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Well my students ~ this is the last lesson for the Open City Tote! All that is needed is to put the button on our totes! Since there isn't a placement guide, I folded the loop over the top of the tote to see how open I wanted my tote to be while carrying it. As I wanted my tote to be completely closed while using, I placed my button fairly low. So, it is placed 2" down from the top and 7-1/2" horizontally but you can certainly put your button where every you please! We have completed our tote!






We will make the inside, firm bottom for our bag today. I used two pieces of foam core board. You will make a pocket for the foam core board by sewing closed one short side and one long side. The other long side will be the fold. Now, fuse your piece of fleece to the inside of the pocket. Turn right side out. Tuck the end inside the pocket. Place in Tote!
Today I am showing you a trick to keep your side tote folds permanently creased. I like sharp creases in my totes/purses and I do this to all of them. It just makes sense to me. Now, you will not find this in the pattern so please don't feel like you have to do this. I just wanted to show you for now or later reference.





Today we are going to put the Tote together! Turn the lining/pocket right side out. Turn the bag (outside portion) inside out. Put the lining/pocket inside the bag so that they are right sides together. Match the top edges together and sew. Now turn right side out through the bottom inside hole that you left open. Poke the corners so that they are fulling turned out and have crisp corners. Now tuck the lining/pocket into the bag. Press top edge and bottom edges.






Good Morn'in Students! Today will be a rather lengthy lesson. We are making boxed corners for our Tote. First, consider the template given in the pattern. Rather than cutting the template out I used a small square ruler. Measure the template with the ruler for correct size (2-3/4"). Lay the ruler on the corners of both outside and lining of bag at 2-3/4". With a Prisma pen draw the corner on the bag as shown. Do this on all four corners. Bring your corners together matching seams and drawn lines. Pin. Stitch along the drawn line. Measure 1/2" from line and cut. All corners are made!!! Wahoo!!!

In today's lesson we will prepare the lining/pocket section and the body of the tote for sewing together. Now, we will start seeing a REAL tote! First, sew the two lining/pocket sections together along the sides and bottom leaving an 8" opening in the bottom for turning. I marked the 8" opening before I sewed it. Now, do the same for the outside pieces of the bag but do not leave an opening. Sew both sides and bottom. Now we are ready to create the "box" effect in the corners which will be done tomorrow! Time for recess!!!!



Attaching the handles and loop: Measure the top length of the bag and place a pin in the center. This is where the loop is placed. Take the loop piece and fold it in half layering one end on top of the other. Be sure there is no twists in your loop. Lay it on top of the pin, pull the pin out holding the loop tightly to the bag and pin through all layers. You will measure to either side from this point to find the placement for the handles. I did a little basting stitch to hold it in place. From the center of the loop I measured 3-1/2" to either side and pinned that mark. It is at that point, (where the pin was placed) in which you place the center end of each handles. Now, you will do the same with the other side of the bag and handle except that you won't have a loop to place but follow the same process minus the loop attachment.

Today Students, we are going to make the little button loop that is on the front of the Tote. First, first mark a line down the middle of the backside of the loop along the long side. Now, you're going to fold the two long sides to the middle and press. Now fold those edges together again and stitch down the length catching both folded edges together. Voila, you're done with your work today! Now go outside and kick up some snow! RECESS!!!!!
This lesson is very simple. All you need to do is create pockets sections. You will measure in from the sides 2" and sew a seam on the pocket. I would suggest that you back stitch a few times at the top of the pocket to double secure it. Now, for the rest of the pockets; the pattern says to make one more seam down the middle but I measured the items I would put in my Tote and made pockets accordingly. I have a pocket for my cell phone, IPod, chargers, etc. Make the pockets how you will need to use them!




Today we are going to learn how to make the handles. Fuse your fleece to the wrong side of your handle piece. Draw a line with that nifty Prisma pen down the center on the fleece. You need to know where that center is eventually !!! Fold each side towards the center, however, you don't want them to meet exactly. Leave just a little space so they have room to tuck up in there and press. Fold those sides towards the center again and pin. Pin frequently, uh, about every 3". Then stitch along the edge, perhaps 1/8" from the edge on both sides. Now, identify the center of that long handle and cut in half. You now have two handles. Voila!!!



Today Students we are going to consider the lining and pockets and how they will be joined together for the inside of your tote.  On the lining you will measure down 8" from the top and draw a line with an ink pen all the way across the long width.  I like to use Prisma pens as they are permanent and don't bleed.  Now, with
one of the pocket pieces, place the open edge along that line and pin.  Now, stitch it to the lining.  Once sewn on, flip up and press.




Lesson #3 ~ You will fold the pocket piece in half with wrong sides together. Now, slip your fusible fleece inside and press to fuse. Once fused, stitch a quarter inch from the fold all along the top. At this point I pressed again (it makes me feel better, snicker!). Measure, find the center of the length and cut in two! Now you're ready for step 4!

Lesson #2B is attaching your fusible fleece to your bottom/side pieces and the actual quilting. This is how I accomplished it. The fusible is easy ~ just follow your manufacturers directions (making sure you follow the timing exactly!!! This is important! Applying heat too long will make the fusible substance evaporate!) Then, turn your project over so the fabric is right side up and lay a ruler on it at a 45 degree angle. With your chalk or blue marking pen (something that is easily removable, I used chalk) draw a line at the 45 degree angle. Once that first line is drawn, measure over 1" and mark. Do the rest of your lines like this. Now, mark in the opposite direction so you have a criss-cross pattern. Now, you can quilt it! Tip: you can lengthen your stitch for the quilting.

This next lesson is broken into two parts and we will consider the first part now. You will sew the top front piece to the bottom contrasting piece along the 20" edge. You will do the same for the back top and bottom pieces and then follow with pressing (NOT IRONING!). Do all of you know the difference between pressing and ironing? That could be a lesson in its own! We will take a look at 2B on Monday.

Now Students ~ our first lesson on our first day of class begins with a cutting lesson. We will consider the base, top front and lining. Please pay attention to the lining and the direction it is cut. Note that the lining has a linear image so, make sure your cut is in the correct direction. Teacher cannot REPLACE fabric from cutting errors! Remember: (this is very important!) measure twice, cut once!!!

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Replies to This Discussion

I think it would be awesome to get pics of everyone with their totes!
Well, that was FUN! I am caught up. This is a very cute tote, I love it, teacher Mari! I will have DH take a picture of me and my tote when it's totally finished. AND after the hot water heater man comes and gives me shower ability.
Now I am going to finish those curtains.
Hoppy toting!


OK here is my tote, minus ME. With it's lining and pocket fabric reversed, and the handle that doesn't line up on both sides. I don't care, I love it, thanks teacher MARI!
I am ready for the next project, I have it already. I better go order 3 and 4, as much trouble as we all have had with getting the first projects! I think CT was slammed with orders because they are the BEST!
Hoppy toting!

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