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Hexi-Tote Tutorial

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″.

Materials:

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

Cutting instructions:

  • 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) stabilizer
(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:

  1. Place the pocket pieces right sides together, matching one long edge. Sew the edge with 1/4 inch seam allowance.
  2. Press the seam allowance towards the lining fabric.
  3. 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.
  4. Top stitch “in the ditch”.
  5. Trim finished pocket panel to 7″ x 29″.

Sewing the main body panel:

  1. Repeat steps 1 – 3  of the pocket panel.  STOP before step 4.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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”)
  5. Trim finished body panel to 10″ x 29″.

Assembling the sides:

  1. Lay the main body panel, right side up, on the table.
  2. Lay the pocket panel, right side up, on top of the main body panel.  Align ends and bottom edge.
  3. Using a disappearing or erasable fabric marker, mark the center of the side with a perpendicular line.
  4. To the right of center, measure out 4.75 inches and mark a line. Repeat.
  5. To the left of center, measure out 4.75 inches and mark a line. Repeat.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.

Drawstring/Handle

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?

24 Comments Post a comment
  1. That’s GREAT! I love the color combos in both of them.

    June 14, 2012
  2. Cute! and the name is so perfect!

    xoxo
    eleanormeriwether.blogspot.com

    June 15, 2012
  3. What a great bag! I think I need to make one!

    June 15, 2012
  4. What a FANTASTIC tutorial! Really neat pattern 🙂 Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂 Cindy in FL

    July 30, 2012
    • You’re very welcome ~ I’m so glad you like it!

      July 30, 2012
  5. Amazing use of the Tula print! I’m going to have to make one soon!

    July 30, 2012
  6. Monique German #

    Thank you so much for sharing! Your directions are so clear and well illustrated. I can’t wait to get started!

    August 3, 2012
  7. Very clever! I found you on Pinterest. And very well done tutorial! I’m going to be spending some time moseying around the rest of your blog! Thanks for sharing.

    October 5, 2012
    • Thank you! It was a fun project to put together.

      October 8, 2012
  8. just made one of these, LOVE your tutorial! thanks! Megan in Seattle

    December 6, 2012
  9. sylvie #

    j’aime beaucoup la superposition dans ce sac ; j’espère avoir l’occasion d’ici quelques mois de m’y atteler (pour l’instant trop d’autres projets) ; thank’s very much for your share (excuse my english !) ;

    April 22, 2013
  10. Stitched out beautifully – wonderful instructions. Very Many Thanks

    August 16, 2013
    • Kathie ~ I’d love to see a picture of your finished tote!

      August 20, 2013
  11. atreyu59 #

    nice. wonderful colors; I may have to test this out & use for x-mas presents. thanks for the great tutorial

    August 17, 2013
  12. ana #

    Muy bonita, gracias por el tutorial

    saludos

    anaane

    January 21, 2014
  13. janet gomez #

    Muy hermosa e impreSionante

    October 31, 2014
  14. What is that awesome pocket fabric you used? I love it!

    November 3, 2014
  15. excelente buenísimo,,, tratare de hacerlo amiga mil gracias…..

    December 26, 2014
  16. Mom/Teacher/Gardener #

    This looks like it would make a wonderful gardener’s tote! A trowel, clippers, and other tools could go in the outer pockets. One could put a container with a bit of water (coffee can or similar) inside for cut flowers or leave the inside open for garden produce. I think I would make the drawstring a bit longer for this application so it could be held from two points to stay level when carried.

    June 21, 2015

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. On The Go Quilting » Friday Finds
  2. Free Hexi Tote Tutorial By Sleepy Owl Studio
  3. List of 30+ Free Bag Tutorials and Patterns | a little bird made me
  4. Friday Finds – List of 30+ Free Bag Tutorials and Patterns | a little bird made me
  5. Bolsa drawstring hexa | Arte com Tecidos

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