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Go Green Grocery Totes

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Materials
  • 5” x 7” embroidery hoop
  • 5” x 7” yellow-green rectangle of quilting cotton for appliques
  • 3” x 3” square of rust/brown quilting cotton for seed applique
  • 7” of Heat N Bond Lite®
  • 1 yard of 60” wide natural cotton duck (1 1/3 yards will make 2)
  • Optional: 2 yards of 1” wide cotton webbing
  • Optional: 8” x 10” rectangle of plastic canvas or foam board
  • Tear-away stabilizer to fit your hoop
  • Size 16 Jeans/Denim needle for your sewing machine
  • Magic Sizing or spray starch
  • Frixion® marking pen
  • Craft Clips
  • Jean-a-ma-jig or folded square of 4 layers of fabric

  • Designs used in this project

    Final Product: What You Will Create

    Preface:
    These grocery totes are surprisingly easy to put together. The double bottom makes them exceptionally strong. Though the size 10” wide and 11” tall doesn’t seem very big, the 8” of depth of the bag makes them just the right size for carting groceries. You can make the handles from the cotton duck canvas or use cotton webbing. SVG and FCM files are available for electronic cutting machines or use the stitch and trim method to make the appliques.

    Note: When you purchase the designs the format you normally use is the default that comes up in your shopping cart. To access the SVG and FCM files select all formats. If using the Scan N Cut® choose the FCM files so that you can move the two appliques around on your screen to position over your fabrics.

    Instructions for the stitch and trim method are in our project Stitch & Trim Appliques at https://www.embroiderydesigns.com/emb_learning/project/655/stitch--trim-appliqu.aspx


    Step 1:
    From the duck fabric cut:
    a. 1 19” x 36” panel
    b. 1 19” x 12 ½” panel
    c. 1 6 ½” x 10” panel (optional pocket)
    d. 2 4” x 36” strips for handles OR 2 36” lengths of cotton webbing

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 2:
    For the appliques cut:
    a. 5” x 7” rectangle of main fabric and Heat N Bond Lite®
    b. 3” x 3” square of pit fabric and Heat N Bond Lite®

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 3:
    Press the fabric applique piece 4 times with Magic Sizing® or spray starch until they are crisp like paper. Then iron on the Heat N Bond Lite® following the manufacturer’s instructions.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 4:
    If you are using the stitch and trim method follow the instructions if the above mention Stitch & Trim Appliques article and skip to Step 8. For Scan N Cut® users open the FCM file in your Scan N Cut®. Do not use the SVG file as in the Scan N Cut® you won’t be able to separate the two appliques. These files have already been adjusted to fit the applique outlines, you do not need to increase the size of the cutting files.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 5:
    Peel the paper backing from the Heat N Bond Lite® and position the fabrics right side up on your cutting mat.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 6:
    Scan in the cutting mat and align your cutting lines over the appropriate fabrics.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 7:
    Cut your appliques.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 8:
    Fold the main panel in half lengthwise and crease to mark the center of the panel. Measure down 7 ½” from the top of the bag and draw a short horizontal line to mark the center of the design and a vertical line to create crosshairs in which to align the center of the design. Hoop the panel using the cross hairs to align the fabric in the hoop.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 9:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Run the 1st color stop (CS) in moss green as a placement line for the applique.
     


    Step 10:
    Position the applique in the placement lines and run CS 2 in moss green to tack down the applique. If you have precut your appliques the tack down lines will run around the applique just missing the edges. That is because the tack down stitches are really for those using the stitch and trim method. Run them anyway – they will let you know the applique is in the right place. Stitch and Trim method users should trim the excess fabric from the applique at this point.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 11:
    Press the applique to adhere it to the fabric.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 12:
    Run CS 3 to outline the applique.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 13:
    Repeat Steps 9 through 12 with the next three color stops in cedar bark thread to stitch the pit applique.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 14:
    Run the final color stop in black to complete the lettering in the design. Note: Black lettering is never going to appear smooth on a heavy fabric such as duck do to the highly textured weave. That is why a casual font was used, the roughness of the texture just enhances the casualness of the font.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 15:
    Remove the tear away stabilizer from the back of the applique.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 16:
    Fold the top edge of the fabric in one inch twice to the inside of the tote and press to form a hem. Repeat at the bottom of the tote.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 17:
    With matching thread in your sewing machine and with a 3mm length straight stitch down the hems 1/8th “ from the top and bottom of each hem.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 18:
    At the top and the bottom of the panel measure in 5 ½” from the sides and 10 ½” from the top and make placement marks for the handles.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 19:
    Fold in and press ¼” down one long side of each handle strip, fold in and press ¾” down the other side of the handle strips. Then fold the handle strips in half and press.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)

