Musical Mini Tote–I’m Back!

I have been gone for a little while…let me fill you in: As I have been trying to build my blog, I have found myself letting sewing get pushed to the side–not good!  I mean, the whole reason I started this blog was because I love sewing and I want to showcase everything I do, not just the items for Robug Couture.  So, I took a much-needed break.
Anyone who has a blog and children will say that their blog is just like another child, and just like with a real child, The Robug complained that I was giving too much attention to her sibling and therefore was becoming more destructive than usual Mommy needed a little break.  Being a perfectionist doesn’t make this process any easier :).
I took the time to build up my summer fabric stash,

sketch some designs both for my label and for fun (not revealing those ;), and just sewing.

And, because I was just sewing, I didn’t take pictures.  But, this is a super-easy project that is pretty unoriginal at it’s base–I just gave it a Ginger Factor ;).  With no further ado:


Finished size:11″ x 10″ x 6″, based off a bag I had from my grocery store.

The Musical Mini Tote
This was born out of “necessity.”  My husband donated two of his CD’s for a silent raffle to benefit the band program at one of the schools with whom he works.  He asked me if I had a little basket or something to put them in, at the request of the organizer, to make it look nice.  I didn’t have a basket, and I definitely didn’t want to buy something, so I checked out my stash of fabric.  I used some leftover fabric I had from two other projects, a pair of jeans and a belt from my upcycle pile, some fusible web for appliques, and some printable fabric.  I decided to go with a mini tote bag–perfect size for a few small items when shopping, a larger lunch, library books, etc…everyone is using reusable bags, so give ’em what they want ;).  And, because I was working with scraps and recycled fabric, I was limited in size (without seaming it, anyways, and I didn’t want to do that) of what I could produce.  Here are the steps–sorry there are no pictures of the process.  This is very easy and, if you have questions about my instructions, please let me know.  And, I KNOW there are a TON of tutorials out there to make bags, so those are awesome resources as well.
Supplies I used:
2–11.5″ x 29.25″ fabric pieces for the outside and inside; I made the outside out of denim from a pair of old jeans and the inside of quilter’s cotton.
4–6.5″ x 11.5″ fabric pieces for side panels; all mine were quilter’s cotton, two in b/w notes and two in colored notes
2–something to use for the handles; I used an old belt that I had and sewed a strip of matching fabric to the other side of it so that one side would have the green and the other would be the black fabric with multicolored music notes.  
1–sheet of double sided fusible webbing
1–sheet of printable fabric
essential sewing supplies
Process:
1.  Cut out all fabric to above dimensions
2. Take the large piece of fabric you are using for the outside and the two side panels for the outside.  With right sides together, match each panel’s raw edges with the raw edges of the outside piece at the top and in each corner so that you are creating both sides of the bag.  Sew them using a 1/4″ seam allowance and leave  1/4″ unsewn at the bottom so that you can create the bottom panel of your bag.  Repeat this for inside piece and panels.
3.  If you are doing any appliques, now is the time to do it so that the fabric is flat.  Otherwise, skip down to #5 .  Follow the instructions for your appliques.  I previously bought a package of double-sided sheets which were super easy to use.  Iron them to your bag.  I cut out two music notes out of the contrasting fabric and I printed out a quote from Nietzsche that I ginger-fied with fun fonts then printed it out on printable fabric.
4.  If you don’t want to leave the edges of your appliques raw, you can use a satin stitch (very narrow zig-zag) to cover it.

5.  Take the front piece, fold it right-sides together and sew the remaining sides of the side panels to the main bag piece as you did in step 2, making sure to leave a 1/4″ unsewn at the bottom of each side.  You will have  created a bag-like shape.
6.  Now, flatten the bottom and sew from the end of the stitching on one side to the stitching on the other side using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  You will be folding out the 1/4″ you left in step 2 to match the raw edge of the bottom piece to create the bag’s bottom.  Repeat this for the inside piece.
7.  Flatten the long sides of the bottom pieces and sew all along the folded edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
8. Turn the outside of the bag right side out and the inside of the bag wrong side out.  Insert the lining of the bag into the outside of the bag.  At this point, your bag should be together as you want it to be when finished, so let’s finish it!  But, you’ll have to trust me for this last part–I’m not forgetting anything πŸ™‚
9. Take your handles and place them about 2.5″ from each corner between the lining and the outside, or where you want them to be.  Pin them in place and sew all around the top of the bag, attaching the handles and the lining to the outside of the bag, using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
10. Pinch the fabric of the outside and inside of the fabric close to the top so that you can pull them away from each other, and push the raw edges and handles down between the two layers 1/2″ all the way around.  Press with a hot iron.
11. Stitch around the top of the bag using a 1/4″ seam allowance to close the gap.

Voila, you’re done!
Enjoy your new bag!

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14 thoughts on “Musical Mini Tote–I’m Back!

  1. That came out great!! You are so talented. I wish I had a little bit of your sewing ability, but you know that already πŸ™‚ thanks for linking up. Always love seeing your stuff.

    1. Thank you very much! It’s always a pleasure to link up to an awesome party–thank you for hosting and taking the time to stop by! Enjoy your week πŸ™‚

  2. This is so CUTE! and your graphics up top are just adorable πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your ideas on “Strut Your Stuff” Saturday! We hope to see you again! -The Sisters

    1. Thank you for coming by to check it out and for hosting a place to share and gather ideas! The graphics are my favorite part of my new layout–thanks!

  3. What a SWEET little tote πŸ™‚ I’ve got to make a new one for my daily lunch’n stuff I take to work. This looks like a nice size for such. thanks for sharing the how-to. New follower on GFC and Linky (you know, just in case it goes away like other Google stuff)
    JoAnn
    sweetpepperrose.blogspot.com

    1. Thank you so much! It’s a great size for lunches, especially if you use tupperware, etc… because it’s slightly larger. Thanks so much for stopping by and following! I’ve been following you on GFC and I just started on Linky. Come back soon!

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