September 05, 2011

The Tohoku Tote

Today I am publicly posting the full pattern and tutorial for the Tohoku Tote.  I have chosen to do this for a few reasons.  1) Kari from UCreate asked if it could be used for her monthly "Create With Me" and Kari rocks.  I'm thrilled about this.   2) I think we raised what we could selling if for charity.  It was "purchased" by over 400 people.  Thank you SO much to those of you who donated to the cause.  Please don't feel unhappy that everyone gets the pattern now.  I tried to wait a while and you can know that your donation made a difference.  3) The "private" tutorial has been posted on Pinterest and pinned hundreds and hundreds of times.  They didn't have the actual pattern pieces, but the full tutorial was still out there.

So, anyhow....here's the full pattern and tutorial.  Happy Labor Day (or Merry Christmas early :)


I have tried to be extremely thorough in this tutorial for those of you who are new to sewing. If you are a pro, then you'll be able to skip some of it. Either way, pretty soon you'll be toting around a new bag that you'll be proud of.  Let's get started!

Print off the PDF pattern pieces and tape them together. You will find all five pages HERE.  (Be sure to print them at 100%, be sure your printer is set to print borderless, and be sure you've chosen 8.5x11 paper size on your printer options.  This is absolutely necessary or they will not print correctly.)  The pages should not overlap at all. They should be joined page to page like the picture below.  


Double Checking Your Printing:  If you pages don't match up as shown your printer probably printed it with a border.  To double check, the length of interior pattern on the fold should be 15".  The length of the fold on the exterior piece should be 12".  The length of the fold on the exterior strip shouldn't vary, but the length across the top of it should be 6 7/8".

    
Assemble your supplies. You'll need the following:
  • ½ a yard of fabric for the outer part
  • ½ a yard for the inside
  • ½ a year for the bow, stripe, and straps
  • 2 yards of fusable interfacing
  • 1 magnetic snap
  • coordinating thread
Both of the bags (version 1 and 2) require the same supplies. The only difference is the style of the bow, which we'll get to later in the tutorial.


If you are new to sewing, you might not know about interfacing. Let's talk about it. Interfacing is going to give the bag structure so that it isn't floppy. In my personal opinion, interfacing can make a purse look much more professional and durable. It will also help hold the weight of the bow on the front without causing the front lip of the purse to sag. I used interfacing on the exterior of the bag as well as the lining. For the first version I didn't use interfacing on the exterior acorn print because it was a really thick upholstery fabric, but I still needed it on the brown fabric because it was thin and needed to support the bow. Interfacing is really easy to use, so don't panic. You can see it in the picture above. It's the white stuff.

It has a side that's a little shiny which will adhere to the fabric. They will become one so it won't be hard to deal with. There are some additional advantages as well. It will make the fabric easy to fold and crease when you need it to. Here's a close-up of the label. It comes in different thicknesses. Mine is medium. It's less than $2 a yard at JoAnn's so it won't break the bank. (I also recommend getting the metal snaps there because their 2 pack was the same price as 1 at Hobby Lobby.)


You'll start by cutting the pattern pieces. I like to get the tricky one out of the way first. The pleated front is the tricky one. If you're at all intimidated by this you can opt out of the pleat, but it does make a nice detail. I pleat my fabric first and then cut the pattern piece out. The pleats are about 1 inch and they fold outwards. The fabric in the middle stays straight, but the sides are now angled. Eventually you'll be sewing this piece to the top strip using a ¼ seam, so you'll want to cut it ¼ inch above where the pleats meet.

The pleats also veer outward so that there is no pleat at all by the time you get to the bottom of the pattern piece.



Let's get one more look at it. See how by the time you get to the bottom there's no more pleat? Once the pleats are pinned, lay the pattern over the top and cut it out. (Or to make it a little easier you could cut the plain pattern piece out for the back side of the bag and use that as a pattern for this one. It's easier than using the paper pattern and trying to fold the pleated fabric.)


The other pattern piece will be cut out normally. I didn't bother to pleat the backside since no one will see it. So now you have your front and back and it's time to add the interfacing. You'll have to take out the pins on the pleated front to iron on the interfacing, but if you iron the pleat down first you'll still be able to see where the pleat goes after the interfacing is added. You'll just stick the pins right back in afterwards.

