28 November 2014

DIY Foldable Tote

I found some stats on the gov.uk website about plastic bags (yep, I am that dull) which are pretty shocking. I mean, I know they are bad but until you see the figures you don’t realise exactly how shitty they are. In 2013 8 billion single-use bags were given out by supermarkets in the UK. EIGHT BILLION. That’s about 57,000 tonnes of waste, FROM BAGS ALONE. It’s insane. Not only are they a huge non-bio-degradable waste problem, but single-use plastic bags are a nightmare for wildlife too. It’s impossible to get exact figures but they kill thousands and thousands of seabirds, seals, turtles and other sea mammals every single year. It’s so sad! And SO preventable.

Soo, I decided to sew myself a foldable tote that I can just throw in my bag and carry with me everywhere. I read a few tutorials but actually decided to design one myself and I’m so happy with it! I think you should give it a go too.

Its completely customizable size wise. I made a regular tote size and a smaller one too! All you need to remember if you want to change the size is to adjust the pocket size to make sure it all folds away neatly. I realised my photos were pretty crap, but hopefully you get whats going on. If you have any questions, let me know!

You’ll need:
       - A Sewing machine
       - An Iron
       - Rotary Cutter
       - Ruler

Cut yourself the following fabric:

        - 17" x 15" - For the outside x 2
        - 6" x 10" - For the pocket x1 
        - 24" x 3" - Handles x 2  


1// Pin your two outer fabric pieces together, good sides facing in, wrong-way facing out. Using a ¼” seam, sew around three edges of your outer fabric (leaving the side you want as your opening un-stitched). 

2// At the open edge fold down a hem (don’t be exact!!), iron flat then fold again at around 1” (this bit should be neater), iron flat then pin in place. 

3// Take your handle strips, wrong-way facing out, fold and iron in half long ways. Again, with a ¼” seam, sew closed longways. Turn them the right way out. Give them an iron.

4// Back to your main bag, use a pencil to mark in around 2” from the each side of the opening, this is where your handles will go! Attach your handle strips underneath the double-fold (from step 2) and fold over itself. Iron and Pin in place. Do this for all four handle ends, pinning each in place.

^^ From step 4 ^^

 For the pocket:

With the pocket fabric wrong way up and a short edge closest to you. Double fold a ¼” hem, along one of the short edges, iron, pin and sew.

6// Fold almost in half, leaving 1” excess fabric at the top! Iron and stitch the side-edges closed using a ¼” seam. Turn right way out and iron. This is a pretty good point to check that your pocket is big enough! Fold your main bag in thirds long ways, then half. 

7// The excess you left at the top of the pocket will fit underneath the double fold (from step 2) in the centre between one of the handles. Pin in place.

To Finish:

8// Stitch around the entire opening of your bag. You’ll need to do this twice, once at the top of the hem and once at the bottom of the hem. You’ll be stitching the handles and pockets in place all at once. Turn your bag inside out. Give it an iron (AGAIN!). And you're done!

9// To fold away, pull out the pocket, fold the main bag in thirds long ways, then again in thirds and tuck into the pocket! (I did a little photo on my instagram that will help) You can add a button if you like, but I didn't bother.


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chloe x

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