How to add extra pockets to any tote bag

add extra pockets

This week I want to show you how to add extra pockets to any tote bag.  I’ll demonstrate this with the extra pockets I added at the bottom of the small canvas tote bag that was recently published on our site.  Please also check out the full video tutorial showing all the steps in making this wonderful accessory. I love totes, especially small ones.  They are easy to make and to carry because they limit the number of things you can put inside.  That makes it easier on your back and perfect for walking around. With a small tote, all the essentials are right at your fingertips for you and everyone else as well, unfortunately!  But, where do you put your money?  This is one of those sewing hacks when you are not entirely satisfied with the number of pockets that your … Continue reading

Sewing the Small Canvas Tote Bag Video Tutorial Released

tote bag video tutorial

I just wanted to let everyone know that we have published a video tutorial on Sewing the Small Canvas Tote Bag on our YouTube channel. In this tote bag video tutorial, we take you through all the steps involved in sewing this fun project. We look at the materials required as well as each of the steps involved in assembling and sewing this cute little accessory. I didn’t do a lot of narration in this sewing tutorial, preferring just to show you the steps along with clear and concise labels of the process involved in the project.  Feel free to pause the video at any time if you need more time to complete the step. This is a fun and relatively easy sewing project for the advanced beginner to intermediate sewists.  Please enjoy and don’t forget to Like and Subscribe … Continue reading

New Video Tutorial – Sewing the Small Backpack

There was quite a lot to show in this full video tutorial of Sewing the Small Backpack.  It took a while to edit it down, but this video will show you each and every aspect of sewing this project. Don’t be afraid to skip ahead or pause and come back to sections to see exactly how the Small Backpack is sewn. Here’s a recap of the whole sew-along. Small Backpack Pattern Download: Part 1: Small Backpack Pattern, for Small Budgets Part 2: Tutorial on sewing backpack straps, Small Backpack Part 3: How to sew the outside applied pocket & final assembly, Small Backpack

How to sew the outside applied pocket & final assembly, Small Backpack: Part 3

applied pocket

In this third and final part of the Small Backpack Pattern sew along, we’re going to be sewing the applied pocket and doing the final assembly of the bag.  Hopefully, everyone has been following along from Part 1, where we cut the small backpack pattern, attached the outside zipper, added the lateral small pockets and made the small inner pocket.  Then in Part 2, we sewed the outside zipper, sewed the backpack straps and attached the backpack strap hardware. Additional Materials for this Section: Bias tape 1 3/4″ x 28″ (shorter side) Bias tape 1 3/4″ x 29″ (longer side) Bias tape 1 3/4″ x 30″ (bottom) I would highly encourage you to try to make your own bias tape.  You can find a great tutorial on just how to do this here:  Making Continuous Bias Binding Tape. Video Tutorial … Continue reading

Tutorial on sewing backpack straps, Small Backpack: Part 2

sewing backpack straps

This is a tutorial on sewing backpack straps and it’s the second part of the Small Backpack Pattern sew along.  If you landed here directly without seeing the first part of this sew along tutorial, you may want to go back and start the project from the beginning with Part 1: Small Backpack Pattern, for Small Budgets. This is a technique of sewing backpack straps.  It’s especially useful when you do not have enough fabric to make the handles in the same fabric as the bag.  You can use these straps on totes, backpacks and cross body bags in leather, vinyl, Kraft-Tex, and fabric.   The first thing you may notice is that I’m not using D-rings as specified in the materials list for the tutorial.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get normal rectangular-style D-rings with the rounded sides and I could only … Continue reading

