Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back to School Tour

Hey guys! Are you ready for school yet? I know I'm still scrambling for some last minute things. One of the things we needed was a tote bag with some pockets. Thomas has added bass to his instrument skills this summer, and that means he really needs a better tote bag for carrying his music around this year. I did a quick pinterest scroll and couldn't find exactly what I wanted, so I designed my own! And guess what! I'm going to share with you how to make it!

Before I do, let's talk about this tour! Lulu and Celeste and Sprouting JubeJube are the awesome hosts. They just rock. This tour is fabulous and has a TON of sponsors and 30 bloggers participating! All the info is at the end of the post. Hint hint!! That means sale codes and a giveway also!!!You can also find info about the sewalong/link up (YES there is a sewalong!!) and the grand prize here.

This is a super easy basic lined tote bag. It has a pocket on the front for carrying his tuner and rosin and some spots for a couple of pencils. The inside is just one open pocket and it fits two standard 1" binders, plus a couple of music books. It's interfaced, so it stands up on it's own nicely as well.

It's perfect for lugging music to lessons, or it would make a great teacher's gift. Have you ever seen how much stuff teachers lug back and forth between school and home?!

Let's make this thing!

Supplies needed:
Fabric 1/2 yard each of main and lining and scraps of contrast for the pockets
Pellon 809 1/2 yard
SF101 1 yard
Nylon strapping 2" wide and 52" long (cut into 2 26" long lengths)
Basic sewing supplies

You will need to cut the following:
1 Front & 1 Back (main and lining) 14" x 12 1/2"
2 Sides (main and lining) 5" x 14"
1 Bottom (main and lining) 5" x 12 1/2"
1 Large Pocket (contrast 2) 7" x 8 1/2"
1 Small Pocket (contrast 1) 7" x 5"
If you want a sturdy bag, you will also need to cut the front/back, sides, and bottom from interfacing. To interface each MAIN piece with pellon 809 and interface each lining with SF101.

After you have cut out your pieces, iron your interfacing to all of your main and lining pieces.

Use 1/2" seam allowance unless otherwise stated.

1. Finish individual raw edges, if desired. Sew pocket pieces right sides together (RST) along one short side and press seam open. Topstitch along each side of the seam.

2. Press the top edge of  pocket to the wrong side 1/2". Fold down 1/2" again to enclose the raw edge and press again. Topstitch in place.

3. Place wrong side of pocket onto right side of front piece and baste in place along raw edges. Stitch in the ditch (topstitch in the seam) along pocket's seam and two inches to the right of the pocket seam to divide smaller pocket into two sections.

4. With RST attach bottom main piece to the front piece. Press seam up towards front piece.

5. RST, sew side pieces to front piece. Stop your stitching 1/2" from the bottom of the side piece. Be sure to backstitch here. Press seam allowance towards the side pieces. Press bottom of the side piece 1/2" towards wrong side.

6. RST, sew bottom of side pieces to the sides of the bottom piece. Go slow on this step and don't be afraid to drop your needle and lift your presser foot to rearrange the fabric as you go around the turn. I suggest starting an inch or so up the side piece and resewing along the corner for extra reinforcement. You the crease you pressed in step 5 as a guide for when to turn your work.

It's okay to have folds in the corners of your side piece.

7. Press bottom edge of back up 1/2" to the wrong side. RST, attach back piece to sides and bottom. Go slowly at the corners and use the pressed seam as a guide for when to turn your piece. Pop bag right side out and make sure your corners are secure.

8. Repeat steps 4-7 with the lining pieces. Be sure to leave a gap (approx 5") in one of the side seams for turning.

9. Attach the handles. Place the outside edge of the strapping 1" from the side seam. Stitch into place within the 1/2 seam allowance. I like to reinforce this with a couple of rows of stitching. Repeat with the other side.

10. Attach the lining to the main bag. With the bag wrong side out and the lining right side out, place the lining into the main bag with right sides together. Be sure the straps are tucked inside the bag between the main and lining bags!! Line up the top raw edges, matching up the side panels and seams. Sew together.

11. Turn right side out and press top edge. Be careful to not touch the straps with the iron! They will melt! Topstitch along top edge and sew the hole in the lining closed with a ladder stitch.

 That's it!! You have a quick reversible, self standing tote! Oh and it's reversible also. ;)

Thank you sponsors!!!! You can find info about the great sales below.

Fun discounts and coupon codes from our sponsors:
To make back to school a little easier on your budget our sponsors are offering some great discounts!
Designs by Call Ajaire: Get  20% off in their Etsy shop with code BTS2016. Code valid from August 22nd through August 27th.
E+M Patterns: Save 50% with the code backtoschool on their website or in their Etsy shop. Code valid until August 27th at 11:59pm PST.
MODKID: Get 25% off  your entire purchase in their Etsy shop with code BTS2016. Code valid from August 22nd through August 27th.
Love Notions*: Get 20% off all kids patterns with the code loveschool. Code valid from August 22nd through August 27th.
Sew Happily Ever After: Get the Nana’s totes pattern at 50% off with the code BACK2SCHOOL2016. Code good through August 31st.
Laela Jeyne Patterns30% off Any Single Pattern, No Code needed. From August 25-29th, 2016.
StitchARTWill be having a discount as well! From Aug 22nd – 28th, 2016. Info coming!
Gracious Threads: Buy 3 patterns and save 15% off the purchase price! Use code SAVE15ON3. No expiry
The Eli Monster: Save 20% with the code yayforfall. Code valid until August 29th, 2016. 
Filles à Maman*: Get 25% off with the code BTS2016. Can be used on their website* or in their Etsy shop. Code valid from August 24th through August 28th midnight EDT.
Whimsy Couture: Get 50% off, no code needed! End August 31st, 2016.
5 Out of 4 Patterns*: Save 20% with code BTS2016. Valid from August 22nd-28th midnight EDT. Cannot be used on fabric.
Snuggle My Baby PatternsWill be having a discount as well! Until August 31st, 2016. Info  coming!

Today's prize package includes:
1 PDF pattern from Love Notions and 1 PDF pattern from Sunday Girl Designs
*excludes bundles
Runs from August 23 12:00 am EDT  until August 24th at 11:59pm EDT.

Check out the rest of today's stops on the tour:

The ALL the bloggers!!!


  1. great tutorial and lovely bag!

  2. Looks great! I love a fun lining, and the neutral but interesting color blocking for the pockets is excellent.

  3. Great bag! I love that it's all business on the outside, and cute on the inside!

  4. Great bag, great tutorial, I will certainly get back to it when I'll have more time (when school start)

  5. I love making totes for teacher gifts, thanks for the tutorial! This might be our teachers Christmas gifts this year! 😊👍

  6. Thanks for the step-by-step picture tutorial! I will need to pin this one.

  7. This will be a great stash busting project! Thanks!

  8. This will be a great stash busting project! Thanks!

  9. I'm bookmarking your post to make teacher gifts for Christmas! Thanks!

  10. Nice tote bag! Thanks for the tutorial!

  11. What a great rite-love the pencil pocket!

  12. Wow thanks for the awesome tutorial!! I'm going to make one for going to the library! :)

  13. Awesome tutorial! It's perfect thank you!

  14. Great tote! Thanks for the tutorial and thank you for being the tour :)

  15. This is awesome! Definitely going to be using this for my boy!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.