Monday, May 5, 2014

Sassy Summer Tote {Tutorial}

Hi there! Today, we are pleased to have Paula from The Sassy Quilter guest posting on the blog today! She is sharing this darling Sassy Summer Tote today that features fabrics from the Mango Margarita bundle--which we are giving away here! So be sure to check that out and enter to win! :)



Hello! My name is Paula and I share my obsession with all things quilty over on my blog, The Sassy Quilter. I love sharing quilting with beginners, especially easy projects that anyone can tackle. Some of my favorite info to share is my Quilting Tips and Helpful Charts pages... lots of good quilty info in there for a beginner or a pro! Today I have a super easy tote bag you can make in a day. Perfect for a trip to the pool, the beach or any sassy summer fabulous-ness!

What you need:

Background fabric- 20" x WOF
5 or more Assorted prints- for Dresden blades, 5" x WOF strips or you can use FQ's (may need to join pieces to create handles)
Dresden center- three 4" squares will do.
Dresden Acrylic Template


While leaving your background print folded, cut a 17" strip. Then trim to 21" from the fold. This is the basic shape of your bag.
The end opposite the fold will be the opening of your tote. Press these edges in 1.5" toward the inside of the bag and then fold again and press. We are not going to hem this yet, but these pressed creases will be good markers for us later.

Dresden Plate

Cut a 5" strip from each of your assorted prints. I used 7 different ones from FWFS Mango Margarita bundle. You can find that HERE.


Using your Dresden ruler, work your way along the 5" strip. You will need 20 blades per Dresden plate. I cut 4 from each of my seven prints with some to spare.

Layout your Dreseden plate until you are happy with it. You may want to snap a pic with your phone to remember the layout

Fold each blade in half with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam across the wide end of the blade.

Using a turning tool or anything that is pointy(but not too sharp), turn these points right side out. Make sure you really push out the point!

Sew the blades together with a 1/4" seam and then press open. This will help reduce bulk. Also, do it as you go. It is difficult to fit your iron in there once they are all together. These blades also have a little bias so handle gently to prevent stretching.

I sewed them into groups of 5 and then pieced together the four quadrants. They are easier to handle this way.

With your bag still folded in half, fold it in half again lengthwise and finger press a crease. This will be a guideline to keep your Dresden plate centered.
Place the Dresden plate about 2.5" from the top of your bag and centered on your crease line. You want it closer to the top. Use spray adhesive or pins to tack down your Dresden plate.
Then from your light colored print cut three circles, 3.5", 2.75" and 2". These will be the stacked centers.

Top stitch along the edges of your Dresden plate to secure it to your tote. Make sure you are only sewing through one side of your bag

Use a marking tool to draw a line 1/2" inside of each circle. Start with the first circle and stitch on the line attaching it to your Dresden. Build them on top of each other, keeping them centered.

Now, fold your tote right sides together and sew a 1/2" seam along both sides. Make sure your opening is not folded when sewing sides. We will do that later.

Using a zig zag stitch, sew along the edges of the seam. This will make the inside look nicer and keep the fabric from fraying. Let your needle fall just off the edge of the fabric when stitching the right side of the zig zag to get this look.


Turn you bag inside out! Make sure you push out the bottom corners.
Now, fold the edges of the opening using your creases as a guideline. Doing this last makes the opening look more finished. Top stitch these edges down.


Cut (2) 5" x 26" strips. Press in half lengthwise, then press again toward the center.
Fold in half again(tucking the raw edges inside the handle) and then top stitch together. You can do some sassy stitching if you like.

Position each end of the handles about 4" from the outside edge of the tote bag. Secure the handle to the bag with a square and "x" pattern to make sure it is strong. Make sure your handles are not twisted before you sew them on.

Grab a good magazine, a towel and your shades and enjoy!

Keep it Sassy

Paula did such a fabulous job on this tutorial, and I couldn't love this tote more! Those orange and reds really pop against the gray background! I really can't wait to make one of these! :)

Talk to you soon,


beaquilter said...

what a SUPER bag! wonder if the wedge die from accuquilt would work with this?? do you know?

Melissa at My Fabric Relish said...

Love it, Paula! Center circles genius!!!!!

Anita said...

Very cute bag! Thanks for the tutorial :)

Amy DeCesare said...

What a cool summer tote - great job on the tutorial, and I love the 3D flower center!

Kay said...

Gorgeous bag, I really like the colours used.

Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD said...

Cute tote and gorgeous fabrics :D

legato1958 said...

Really cute bag with the stylish flower to show off for the summer!!


Jennifer said...

Very cute summer bag! Can't wait to try this.

MoeWest said...

This is a really cute tote and I love the center of the Dresden!

Paula@TheSassyQuilter said...

Beaquilter, the wedge die would definitely work! Depending on the size of the die, it would change the size of your finished Dresden plat. Accuquilt also sells a Dresden die kit for all the shapes. Thanks so much everyone for your kind words! I can't wait to use this bag myself:)

Elita@Busy Needle Quilting said...

Absolutely wonderful! Very well done & great tute (as always ;-) )!

Missy Shay said...

I'm pinning this, it is so cute!

Beth said...

This is so cute and easy!

✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾ said...

This is a very pretty tote! Unlike how modern the fabrics make the Dresden look.

Melanie said...

Super cute bag! I need one :)

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