     


    Step 20:
    Stitch down both sides of the handle strip about 1/8th” in from the edge.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 21:
    Pin the handles to the inside of the marks that you made on the tote. The outer edge of the straps should be 5 ½” in from the sides and 10 ½” from the top.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 22:
    On the front of the tote stitch the handle across the top of bottom stitching of the hem down one side of the handle, across the bottom of the strap and up the other side to the bottom stitching of the hem.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 23:
    If you want the optional pocket on the back of the bag, fold the 6 ½” x 10” rectangle of fabric in half and press to form a pocket that is 6 ½” x 5”. Position under the straps on the back of the bag having the raw edges even with the bottom of the handles and the folded edge going towards the top of the tote. Stitch the back handles down in the same manner as in Step 22.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 24:
    Fold in and press ¼” on each long side of the 19 x 12 ½” panel. Fold the panel in half wrong sides together and press and crease across the bottom of the panel. Fold the tote bag in half, wrong sides together, making sure the tops are even and press a crease across the bottom of the tote.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 25:
    Open out the tote. Align the center crease on the bag bottom and pin in place. Pin the top and bottom of the panel over the raw edges of the handles and across the tote. Stitch the tote bottom to the tote at 1/8” from the edges of the panel and again ¼” away from the first stitching.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 26:
    Fold the tote wrong sides together making sure the top edges are even. Measure up 4” from the bottom crease and pin the front and backs together at that point.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 27:
    Take the front of the tote and fold in down to the level of the pins.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 28:
    Pick up the tote and fold the back of the tote down to the level of the pins as well. Line up the tops of the back and front.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 29:
    This will give you this deep folded section inside the tote.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)

     


    Step 30:
    Due to the thickness of the bottom of the bag use craft clips to hold the sides of the tote together. Stitch down each side of the tote with a ¼” seam allowance.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 31:
    If your machine finds it difficult to start off sewing the side seams due to the thickness of the fabric, use a Jean-a-ma-jig, or simply fold 4 layers of scrap fabric to raise the presser foot to the height of the tote fabrics.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 32:
    Zigzag or triple zigzag down both side seams.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 33:
    Turn your tote right side out. That deep fold inside the side seams will form this nice triangle on the sides of the tote. Press the side seams towards the back of the bag and press these triangle folds to flatten the edges a little.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 34:
    Cut an 8” x 10” section of plastic canvas or foam board and insert it in the bottom of the bag if desired.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 35:
    Congratulations, your first Go Green Grocery Tote is complete! Make the whole set as you know you are going to need more than one. These sets will also make wonderful gifts.

    For the love of embroidery,
    Pat Williams


    Share this project:     
    Meet The Author: Pat Williams
    Award winning Digitizer, Embroidery Educator, Author and a Consultant to the Industry, Pat Williams has 20 years of experience in the embroidery industry. Pat has won multiple awards for her digitizing expertise including the 2007 Impressions Awards Grand Championship, Best of Show as well as the 1st and 2nd Place Awards.. Pat’s love of digitizing has afforded her the opportunity to write many articles for Impressions magazine in the United States and Images Magazine in Europe. She also has authored her own digitizing training CD series, “Digitizing Steps to Success.” In 2001 Pat was named “Embroidery Educator of the Year.” For many years Pat lead digitizing seminars at the ISS Shows in Long Beach, CA and for Compucon software. Pat retired from the commercial embroidery arena in 2010. She now resides in Sierra Vista, AZ. She can be reached at pwilliams22@cox.net.

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