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Sew Girl
"Over the years I have made several of these. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that these boxes -when used in the pictured position- are not strong enough on their own to hold very many books or magazines for very long. Eventually they will sag and become an eyesore. Preventing the eyesore from happening is simple - turn the boxes on their side once they are completed, and Voila! They are an EXCELLENT way to wrangle in all that clutter and chaos we often find throughout our home and office. There is also another way to make them strong and that is to REINFORCE THEM. Personally, I like to do this when I need to use the boxes for flimsier items like loose papers that have a tendency to curl on their edges if stored on their sides or when not packed tightly. Reinforcing the boxes means you can put a lot more weight into them even while they are laying flat like they are in the picture. I reinforce my boxes with a very thin wood that can be purchased at almost any hardware store - it is called Louon (my spelling is probably off but it is pronounced LEW-ON). It is very cost-effective and extremely easy to work with. Add to this that it is VERY VERSATILE and you have a great solution to making even very flimsy projects much more stable. I hope this helps! BTW USPS boxes are legal to use BUT ONLY if you PURCHASED them OR they are USED. IF you are thinking about using new boxes that were FREE from the USPS Priority Mail Services - then you would be breaking the law. New FREE Boxes MUST be used only for Mail. Boxes that are Purchased or Used should be OK."

Batwing Tote Bag

By: Rose Smith

Learn how to sew a purse with these free quilt patterns from Rose Smith. The batwing tote bag is a stylish, quilted bag to carry anywhere.

Batwing Tote Bag

Materials:

  • 2 strips 3.1/2” by 9.1/2” each of black, red and orange fabric
  • 2 strips 3.1/2” by 11” in red fabric for the straps
  • 1 strip 3.1/2” by 16” in black fabric for the facing
  •  

Instructions:

  1. With right sides together and using a ¼” seam, sew the 9.1/2” strips together as in the photo: 1 patch of orange, red, orange and 1 patch of black, red, black.


     
  2. Cut each square across both diagonals to make 4 triangles.


     
  3. Rearrange the triangles as shown to make 2 different panels.


     
  4. The left hand panel is the batwing pattern for the front of the bag. The right hand one uses up the other triangles for the back of the bag. A cross to keep away the evil spirits?


     
  5. Still using a ¼” seam, sew together 2 triangles at a time and then sew the 2 pairs of triangles together.


     
  6. Mark 2 eyes in each red triangle and sew a few stitches with black thread over each mark.

       
     
  7. With right sides together, sew the 2 panels together around 3 sides. Turn the bag right side out and gently push out the bottom corners to square them. That completes the body of the bag.


     
  8. Adding the Straps: Fold the two 11” red strips along the long edge with right sides together and sew the raw edges together to make a tube. By pulling the top end of the tube down over the outside of the tube, turn the tube right side out. Press and sew close to the edge on both sides of the strap to help the straps keep their shape (especially when the bag is full of sweeties!).

       
     
  9. Measure 1.1/2” from the top edge of the bag and pin the straps facing downwards with all raw edges together. You will need a half twist in the strap. If in doubt, hold the strap up as it will be when the bag is being carried to check that the straps aren’t twisted.


     
  10. Sewing on the Facing: Fold the 16” black facing strip in half along the long edge with wrong sides together. Zigzag the short edges of the folded strip to prevent fraying. Starting on one side of the bag, pin the strap to the outside of the bag, going over the straps and right round to where the facing began. The fold of the facing strip should be pointing down and the raw edges should be in line with the top of the bag and of the straps.

     
     
  11. Using a ¼” seam, sew around the top of the bag, making sure that you catch all the layers of fabric in your stitching.
     
  12. Flip the facing to the inside of the bag and topstitch around the top of the bag on the outside to hold the facing in place.

     
     
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Very nice! Loved the detailed instructions. Wish more of the craft ideas had good instructions. I will be using this pattern for a laptop bag.

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