Embroidery Library

Perfect Pocket Tote

 

Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
Perfectly placed outer pockets add both fashion and function to this terrific tote.

Pretty yet sturdy, this tote features two panels to show off your favorite embroidery designs. Choose fabric to compliment the designs and you'll have a bag sure to impress!

Read on for instructions on how to create your own perfect pocket tote!

 

Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote


Supplies Needed:

**1 yard sturdy cotton fabric -
   like twill, denim, or
   lightweight canvas (I used
   lightweight canvas)

**2/3 yard print cotton fabric
  (for pocket linings and inner
   lining - I used quilter's
   cotton)

**1/3 yard print cotton fabric
  (for outer shell - I used
   quilter's cotton)

 
Supplies Continued: 

**
Medium weight cutaway stabilizer

**Temporary spray adhesive

**Air-erase pen

**1/3 yard medium weight double-sided fusible interfacing


**2 yards - 1" - 1 1/4" wide nylon or cotton strapping (for shoulder straps)

**Scotch tape

 



Designs Used:

I used the medium size of the Telephone with Butterfly and the medium size of the Typewriter with Bird from the Perched in Time Treasures design pack. Find even more designs to perfectly perch on your tote by visiting the Creatures of Air department!

Finished Size:
10" wide by 12 1/2" high by 4" deep
 

 


Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 

To get started, print the pattern pieces by first downloading a .PDF file. There are four pattern sections that will print on four pieces of 8 1/2" wide by 11" high paper.



Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 

Cut out the pieces and tape them together according to the instructions printed on the patterns.



Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 

Now I will prepare the embroidered pocket piece. Lay the pattern on top of the sturdy cotton fabric (I used lightweight canvas), pin in place, and using an air-erase pen or other marking tool, trace the shape.



Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 

Remove the pattern piece. Measure and mark up 2" along each side edge starting at the bottom corners. Draw a line connecting the marks (the area above the line is the embroidered area).

Create a paper template of the design by printing it at full size using embroidery software. See these handy instructions for more information about making and using templates. Place the template inside the embroidered area where you want it. I centered my template side to side and top to bottom (top of the shape to the line you just drew) by measuring equal distances in between the outer edges of the design and the edges of the embroidered area. Also, make sure there is at least one inch of space in between the outer edges of the design and the edges of the shape.

Poke a hole in the center of the design and mark the fabric. Also, mark the horizontal and vertical axis points.
 



Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 
Spray a piece of medium weight cutaway stabilizer with temporary adhesive and smooth the fabric on top. Hoop the fabric and stabilizer together by aligning the marks on the hoop with the lines on the fabric.


Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 
Attach the hoop to the machine and load the design. Move the hoop so that the needle is directly aligned with the center point on the fabric. Embroider the design.


Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 
When the design has finished, trim away the excess stabilizer on the backside of the embroidery.


Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 
Cut out the shape.

Prepare a total of two embroidered pocket pieces (one for each side of the tote).


Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 
To create the pocket linings, lay the embroidered pocket pieces on top of the print cotton fabric, right sides together, pin in place, and cut around the shape of the embroidered piece.

Sew a 1/2" seam along the top curved edges only - do not sew along any of the straight edges.


Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 
Clip the seam allowance along both curved edges about every 1/4". Turn the fabric right side out and press the seams with an iron. Also, top stitch a 1/4" seam along the curved edges and an 1/8" seam along the top, side, and bottom edges.


Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 
To prepare the outer shell, cut a piece of print cotton fabric, medium weight double-sided fusible interfacing, and sturdy cotton fabric to 11 1/4" wide by 15" high. Layer them together as follows: lay the sturdy cotton fabric flat with the wrong side facing up. Align the interfacing on top of the sturdy cotton fabric and then align the print cotton fabric on top of the interfacing with the right side facing up.

Pin in place and fuse the layers together, activating the interfacing by following the instructions on the interfacing packaging.


Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 
Lay the outer shell pieces flat with the print cotton side facing up. Align the assembled pocket pieces on top with the right side (embroidered side) facing up and pin in place.


Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 
Align the pocket/outer shell pieces together, right sides together, align the sides of the pockets and pin in place.

Sew a 1/2" seam along the side and bottom edges only - leave the top open for turning.


Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 
To square off the bottom of the tote, align the side and bottom seams together, pin in place, and sew a seam across the existing seams

Trim the fabric at each corner leaving about 1/4" excess. Turn the fabric right side out.


Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 
To add the inner lining, cut two pieces of print cotton fabric to 11 1/4" wide by 15" high. Assemble the inner lining by aligning the two pieces, right sides together, and sewing a 1/2" seam along the side and bottom edges only.

Square off the corners, measure and draw a line 3 1/2" across each corner (perpendicular to the side seam). Sew a seam across the lines and trim the fabric at each corner.
 

Insert the outer shell inside the inner lining, right sides together. Align the top raw edges and the sides seams. Pin in place and sew a 1/2" seam along the top edge leaving about 6" open along one side for turning.
 



Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 
Turn the fabric right side out and insert the inner lining inside the outer shell. Turn the fabric of the opening in to the wrong side and press. Allow about 3/4" of the inner lining to fold over to the outside of the top edge of the tote.

Press and sew a 1/4" seam along the fold of the inner lining around the entire top edge of the tote.


Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote
 
Add the shoulder straps by cutting two 36" lengths of 1" wide to 1 1/4" wide strapping. Fold each end over about 3/4" and pin in place at the top outside edge of the tote along each side of the top edges of the pockets (on both sides of the tote). Sew a seam across each folded end of the straps.

Free project instructions to make a perfect pocket tote

And your perfect pocket tote is complete! It's a fresh look to any wardrobe, and a great way to carry all your everyday essentials.

Click here for a printable version of these project instructions.

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Products used in this Project: