2 Place mats of choice [they don't need to be the same pattern, just the same size]
2.5 Yards Cotton Heavy Weight Twill
Thread [matching fabric color]
Sewing Machine [optional]
Doily of choice
First decide which side of the place mat you would like to be the front and back of
your tote. Once you have decided, lay your two place mats flat with the right side
[front and back] up. Cut your 2.5 yard piece of twill in half. From the bottom center of
your place mat, measure about 3 inches to each side and place the cut end of your
twill even with the place mat edge. Pin your twill running up the place mat, loop for
the handle and back down to the place mat edge. Repeat this for the other place
mat. Top stitch the twill in place at each side going across the top to secure the
handle in place.
With right sides together [side with your handles], pin the sides and bottom edges
together. Sew place mats together either following the original seam in the place mat
or use 1/2 inch seam allowance. Press your seams open.
To add a doily or linen piece, you need to create a finished top edge on your doily.
Along the cut edge of your doily, fold under 1/4 inch and press in place. Now, fold
over another 1/4 inch to create an edge with no raw edges. Press firmly in place. Pin
your doily to the top front of your tote, making sure that the pressed edge of your
doily and the top edge of the tote meet. Sew a top stitch around the entire top of the
tote [as close to the edge as possible], Stitch another row of top stitches across the
top, but this time about 3/8 inches away from the edge. Be sure your side seams are
pressed out when top stitching. This will keep those seams out of your way and give
a more finished look to the inside of the tote.
Whether you attach a doily or not, it is important that you add these final top stitches
to the tote. These final top stitches secure the handles along the top, to prevent your
side handle stitches from coming apart, when you over load your tote with weight.
Finally, stitch a button at the lower center of doily bringing the thread all the way
through to the inside of the tote. This will help keep your doily in place and it looks
It is always a good idea to choose quality threads for your projects. They truly do
make a difference, not only in the strength of the stitches, but also in the
appearance. I almost always use cotton wrapped polyester thread for my everyday
totes. The polyester gives the thread strength, while the cotton prevents damage to
the fabric. 100% polyester thread is extremely strong and is wonderful for many
projects, but can cause early wear to many fabrics, at the stitch points. If you are
using vintage fabrics, I always recommend using a thread that is weaker than the
actual fabric you are using. This way, your thread will break before your fabric will...
It's much easier to stitch up a seam than repair damaged fabric. 100% Cotton thread
is usually a good choice for vintage fabrics.
|Most of us have a few odd place mats laying around the house, that are just too pretty to toss away. Here is a fabulous idea for
using up a couple of those mismatched place mats. Do you have a doily that has a teeny hole, or a stubborn stain that you just
can't get rid of? Here's the perfect place to give it a new life.
I have had so many requests for a tote pattern. I thought that this style of tote would be the perfect place for a beginner to
start. You don't need a sewing machine to complete this project, but I do recommend it. However, If you love hand sewing, you
won't have any trouble whipping up this little pretty!
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