Small Backpack Pattern, for Small Budgets: Part 1

small backpack pattern

If you have been watching the size and style of bags lately, you’ve probably noticed all those impossibly cute little backpacks everyone is carrying.  Along those lines, I’ve made this small backpack pattern to be small (and cute) but still big enough to be practical. You can also use this small backpack as a cross-over or cross body bag as well.  I made that way because I like to have options and truth-be-told, I am a bit paranoid with a backpack.  I guess having grown up in Panama where, as the saying goes, “pickpockets can remove your socks without even taking off your shoes” I have had my share of missing money and wallets.  This is why I’ve added a pocket in the back with a zipper.  There’s an internal pocket, also with a zipper, and even the outside pocket … Continue reading

Small fur tote, a sweet gift for the holidays.

small fur tote

This is a quick tutorial on how to make a small fur tote.  Christmas is approaching fast and my gift list is looking rather daunting, so I need projects that I can accomplish in a couple of hours rather than a couple of days.  I notice little fur things everywhere –as decorations on the Christmas tree, as trimming on clothes and shoes, scarves, vests.  The possibilities are many and I think a small fur tote would be a great gift and an easy project.  So I came up with this design and pattern that I would like to share with you. If you enjoyed our last project with faux fur making a winter hat, then you’ll enjoy this small fur tote project as well.  This tote is really easy and fast to make.  It is both a perfect accessory and also … Continue reading

Stela, the coin purse pattern and tutorial – just in time for the holidays

coin purse pattern

This coin purse pattern and tutorial are a follow-up to the Leather and Fabric Handbag tutorial we posted last week.  While you certainly don’t need to make this coin purse pattern from leather –you can use vinyl or almost any fabric– it makes a good first project for those who have never sewn with leather before. I am calling it Stela because it just so happens I am going to have a Christmas party at home and every female friend who is coming will get one from my tree.  I am hanging these babies as both Christmas tree decorations and presents at the same time.  The kids will probably get one each as well, but being teenagers, they will almost certainly expect something more than just a few coins inside.. This tutorial is especially for those of you who are taking the … Continue reading

Leather and fabric handbag: the perfect mix for beginners

leather and fabric handbag

This leather and fabric handbag is the perfect project for those who are starting to sew with leather and for those who are bored with fabric only handbags.  You can make this with a normal domestic sewing machine so don’t be afraid to give it a try! I am not yet an expert in leather work.  But, I absolutely love the material for its durability and handling.  Furthermore, the shine of the leather will forgive a mistake should you need to unpick a seam, so I suggest to buy a whole hide and not to be afraid of trying.  It won’t go to waste! If you don’t feel like trying with leather, you can also use vinyl, oilcloth, canvas or another heavy fabric.  I just wanted to try with leather and it came out so well, my daughter won’t give it back … Continue reading

RFID shielded handbag: I’m calling it Gleam and the pattern is FREE

RFID shielded handbag

I have been looking for the perfect shopping handbag.  After a lot of research, I now realize there is no such thing.  Unless you want to walk around with a safety deposit box as a handbag, there is not a completely secure handbag.  However, there are certainly a lot of things we can do to make our handbags safer, more secure and functional.  I took some of the ideas from our last bag, the Anti Pickpocket Bag, added a few details from your comments and came up with this new shopping handbag that I’m naming Gleam. I have added RFID shielding fabric and made the bottom stronger.  I have kept the handles the same and added a removable pouch big enough for a camera.  The zippered internal pockets are hard for pickpockets to get to because they are hidden under the facing. … Continue reading

Sewing the Anti Pickpocket Bag: Final Video Released

Hi Everyone, here’s the final video in the the Sewing the Anti Pickpocket Bag tutorial series.  In this video we assemble the body of the bag and do all the finishing.  You can refer back to the original project by clicking HERE or on the image below. Due to a large number of reader comments on the tutorial on our website regarding the emerging threat of electronic pickpocketing, I have included some instructions on how to use anti-RFID shielding fabric to line the bag.  This should help prevent someone from being able to read your credit card, passport or other vital data by using an RFID scanner.  We’ve got a lot more coming out on this important topic so please stay tuned. If you’re looking for a good source of the anti-RFID fabric, we’ve put a good option in our sewing … Continue reading