Sewing A Multi Pocket Tote
You will need 4 square pieces cut at whatever size you decide to make your tote. (2 out of the outside material and 2 out of your lining material). I chose to make my tote 18". You will also need 6 rectangle pieces the length of your square side (mine was 18") and the width of your choosing. (You will need three cut from your outside fabric and three cut from your lining fabric).
Decide on a size for your outside pockets. The material I chose had letters so I just used the size of the square letter block and picked my initials.
Decide how long you want your straps to be. Cut a piece of fabric by that length and a width of about 5-6". Fold it into thirds and iron the edges. Sew down each edge to make the strap.
I used some batting under my letter pocket....
and sewed around the letter.
Add some binding to the top edge of the pocket...
Turn in the edge, pin, and stitch the pocket to the square panel.
Next grab three rectangle panels of your outer fabric.
Cut two smaller rectangles for the pockets.
If you would like to make an elastic pocket, cut the following shape. Notice how the top is wider than the width of the side panel.
Sew the binding along the top edge. Then feed the elastic through.
Gather the material and stitch down the edge to hold the elastic in place.
Pin the elastic pocket to the side panel and stitch down the sides to hold in place.
Repeat a second pocket for the other panel. I chose to use a regular (non-elastic) pocket.
Attach the side panels with the pockets to the bottom panel stitching along the short side.
Once all of the rectangle pieces are stitched together pin them along the square panel right sides together.
Repeat for the second square side. Then turn the outer tote to the right side.
To make a cellphone pocket for the tote....take a small strip of fabric (about 1 1/2"-2" by 5") Hem all the edges and cut a 1 1/2" piece of velcro.
Sew the velcro to the fabric piece.
Cut out a piece of fabric that will be the size of your pocket (I measured according to my phone). Attach binding to the top edge.
Position the velcro strip so that it will be inside the pocket once sewn on.
Sew down the velcro strip and then attach the second piece of velcro to the outside of the pocket. Pin the pocket down (edges turned in) and sew the pock on the square lining fabric.
Mine fits my cellphone perfect!
Next is to create a key chain holder. Sew a strip of fabric with all edges turned in. I added a bit of embroidery for decoration.
Fold in half with a key ring in the loop and sew to the lining square.
I then made a second smaller elastic pocket and stitched it down as well. This was the one inside square of my tote.
On the second side I wanted pockets to fit diapers and wipes. So I measured a piece of fabric accordingly.
Turn in the edges and sew it to the lining square. I sewed down the middle to separate the pockets.
Next repeat the steps for attaching the side and bottom panels to the side squares. Leave the lining as is so the right side will be on the inside of the tote.
Insert the lining in the outer fabric and pin the top edges together. Stitch around the top edge to hold in place.
Trim any uneven fabric along the top edge. Apply binding around the top edge. Attach the straps to the top inside of the tote on either side. Pin the straps about one inche down from the top of the tote. Sew in place with a square with an X through (refer to the velcro) it to add extra strength.
There you have it. The thing I liked best about this tote is that I was able to customize it to fit my needs. :-) I have been using this everyday and love it!
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