Place your interfacing on your fabric so that the shiny side is against the wrong side of the fabric and iron it on. I like to iron it decently, then cut the interfacing to match the shape of the fabric and then iron it really well. (That way you won't iron the interfacing that's hanging over the edge of the fabric to the ironing board.)

You can see the shiny side in the picture below. It only takes about 7-10 seconds to get the interfacing to stick. Then the fabric will feel super thick. That's what we want.



Cut the strips that go across the top of the bag and add your interfacing to them as well. Then you'll sew the strip to the bag by lining it up like this. Sew them together using a ¼ seam allowance.


Next you'll top stitch across the part you just sewed. I like to fold the seam that's now underneath upward so that I'm sewing through all the layers when I top stitch. When you're top stitching you want to get really close to the edge (so it's about 1/8 away from it at the most).


Now you're here.


Place the right sides together and sew around the perimeter leaving the top open, of course. Use a ¼ seam allowance.


Extra Tip: It's a good idea to press the seams open. That way when you're sewing the exterior and interior layers together later you'll have less bulk and less trouble. If you have a regular ironing board it's tough to do because the bag won't fit over it. I just roll up a dish towel, hold it on the inside of the bag, and use the iron on the outside. I hold the towel so there's something for the iron to press against. (I didn't press my seams as you'll see in these pictures, but I should have.)

Next we'll box the corners. I went 2.5 inches up from the corner seam. If you don't know what that means I will explain it. If you do skip ahead.

You're going to take the bottom corner and pinch off the area as shown. You'll want to feel with your fingers to make sure the seams are aligned. The seam you see in the picture should be right over the top of the one underneath. The interfacing makes it easy to crease the pinched area. Now measure up from the corner of the seam. Mark 2.5 inches up from it.




I like to draw a line across where I will sew as a guildeline. You can measure up the sides to make sure your line is even.


Sew across the line and cut off the excess. Do this to both corners.


Turn the bag right side out. Now you have the exterior of the purse completed, except for the bow. It should look like this. We'll make the bow next. There aren't any patterns to print out for the bow because it's all made of simple rectangles that I will give you measurements for.


Here's the bow from the bag shown in this tutorial. Cut two of each of these shapes. The fabric I worked with was canvas so I didn't use interfacing for the bow. If you're using a really thin cotton, I would recommend using your interfacing here as well.


For each piece you'll place right sides together, sew around the perimeter with a 1/8 seam allowance and leaving a hole to invert it. Trim your corners so they will lay better when inverted.


Invert, press, and top stitch. You'll close up your hole when you top stitch over it. Now take the angled piece and lay it down. Take the large rectangle and create a loop, allowing it to overlap about ¾ inch in the back. Stack it on the first piece and stitch these layers together right down the middle.


Now take the small rectangle and sew it into a loop, allowing it to overlap about ¾ inch. This is hard to get under the machine, but as long as you sew it a little on each side it will be fine. You don't have to sew across the entire loop.


The loop that you've created is quite small. Slide it over the other two layers. It will be snug and will cause your bow to gather a bit like this.


I recommend taking the exterior of your bag and folding over the top ¼ inch as it will be sewn so you can center the bow on the top strip.

Lift the bow as shown and sew a few stitches right where the arrow is. You can do this with your machine. I stitched about an inch long strip there. The bow will completely conceal it. Do this to the other side of the bow as well.


Here are the measurements and pieces for the other bow option. There are only two parts. Cut two of each part. Lay them right sides together, sew around the perimeter with a 1/8 seam allowance, leaving a hole to invert it. Trim your corners so they will lay better when inverted. Invert, press, and top stitch. You'll close up your hole when you top stitch over it.


You'll slide the loop over the long rectangle just like with the other bow. Then you'll have to do a little maneuvering to get it under your machine and sew a few stitches where the arrow points (but under the loop). You're sewing both the underside of the loop and the top of the bow, but it will be concealed by the loop. The stitches need to be at the very top so the bow won't droop. If it's difficult to get it under your machine you can hand sew it on.   Do the same thing at the bottom of the loop as well.


Now I like the bow itself to sag the way it does in the picture. I didn't use interfacing on the bow. If you want your bow to be less droopy you can tack the upper corners of it with a few hand stitches.

