Despite the fact that I have known about this hop for months, March was suddenly upon me and a note in my inbox reminded me that March 7th was my day on the Nancy Drew Get a Clue blog hop.
Luckily, I had already designed my project and the paper pieced pattern I would use. And luckily, my husband is on spring break and could entertain our girls for a few hours today while I completed the project.
It seems that some of the other blog hop stops from yesterday were similarly inspired by the books featuring Nancy Drew to create a bag for books, but I do hope to give you a unique spin.
The fabric I ordered from Nancy Drew Get a Clue by Moda included a book cover panel and a charm pack of 42 5-inch squares. I also picked up some text fabrics because I thought those would play nicely with the whole book theme.
Make a Nancy Drew Library Tote
*Front and back panel of the tote: (2) rectangles, 14.5 x 18.5 inches. My panels are pieced, so some additional step are required. I’ll explain below.
*Lining: (2) rectangles, 14.5 x 18.5 inches. Do not use quilting weight cotton. We want this bag to hold books and we want it to last. The structure of the bag comes from the lining in this case, so use something heavy: denim, canvas, heavy twill, etc.
*Handles: (2) pieces of 1-inch wide webbing, 22 inches long.
*Basic sewing supplies.
Make the pieced front and back panel
Begin with a book cover from the fabric panel. This is cut to 10.5 x 14.5 inches.
For the opposite side, I made a paper pieced book with text fabric and solids that coordinated with the Nancy Drew fabric. Come back next week and I will show the tutorial for the paper pieced book and give you the PDF pattern to make your own!
Select 14 of the charms and cut them in quarters to makes 56 2.5-inch squares.
Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew the 2.5-inch square together in strips of 7. You will have eight strips. Attach these strips along the edges of your front and back panel pieces.
You now have the front and back of your library tote. Each panel measures 14.5 x 18.5 inches.
Place the two pieces right sides together. Now that we are constructing the bag, rather than piecing, increase your seam allowance to 1/2 inch. Beginning at the top of the bag, begin sewing along one side. Back stitch 4-5 stitches and continue stitching along one side. Stop 1/2 inch from the bottom of the bag, leave the needle down, lift the presser foot, and turn the bag a quarter turn to stitch along the bottom of the bag. Repeat, stitching up the other side and back stitching when you reach the top edge of the bag.
At each bottom corner of the bag, mark 3/4 inch in from the side seam and 3/4 inch up from the bottom seam.
Pull the front and back panels away from each other and align the bottom seam with the side seam.
Sew across the corner of the bag along the line you just drew. Add another line of stitching about 1/8th inch further down. Trim off excess fabric.
While your bag is still inside out, fold the top edge 1/2 inch toward the wrong side and press.
Turn the bag right side out.
Make the lining
Remember, you will be using (2) rectangles 14.5 x 18.5 inches of a heavy weight fabric. I I used denim for this project.
Find the center of the wrong side of each lining piece. Mark a 1 inch line 2.5-3.5 inches from the center and 2 inches below the top edge of the lining.
If using synthetic webbing, seal the edges by quickly passing a match along the edge. Align your webbing pieces with the lines you just drew and pin in place. Be sure your webbing does not get twisted!
Attach the straps to the wrong side of the lining using an x-box. This will ensure your straps will stand up to hauling books around and will not rip from the bag.
Place your two lining pieces right sides together and sew along each side and the bottom with 1/2 inch seam allowance, as you did with the outside panels. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitches.
Again, at each bottom corner, mark 3/4 inch in from the side seam and 3/4 inch up from the bottom seam. Pull the front and back away from each other to line up the bottom seam with the side seam. Sew along the line you drew to create the boxed bottom of the bag.
Fold the top edge toward the wrong side and press. If you are using synthetic webbing do not touch the iron to the webbing!!
Assemble the bag
Slip the lining into the outside of the bag with wrong sides together.
Align the top edge of the lining with the top edge of the outside of the bag and pin in place.
Edge stitch very close to the top edge of the bag. Repeat a second line of stitching about 1/8 inch below the first.
Do you want to win this super cool, super sturdy library tote? Just leave me a comment and let me know what sort of handmade bags you would be inclined to buy.
For another chance to win, be a follower of this blog, or become a follower and let me know in another comment.
For a third chance to win, Like Sewing by Moonlight on Facebook and leave a comment saying that you do.
Giveaway will close Friday, March 15th at 9PM EDT.
Don’t forget to come back next week for the paper pieced book pattern!
Go check out the other stops on the Nancy Drew blog hop today!