As mother’s we LOVE getting all those cute pictures drawn by our doting children for Mother’s Day. Am I right? But what do you do with them after Sunday is over? Sure, they hang on the fridge, with the magnets they made for a couple of days. And then what? Throw them away? NEVER!! Today’s tutorial provides an option to enjoy those pictures created with love, and keep your fridge usable.
These tote bags are fairly quick to whip up, and they proudly display the budding Michelangelo’s you are raising.
1/2 yard each (at least 45 inches wide) of coordinating fabrics. I used canvas fabric because it is sturdy and doesn’t require lining. You can use whatever fabric you have on hand, or any cotton print you like.
Sewing Machine (Serger may come in handy, but not necessary)
These printable fabric sheets (You can buy them at any craft store, even Wal-Mart sells them in their craft area).
Start with the adorable pictures. Copy them onto the fabric sheets. I shrunk mine down so I could have two pictures on the same sheet of paper. Run a test print before printing on the fabric sheets.
Next cut out your fabric pieces. The sheets come 8 1/2 x 11 inches, like a regular piece of paper, so I wanted my pockets to be 8 1/2 inches tall.
From the Blue (bag piece) cut 2 – 15 x 18 1/2 inch rectangles
From the Natural canvas (pockets) cut 2 – 11 x 18 1/2 inch rectangles
From the Natural canvas (handles) cut 2 – 4 x 36 inch rectangles
Prepare the handles by folding in half length-wise and pressing. Open and fold each side into the middle, press, then fold in half again. This will provide you with a one-inch handle. Topstitch along each side of both handle pieces.
Hem the top of each pocket piece. (Fold down a quarter-inch and press, fold once more and press again. Topstitch through all layers.)
Applique the kids art to the pocket piece. Mark the center of the pocket and the center of the art. Match center lines, pin, and sew using a blanket stitch, or blind hem stitch, or zigzag stitch. To save time you can just sew across the top and bottom, the sides will be sewn with the handle step.
Layer the bag side (blue piece), pocket piece, and handles. Match the bottom edge of all three pieces. Pin the handle to frame the art.
Topstitch the handle through all three layers (handle, pocket, bag). Start at the bottom, sew up until 2 inches above pocket, sew across handle and back down other side of handle. Repeat with the other handle. Repeat with the other bag side. This will provide you with six outer pockets on the bag.
Mark a line across the bottom of the bag 2 inches from the bottom edge. Topstitch across that line.
This creates the bottom of the pocket and will help form the bottom of the bag.
Place bag sides right sides together and sew through all layers (with 1/4 inch seams), on the sides and bottom. This is where I used my serger because canvas frays a lot. You can also use a zigzag on a sewing machine to finish the edges.
To create a flat bottom (on the bag), match the bottom seam with the side seam. This creates a triangle. Flatten out the fabric and you will see the line you sewed 2 inches up. Sew straight across the triangle matching the sewn lines. Cut off the excess fabric. (You can see the white lines sewn parallel to the bottom, and how the sewn line is perpendicular to these.)
The last step is to hem the top of the bag. You can do this step at the same time you hem the pocket piece, but I like the top edge to hide the side seam. Repeat the steps for hemming the pocket pieces. Be careful to not catch the handles when you are hemming the top. Enjoy your beautiful bag, and the kids art!
Our Mother’s May Highlight today is Trina Brunson.
Here’s what Ambre said about her mom in the nomination form:
She will do anything for us at any time. She gave up her dreams of traveling around the world so that she could be a mommy. She does a job she hates so that she can help support her husband. She helps her widowed mom every Wednesday for hours with projects around the house that my grandma can’t do herself. She is so kind and loving to everyone she meets.
And a short bio about Trina (again from Ambre):