Silver Spring Sewing makes Tote Bags

On Sunday afternoon Silver Spring Sewing had our first class of 2012. We made reversible tote bags. This reversible tote bag is the second in a series of 7 tote bags that we will be making over the next 3 months. Each class is designed to help further develop a particular sewing skill. This tote bag honed in on the straight stitch, pressing and how to make an item that turns inside out. These skills can be used in making other types of tote bags, pillows, scarves etc.

We had 15 students attend Sunday’s class. Thanks to Xtine for being my volunteer instructor for this class. She did an awesome job going from student to student assisting with machines and stitches.

Xtine assisting a student with her machine

A few of the students were a little apprehensive about cutting fabric and getting started. Some had never touched a sewing machine before. We had a wide range of skills in this class which was great for those with less experience.

After going around and making a few introductions we began to dive right in and get the show on the road.

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Silver Spring Sewing Group hard at work

Step 1: Press the fabric. This is important for cutting purposes. When cutting wrinkled fabric its highly likely your cutting will be off. Make certain your fabric is smooth and lays flat on your cutting surface.

Mercy moved quickly to the ironing board

Step 2: Everyone student received two pattern pieces. One for the bag and one for the strap

Denise found a space on the floor to begin her cutting

Step 3: Cut the pattern pieces out. It’s important to pin the pattern pieces accurately. We briefly discussed grain lines and how important it is to cut on them.

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Ericka shown here cutting her pieces. Ann in the background already ahead of the game 🙂

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Renee preparing to cut the straps

Step 4: Begin to sew. The students began by folding the fabric in half and sewing all four sides.

Step 5: Press. This is often a step that is ignored and passed over. It’s considered to be too time consuming but I am a stickler for pressing as you sew.

Step 6: Fold, Press and Sew the Strap. Some students got creative and sewed two stitches instead of one and some even got creative and used a decorative stitch instead.

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Ericka attaching the straps

Step 7: Attach the straps to the bag on both sides. Place the lining turned right side out inside the bag and match right sides together.

Denise matching right sides

Step 8: Sew all the way around leaving a 3-4inch opening to turn

Betty sewing around the top of the bag

Step 9: Turn by pulling the bag through the opening and press

Ann is checking out Kanisa's almost finished product

Step 10: Top Stitch around the top of the bag then press for one last time

Andrea shown here pressing her bag

And “Voila” everyone who attended the class completed their tote bags.  Many referred to their bags as “wine bags” or “yoga bags”. Silver Spring Sewist worked hard and did a great job. Can’t wait to do this again.

Denise, Andrea, Ericka, Betty G, Ann and Cathy. What great bags!

Amber, Sharaelle, Mercy, Kanisa, Renee and Yolanda showing off their bags

Last but not least, Audrey who had to depart early. Her finished bag had a lining made from gold lame.

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