Hit the road with a roomy pleated tote that's perfect for a long weekend or last minute road trip. Stow your camera, cell phone, cosmetic bag and other essentials in the handy interior pocket.
PLEASE NOTE: In the instructions originally printed in the Feb/March Sew News, we omitted directives for the front panel to match the lining trapezoids. We regret the error. Please see the corrections below in italics.
Use 1/2" seam allowances unless otherwise noted.
From fabric A, cut four 11"x15" rectangles.
From fabric B, cut two 15" squares and two 5"x22" rectangles. Cut two 20" (height) x16"x26" trapezoid linings and one 10"x19"(width)x26" trapezoid pocket (1).
From fabric C, cut two 5"x20" rectangles.
From fabric D, cut two 5"x28" straps.
From fabric E, cut one pocket.
From the interfacing, cut two 15"x35" rectangles, two 5"x20" rectangles, two 2 1/2"x28" strips, two 5"x22" rectangles, two linings and one pocket.
Position one 2 1/2"x28" interfacing strip over one fabric D strap wrong side, 1/2" from one long edge. Fuse, following the manufacturer's instructions. Fold the strap long edges 1/2" toward the wrong side; press. Fold the strap in half lengthwise; press. Edgestitch each long edge. Repeat to stitch the remaining strap.
To create the first tote panel, position one fabric A rectangle and one fabric B square with right sides together, aligning one 15" edge; stitch. Press open the seam. With right sides together, stitch one fabric A rectangle along the fabric B square opposite edge. Press open the seam.
Fuse one 15"x35" interfacing rectangle to the panel. Evenly trim the edges.
Fold the front panel in half widthwise to find the center; mark along the upper edge. Fold the panel upper edge with right sides together, abutting the seams at the center mark; press. Baste the pleat (2).
Position each end of one strap along the panel upper edge, 3 1/2" from the panel center mark and with the strap pointing downward. Pin, and then baste each strap end (3). Trim the front panel side edges on the diagonal to match the lining trapezoid.
Fuse each corresponding 5"x20" interfacing rectangle to each fabric C rectangle. Position one fabric C rectangle right side down along the panel upper edge, sandwiching the strap. Stitch the upper edge (4). Press the seam allowance and strap upward.
Topstitch the fabric C rectangle lower edge. Trim the fabric C rectangle side edges on the diagonal to continue the panel side edges.
Repeat to stitch the remaining panel.
With right sides together, stitch the tote panel side edges (5).
Fuse each corresponding 5"x22"interfacing rectangle to each fabric B rectangle. Mark the center along each fabric B rectangle short edge.
With right sides together, position one fabric B rectangle along the tote lower edge, aligning the short-end center marks with the tote side seams; pin. Stitch, pivoting the tote 90° at each corner. Clip the corners and turn the tote right side out.
Fuse the corresponding interfacing rectangle to the fabric B pocket. With right sides together, stitch the fabric B and fabric E pockets along the upper edge. Turn the pocket to the right side; press. Edgestitch the pocket upper edge.
Fold the pocket in half widthwise to find the center. Draw a line down the pocket center using a removable fabric marker. Position the pocket right side up over one lining, aligning the side and lower edges; pin. Stitch over the center line.
Fold each lining in half widthwise to find the center. Measure and mark each lining center 1" below the upper edge to denote the snap placement. Install the magnetic snap pieces, following the manufacturer's instructions.
With right sides together, stitch the lining side edges.
With right sides together, position the remaining fabric B rectangle along the lining lower edge, aligning the short-end center marks with the tote side seams; pin. Stitch, pivoting the tote 90° at each corner. Leave a 4" opening along one long edge for turning.
Stitch the remaining fabric B rectangle to the lining lower edge (following the directions above for attaching the first rectangle to the tote), leaving a 4"-opening on one long edge for turning.
Position the tote inside the lining with right sides together, matching the upper edges and side seams; pin. Make sure the straps are tucked between the layers. Stitch the bag upper edge. Trim the seam allowance and turn the bag right side out through the lining opening.
Hand stitch the lining opening closed. Tuck the lining into the tote. Press the tote upper edge; edgestitch.
TOUGH TOTE: Use plastic cross-stitching canvas to add extra stability to the tote. Cut one base and two linings from the canvas. Roll the canvas pieces and insert them through the lining opening after turning the tote right side out.
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