Oh, goodness – this Reusable Strawberry Pouch Tote is just the cutest thing I’ve seen this year. Just look at it – the whole fabulous tote folds up and stores itself in a strawberry. So, so cute – you’re going to love it, too!
‘Tis the season! For Reusable Totes that is. As the weather warms, it seems that I’m always looking for a tote. Off to the beach? Need a tote. Picnic in the park? Need a tote. Road trip? Need LOTS of totes! So, I love a tote that folds and can be stashed in a pocket, purse or car glove box. The Reusable Strawberry Pouch Tote is perfect!
You’ll need three different fabrics for your tote. A lightweight polyester, nylon or cotton fabric for the tote itself, a cute print reminiscent of strawberries for the berry pouch and a sweet spring green for the top leaves of the berry.
Joanne of the Craft Passion blog has provided an uber-helpful link to a pattern for the Reusable Strawberry Pouch Tote. I love it when I don’t have to draw, so I’m all about the PDFs. You’ll find the link in her tutorial. Once you’ve downloaded the PDF, you’ll trace the pattern onto Pattern Paper, cut your fabrics and, you’re ready to sew!
First, you’ll make the sweet, little strawberry bag. The hull and leaf piece are sewn together and a pocket for the drawstring is created. You’ll make two strawberry halves, then stitch one to the bottom front corner and one to the back. Follow Joanne’s instructions carefully so they wind up in the correct corners.
The rest of your bag is easy-peasy! Stitch the front to the back, finish the seams on the inside, bind the handle and opening edges with bias tape and you’re almost done. Okay, I hear you out there. Bias tape is not your fave because it’s hard to get the top stitching straight, right? Hang on, I’ve got your back!
- Slow down, it’s the secret to straight stitching. Stay calm, don’t rush, take a deep breath.
- Stitch on the narrowest side. Commercial bias tape usually has one side that is wider than the other, so rather than try to catch that narrow side, just use it as your top side to begin with. Pin, pin, pin or use Wonder Clips if you have some in your toolbox.
- Don’t try to get your top stitching too close to the edge. On a sample, move your needle over just a little so that you know you’re catching both edges when you’re stitching.
- Need more help? Click here and download this PDF. It tells you all kinds of things about Bias Tape and shows a couple of options for stitches on your machine. Still nervous? Well, okay . . . click here for a video. It’s short and to the point and you can do this!
- There’s an att (attachment) for that! If you kind of love bias tape and would like to use it a lot more, why not make your life easy? Check with your sewing machine dealer and see if there’s a Binding Foot available for your machine.
Joanne made her original Reusable Strawberry Pouch Tote as a grocery bag – a terrific idea – so her main fabric is cherries. Click here for Joanne’s tutorial. Making a beach bag? Choose a seaside themed fabric. Picnic? Look for an ant print, other fruits or foods. Road trip? Cars, motorcycles or a scenic view would be fun. Your tote, your theme – make it fun!
About the Author
Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community.