Monday, June 3, 2013

TUTORIAL: Coffee Bag Tote (and a Giveaway!!!)

Have you seen our "original" burlap coffee bags?  Ever wondered what you would use one for?  Well, here's one idea... make a tote bag!  And here's the directions to do so.

First you will want to gather all your supplies:
Supplies Needed:

1)  You will need to cut the bag apart on the seams to get one large piece.  Just beware, you will discover why we call these "original" coffee bags - here's what I discovered when I opened my seams.
2)  Press the bag open.  Burlap is very tolerant to heat, so use your cotton/linen setting.
Lay out your bag and decide what size you would like your finished bag to be.  Add 1" to that number to allow for seam allowances.  My bag is 18" x 16" so I cut the pieces 19" x 17".  I did a little researching about cutting burlap in a straight line.  It turns out it is a pretty easy thing to do.  You just figure out where you want to cut and pull that tread.  I found the tip of a mechanical pencil to be helpful to get this process started.
3)  You just keep pulling and pulling until the entire string is out.  You will find that you left yourself a nice little gap in which to cut.  You will just follow that line all the way, and there you have it - a perfectly straight line!  I was more than excited to see that this little tip worked amazingly well.
You can see the gap I created here :)

4)  Cut your Craft Fuse to the same dimensions as your bag pieces (19" x 17").  Iron bag pieces to the craft fuse.  Since the burlap will twist and adjust, make sure you iron it straight with the craft fuse being your guide.
5)  Put the right sides together and pin.  Sew 3 sides together with a tight zigzag stitch and 1/2" seam - this will make sure the burlap is properly sewn so it won't come undone.  Turn right side out and set aside.

6)  Cut your pieces of muslin or fabric to the same dimensions as the bag (19" x 17")

7)  Put right sides together and pin.  Then sew 3 sides, leaving a 4" gap at the bottom to turn the bag.

8)  At this point, you could add a magnetic snap closure if you wish.

9)  Take the outer burlap bag and put it inside the liner so that right sides are together.  Line up the seams and pin the top.  You will want to stitch all the way around the top of the bag.

10)  Pull the burlap outer layer out through the opening in the bottom of the lining.

11)  Stitch up the bottom of the line and press smooth.

12)  Turn the liner inside the bag and make sure you corners are pushed out.  A great tool for this is the Crystal Point Turner by Lee - I have this and the Fabric Press and use them on every project I do, from sewing to papercrafting.

13)  The stiffness of the burlap created a perfect 1/2" overlap of the lining fabric.  Press it down and top stitch it down.

14)  Sew the handles on just like you would a button.

And VOILA... here's your fabulous new tote!!!  Perfect for the beach, vacation, running errands, and anything else you need.
Now, if you are ready to make your own, head over to Sweet Nothings blog for a chance to win a FREE coffee bag!!!

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