? We all love and know that amazing bags exist and now we can make them! This is a list of tricks and tips to help you get the absolute most out of your project with every purse and tote bag that you take on. The possibilities are endless, let’s get to work!

Interior Liners

Adding a lining is with out a doubt one of the best ways to drive up the value in your project. Not just for the visual appeal, but for the person who get’s to use it every day but has to look at it all the time 😀

Shoulder Straps & Handles

Add some character to the strapping of the bag. Great way to use up scraps from the project!


Pockets For Organization

Adding pockets to either an exterior or interior wall is a great way to add extra functionality and style to your bag or purse.


Reinforced Bottoms

Unfortunately, cloth by itself isn’t exactly the sturdiest fabric for retaining a shape. Adding a plastic bottom for reinforcement helps give support for the contents of your bag and keeps the shape while out and about! Fair warning: You will want one of these for every bag you own!

Top Trim

Add trim around the top of your bag. This can be any size thick, get creative and experiment with all kinds of sizes!

Matching Seams

Match your side and bottom seams when sewing your box bottom to create the perfect intersection on your tote bag.

We really hope this helps you get going and creating beautiful pieces of art! We would love to hear from you and see your bags that you’ve made, please feel free to post in the comments or find us on facebook 🙂

Posted on

EZ Halloween Bag Requires No Sewing

What you need: BOO!

I used EZ-Steam ll, feel free to use any fusible webbing of your choice, alway refer to the manufacture’s directions.

Scrap piece orange print fabric approximately 5 1/2 inches x 3 1/4 inches for the word Boo! white fabric size depends on the size and number of ghost you want, black 05 Micron pen, permanent double stick fusing and a black tote bag ~ you can purchase from your craft store, scissors, iron.

DSCN24871. Trace or print the applique pieces you want on the double stick fusing (you may flip the ghost images to either side depending on which way you want them to face on your finished product. Cut them apart (Optional: I made some extra small ghost to put on the handles of my bag).


2. Once you have removed the backing of the paper, place them on the wrong side of fabric and cut on them out.


4. Arrange ghost and Boo! as you desire. Once satisfied with the arrangement draw faces on with Micron pen, and color in the eyes and mouths (or) you may trace and color in faces on applique pieces before arranging them on bag. Another option is you may carefully cut out the mouths and eyes especially the larger ghost instead of coloring them.

5. Permanently fuse shapes into place~ put iron on cotton with steam, and place a damp cloth over the applique, press with hot dry iron for 10-15 seconds. For heavier fabrics you may want to iron on the back side of your project as well for a more secure bond.

Posted on

Making Eyes and Tires using a Westcott Jumbo Circles and Helix

To make the perfect looking circles for tires, eyes or what ever you may want.You can easily get them by using a Westcott Jumbo Circles and a Helix tool:

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 6.38.05 AM

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 12.32.09 PM

1. I typically use my Westcott Jumbo Circles to get started. I select the size I need for my project and simply draw my line around it.


Here’s my drawn circle:


2. If I want something other than a circle such as an eye or a tire, this is where the helix comes in handy. It’s easier to see through than the westcott, so I can line up my inner circle where I want it.


Now I have eyes or tires.


Here’s an example of my completed tires and eyes for my projects:



Posted on

Recycling A Feed Bag Into An Everyday Bag

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 1.41.52 PM

Items needed:
2 – Large feed bags cleaned (must be plastic woven type), coordinating thread, use junk scissors when cutting your plastic. You don’t want to ruin good scissors.

1. Cut the back out of each bag (you will using the front panels only for your bag). You will be trimming down each front panel to make your bag. Decide what size you want your bag. I’m going to cut mine 22″ wide x 20″ long. Make sure you cut so you have the picture on the bag panels centered as you choose. Also cut 2 – 2″ x 22″ wide straps these will be your handles. Make sure to use junk scissors, or you will ruin your good scissors.

2. Using an ink pen, place a mark on each end of both panels for your handles. For my bag I’m going to use the measurement of 7″ form each end and 1″ down from the top. This is where your straps will go later.

3. I’m going to use a serger; you can also use a sewing machine using 1/4″ seam allowance and zig zag all edges. Serge or sew one 20″ side together, next serge or sew and zig zag across the entire top. Set aside for now.

4. With wrong sides together fold each 22″ strap together lengthwise. Serge or sew and zig zag along all raw edges (when using a serger I also serge the folded edge, but it’s not necessary). You can tuck all thread ends in using a large eye needle, or sew them down so they are not seen.

5. Place one end of strap on one of the marks you made earlier of one of the panels. Straight stitch starting at top with sewing machine straight stitch around the strap, making a “V” at the top. Repeat for opposite side of strap. Repeat this step for opposite strap. Be careful not to twist your straps.

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 2.02.26 PM

6. Serge or sew the opposite side and bottom together.

7. Following the 2″-12″ Perfect Box Bottom sewing tool directions to make bottom corners using the 8″ slot.

Making bottom corners:
1. Match one side seam to bottom seam and finger press.
2. Slide corner from bottom of 8″ slot matching seam with the center line on the tool, and lining the corners with the bottom corners of tool.
3. Draw a line on the bottom edge of the tool (hold it together being careful not to let is slide (pins don’t work because they will bend).
4. Baste along the drawn line, when happy with your matching seams, then you are ready to serge or straight stitch and zig zag with a tighter stitch. Repeat for opposite corner.

You can also watch this video for perfect box bottom tool directions, but remember not to use and iron….you will melt your project and make a mess of your iron:

Tah Dah! You’re Bag is Completed.

Posted on

Making A Snap Flap For Your Totebag

Keep in mind you can chose the size snap you desire, and make your snap flap any size you choose, but I will be using these measurements:
1 – 5″ x 7″ Main Fabric (A)
1 – 5″ x 7″ lining Fabric (B)
1 – 1/2″ set of magnetic snaps

1. Place and pin main fabric (A) and lining (B) fabrics right sides together, sew one of the 5″ ends together using 1/4″ seam allowance. Keep in mind if your are using a directional fabric that it is facing the correct direction before sewing. Once sewn press, and open.

2. Assemble magnetic snap according to package directions, or see my blog for “Magnetic Snaps” at Place male side of snap 1″ from the sewn end of the lining fabric (B). The correct side of the male snap should be showing on the correct side of Fabric (B).

3. Place right sides of fabric (A) and (B) together, and sew both of the 7″ sides of the snap flap, clip corners and turn right side out, and press. Set aside for now.

4. Center and assemble female side the magnetic snap on the outside of your tote bag. Place your snap flap on the back side of you tote bag making sure it center to your liking.

5. If your tote bag has a lining center the snap flap on the back side of the tote bag between the lining and the bag.

Posted on

Putting magnetic snaps/closures together

1. Cut two 1″ x 1″ squares of felt, this adds strength to help prevent the snap from cutting your project. Center the back piece of your snap on the piece of felt. Make a mark in the side slots of the snap back, repeat this step for the second piece of felt.


2. Using an exacto knife or sharp scissors make a small cut where the marks have been made, being carful not to cut too long of a line for this can cause your snap to slide.

3. Center the next snap back on the wrong side of your project. Make marks in the side slots and cuts as you did in step (1) and step (2).

4. Place the snap prongs through the slots from the right of your project, then place one of the felt squares and the slotted back of the snap through the prongs.



5. Simply bend the prongs toward the outsides of your project, depending on the strength of the snap prongs you may need to use small pliers to do this. Then flatten them as much as you can.