Friday, December 6, 2013

Craft Tote Bag

I am always looking for unique Christmas gifts. Brittany loves to knit and she could use a small tote bag to carry her work in progress with her when she travels. This project is a gift in a gift. After the tote is appliqued, I plan to fill it with yarn, a small zip pouch filled with knitting markers, needles, etc.and a sock knitting book.

I had purchased the Dog pattern by WhistlePig Creek Productions some time ago. Brittany loves dogs so this design is the perfect choice for a tote bag. The pattern is still available from WhistlePig Creek Productions (#1125 Pound Hounds).  The hardest part of this project is deciding a color scheme for the dogs.

I used a felted wool tote bag (purchased at Hobby Lobby) but you can use any tote bag. Just make sure the design can be fused to the bag and that the dogs can be appliqued to the bag with a zig zag stitch. Also make sure that you use a fusible web that is recommended for sewing.

Design in progress. Dogs fused to tote bag.

Zig zag stitching around the design.

Finished Dogs.

Back of Tote-appliqued paw prints.

Directions for Craft Tote Bag:

1/4 yd. of 100% cotton fabric in 6 coordinating prints. I used Bali Batik fabrics-aqua dot, green, blue, purple dot, orange dot and yellow dot.

Coordinating thread for topstitching and natural quilting thread for the bobbin.

Heat 'N Bond or Wonder Under fusible fabric web

Whistlepig Creek Productions Pound Hound Pattern- available at

 Felted wool tote bag-available at Hobby Lobby

Tracing paper

Black e beads for dog's eyes

Black thread for stitching dog's faces

1.  Trace the dog's onto tracing paper. Don't cut out pattern pieces. It's easier to trace the dogs if the pieces are not cut out.

2.  Draw the dogs onto the paper side of the Heat 'N Bond. Cut out the Heat 'N Bond images.

3.  Heat an iron according to Heat 'N Bond package directions. Iron the cotton fabric to remove any creases. Let the fabric cool. Place the rough side (web side) of the Heat 'N Bond on the wrong side of the fabric and fuse according to package directions. Cut out the fused images and peel off the paper backing.

4.  Arrange the dogs on the tote bag according to pattern directions. Once you are happy with the placement of the design, fuse the dogs in place.

5.  Set the sewing machine to a zig-zag stitch and sew around the edges of the dogs using a coordinating thread (load a natural quilting thread in the bobbin). Sew around the dog's muzzles with black thread. With a No.2 pencil lightly draw the dog's mouth on and stitch with black thread using a satin stitch.

6.  Sew the eyes on with e-beads using the pattern as a guide.

7.  Trace the paw prints onto tracing paper and then on to the Heat 'N Bond. Fuse the paw prints to the wrong side of the fabric. Fuse the paw prints randomly around the back of the tote bag. Sew around the paw prints with a zig-zag stitch to secure.

8.  After the tote is finished lightly iron it to smooth out any wrinkles that might have occurred during the sewing process.