This is one of the gifts I made for my kids for Christmas. It is a lined tote bag just big enough for a coloring book and it has the crayon holder on the outside. I didn’t use a pattern, although a tote bag is pretty straight forward. HOWEVER…just a few months ago I remember struggling with the construction of a simple tote bag so I shouldn’t say that it is straight forward. I should say that, after making one successful tote bag, it gets easier and easier.
Here is my tutorial for the tote bag that I made.
Gather your supplies.
Coordinating fabric (I had a yard of each fabric and that was enough to make 2+ bags)
Main fabric: Two 10″ X 12″ panels (or size that will comfortably fit your coloring book)
Lining fabric: Two 10″ X 12″ panels, one 4″ X 11″ (for crayon holder), two 4″ X 20″ for handles
I worked on the crayon pouch first. I folded around 1/4″ and ironed it down. I folded the top over twice so I wouldn’t have a raw seam edge where I would put the crayons in. I then pinned the pouch about 3 1/2″ up from the bottom of the main fabric. Then I stitched three sides, leaving the top alone.
I marked the middle of my 4″ X 11″ fabric (now smaller because of the hemming) and then worked my way out to the sides marking every 3/4″. This size fits regular size crayons perfectly. I had jumbo crayons and they fit those as well, just a little snugly. If I did it over, I would mark every 1″ for the jumbo crayons.
Starting at the bottom of the crayon pouch, stitch a straight line following the marks you made earlier. Stitch all the way to the top and be sure to reinforce your stitches at the top. Trim all your loose threads.
I don’t have a picture for this part, but you’ll want to sew up main fabric. Place right sides together and stitch the sides and the bottoms. All of the seams I made were 1/4″. You’ll want to do the same thing for your lining fabric but make sure to leave a 2″ gap in the bottom. You’ll need that hole later.
Next, you’ll make your handles. Fold down 1/2 inch on each side lengthwise and iron. Then, fold that piece in half and iron. It will look like the picture above. Stitch along all the edges.
Take your finished handles and pin them to your tote bag where you’d like them. Be careful not to twist your handles. Do this on both sides.
With right sides together, pin your lining to your tote bag. Make sure you keep those handles inside. Matching side seams, you’ll want to stitch all along the top of the bag. Trim the seam (and your handles).
Now is the part where that hole in the bottom of the lining becomes necessary. Carefully pull your bag right side out through the opening.
It will look like this. Give it a quick iron and then stitch up the hole you left on the bottom of the lining. Put the lining inside the bag and iron the seam along the top. You can topstitch it if you like. I was so tired that I just left it. I don’t think my kids will care.
Now it is ready for crayons and your favorite coloring book!
If you decide to make one of these tote bags, I’d love to see it! Share your creation at my flickr group.