Let’s briefly recap. We’ve learned:
- How to turn a two sided tote into a box bottom tote
- How to make embroidered patches
This week, we’ll go over probably one of the easiest sewing modifications for tote bags: adding a liner and/or bottom padding. I sew liners into any bag I’ve embroidered in order to protect the stitching. If you use your totes like I use mine, you’ll eventually want to throw it in the wash. Doing so without a liner could cause fraying of your floss/thread, or knots. Neither are fun. Trust me.
Let’s get to it!
Sewing either piece is generally the same process; the only difference is the size you cut your fabric down to. Note: sew the liner into your bag last. That way, all your stitchwork will remain sandwiched between the tote fabric and your liner.
First, we need measurements. Take your tote, and lay it flat. Using either a tape measure or a ruler, go ahead and get your measurements, and jot down the height and width of your bag. As a rule, I always turn everything inside out and take a true measure from one end of a seam to the other.
The next step can be done two ways. Either you can fold your liner fabric in half, cut from both sides the same width and height (plus a couple of inches) of your tote. Or, you can spread your liner fabric out, measure the height times two (plus a couple of inches) and the same width as your tote. No matter which way you do it, you’ll have to sew up both sides to create a secure seam. If your tote does not have a box bottom, this is all you have to do. But, if you’re adding to a boxed tote, like me, you’ll need to sew two straight seams in the corner of your tote bottom. If you missed that tutorial, you can find it here.
And, that’s how you make a liner! Easy, right? Sew your liner LAST.
To make the bottom of your tote a little more durable, I’d suggest adding a protective layer. I created mine the same way you would a liner. To attach it to the bag, set your tote inside the extra layer (turned right side out), fold said layer down about an inch, and pin to the bag. Do this for the whole bag. When you get this sewn on, double check everything on the outside of the bag. Once your liner is sewn in, any embroidery or stitching will go through your tote layer and your liner.
If you are absolutely sure you’ve got your tote the way you want it, go ahead and set your liner inside your tote. Go around the top and fold down the fabric to meet the top of the tote. Pin the layer and sew. Because you need to fold down the tops, I always make my liners a bit taller than they need to me. Excess can be cut off, but extra can’t always be easily added.
As with any of my tutorials, if you have questions or advice, leave them in the comments! Remember, if you use anything from these tutorials, I’d love to see your creations!
Happy Sewing and TGIF!