Remember this little tote bag? It’s the result of falling in love with “The Beekeepers Quilt” project by Tiny Owl Knits, but I’m willing to bet you can think of other uses (bathroom, nursery, picnic table…).
Last winter, I was playing in the studio and came up with a “first edition” of a hexipuff project tote. I posted in the discussion group on Ravelry, and immediately received kind inquiries about a pattern. I put it aside for months, but after solving a problem with the closure, and testing the instructions, it’s finally ready to share.
Dimensions: The base of the tote is a hexagon approximately 9.5 inches at the widest diagonal. The height is about 10″.
I used 5 different fabrics, but you can certainly use fewer.
- Fabric 1 (base): 11″ x 20″ or one fat quarter
- Fabric 2 (main body): 3/8 yard
- Fabric 3 (lining – should contrast with main body): 3/8 yard
- Fabric 4 (pocket outside): 1/4 yard
- Fabric 5 (drawstring and pocket lining – should contrast with pocket outside): 3/8 yard
Timtex or Pellex to stiffen base: 11″ square
Canvas or other heavyweight but flexible stabilizer for the sides (sew-in or fusible): 10″ x 30″
Plastic rings ~ 3/4″: (6)
Download the base pattern here (.pdf): HexiTote_BasePattern
- Base stabilizer: Trace 1/2 pattern, flip and trace the other half, cut (1). ** Cut on the solid line**
- Fabric 1 (base): Use base stabilizer to trace full pattern for two pieces.** Add 1/2″ to all sides** and cut.
- Fabric 2 (main body): Cut (1) 10.5″ x 30″
- Fabric 3 (lining) : Cut (1) 11.5″ x 30″
- Fabric 4 (pocket outside): Cut (1) 7.5″ x 30″
- Fabric 5 (drawstring and pocket lining) : Cut (1) 8.5″ x 30″ AND Cut (1) 3″ x 28″
- Side stabilizer: Cut 10″ x 30″
Sewing the base:
- Layer the base pieces as follows:
(1) base fabric, wrong side up
(1) base fabric, right side up
- Sew around the outside of the base with a 1/2″ seam allowance (along the edge of the heavy stabilizer). Trim to 1/4″ and finish with either a zigzag or serged edge.
Sewing the pocket panel:
- Place the pocket pieces right sides together, matching one long edge. Sew the edge with 1/4 inch seam allowance.
- Press the seam allowance towards the lining fabric.
- Fold the fabric along the raw edge of the seam allowance (wrong sides together), matching all raw edges. The lining fabric should show on the outside along the top of the pocket (approximately 1/4″). Press flat.
- Top stitch “in the ditch”.
- Trim finished pocket panel to 7″ x 29″.
Sewing the main body panel:
- Repeat steps 1 – 3 of the pocket panel. STOP before step 4.
- After pressing, open the main body panel and lay it flat on the table. Lay the side stabilizer in place, matching the top edge of the stabilizer with the top fold of the panel.
- If using a fusible, follow manufacturer instructions for fusing. The stabilizer is cut narrower than the fabric and should not extend past the bottom edge of the main body or lining.
- If using a sew-in, simple fold the fabric back into place. Insert pins along the seam line (I pinned in the ditch) to keep it from shifting, and then top stitch as before (again “in the ditch”)
- Trim finished body panel to 10″ x 29″.
Assembling the sides:
- Lay the main body panel, right side up, on the table.
- Lay the pocket panel, right side up, on top of the main body panel. Align ends and bottom edge.
- Using a disappearing or erasable fabric marker, mark the center of the side with a perpendicular line.
- To the right of center, measure out 4.75 inches and mark a line. Repeat.
- To the left of center, measure out 4.75 inches and mark a line. Repeat.
- Starting from one end, stitching lines should be at 5″, 4.75″, 4.75″, 4.75″, 4.75″, with 5″ remaining on the other end.
- Sew each line, attaching the pocket panel to the main panel. (I like to start at the bottom, sew up to the edging, turn and take two stitches across the top, and then turn and sew parallel to the first line back to the bottom.)
- Finish the ends and bottom of the side panel with either a serged edge or zig-zag (no wider than 1/4″).
Assembling to the base:
Lay the base of the tote on the table with the bottom facing up. Starting at one end of the side panel, with the pocket side down, align the bottom edge of the side panel with one straight side of the base.
The first and last pocket panels should extend a little beyond the base, and the pocket stitching lines should line up with the points of the base.
Beginning 1/4″ from the first point, stitch along the first side. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam. Remove the tote from the machine, pivot the side panel to match the next side of the base, and stitch again. (I was able to attach the side to the base without removing it from the machine, but I did backstitch at every corner. ) Repeat around all 6 sides, stopping 1/4″ from the end.
Match the open ends of the side panel. Starting at the top, sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance to the bottom where the base attaches (backstitch at each end). Depending on how cleanly finished the raw edges are, you may want to wrap the seam allowance with a binding.
Turn the bag right side out.
Attach the rings
On the inside top edge, mark the center point between each pocket seam. At each point, hand sew a ring about 1/4″ below the edge.
Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and press. Open the strip, fold each long end to the center. Press again, and then fold once more on the original pressed line, forming a 3/4″ x 28″ strip. Topstitch along each long edge, stopping 4″ from each end.
Feed the drawstring through the rings, keeping one edge flat against the bag (no twists). Open each end of the drawstring, match the 3″ ends right sides together and sew. Refold the drawstring, and finish top-stitching the last 8 inches on each edge.
That’s it! Ready to try one?