Now that the exterior of the bag is totally finished we can move onto the interior. Cut two pattern pieces and iron on your interfacing. Now you can create all the pockets you want. I'm not going to give measurements for pockets because you can make them the size you prefer, but I'll show you how to make them.

For this gray purse I wanted a double pocket. You can easily make a single pocket or multiple pockets. I wanted room for my phone, keys, and chapstick – all my necessities. Cut two rectangles. You'll treat then just like the bow pieces. Lay them right sides together, sew, and clip your corners.



Invert, press, and top stitch across the top of the pocket. Then lay it on the interior piece of the purse where you want it. Remember, you need room for the snap and to fold over the top of the bag, so don't position it too high. Sew it on leaving the top open. I drew lines where I sewed in this picture so you can see what I mean by a double pocket.


Now lay the two interior pieces right sides together to be sewn. On the interior I use a little larger seam allowance to create a better fit for the bag. Instead of ¼ inch like before I do 3/8 inch instead. Press the seams open and box your corners just like you did with the exterior.

Now you can test how the exterior and interior fit together. Fold the top of interior in a bit so it matches up with the exterior. If the sizing looks right you can continue on. If the interior is a little bit large you can take in the sides little bit. Do this by very small amounts. (It is my experience that when the interior feels a tiny bit too big that it's perfect when you sew the layers together.)


We have two more parts to add – the straps and the snap.

To add the snap I take the interior back out so there is less to work with. Find the middle of the bag and make marks where you want the snap to go. Use an exacto knife to make small slits for the snap to fit into. The package will contain instructions as well. Follow them.


The back is like a brad. You fold the arms outward. Once again, the interfacing is great here because it will give your snap a lot of stability. Once you have one side of the snap on make pencils marks where the other one should go to line up. Insert it the same way you did the other side.


Extra tip: Don't put your snap too high up on the bag or it will be a little difficult to sew around the top of the bag.  (Mine is a little too high in the picture.)

Sew the handles. I like my handles a little longer than some purses. Mine measure 24 inches by 2 inches. Feel free to adjust them to what seems comfortable to you. You'll cut 4 pieces – 2 for each strap.

Place them right side together and sew only the long sides together using a 1/8 seam allowance. Inverting these can be a battle if you're using thick fabric. Hang in there. You could also fold the fabric like double-sided bias tape and sew it that way if you don't want to invert the handles. (Once again if you want really sturdy handles and your fabric is thin you might want to add interfacing.) Press and top stitch the handles.

Now you can baste them to the bag to make sewing the whole thing together a bit easier. You'll sew them to the folded part of the exterior (as shown) so that they'll be in the right place when you fold it in. Pin them and then sew them.


Now it's time for the finale! Place the interior inside align everything as you want it. (For example, I like my pockets on the back side rather than the front.) Make sure your snap is lined up well for the bag to close correctly. Pin it together and sew around the top.


As I mentioned, if you have your seams pressed open there will be less bulk to sew around the top.

If you've never sewn a bag like this before you might want to start on the side so that if things don't match up perfectly at the end it'll be in a more concealed place and not right in front.


Throw a party! You're done. Load it up with all your stuff and head out to show it off! Woo-hoo!

Thank you for reading.  See you tomorrow!

143 comments:

  1. Thanyou so much for this wonderful pattern and great tutorial!!

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  2. Super cuteness!!! Your tutorial is awesome!!

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  3. You always give great, in depth tutorials. Thanks so much for sharring. Have a great holiday.

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  4. Such a cute purse. Your tutorial is awesome. I love the step by step photos!
    Blessings,
    Lorilee

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  5. Thank you, thank you! I look forward to making this bag. :)

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  6. you make it look so simple!!! now if only my sewing machine wasn't my nemesis...lol. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. great tutorial! I think I may attempt this a couple times....one for my to carry my gear, and one for my SIL for a daiper bag! thanks!

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  8. So generous of you! Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Do you have this purse available for purchase? If so, how much do you charge for the gray and yellow one! I love it!!

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  10. Love this!!! You are awesome :)

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  11. What a cute bag, definitely will be putting this on my list of things to make! Thanks for sharing the thorough version of this tutorial for those who are new at sewing like me :) You have such creative ideas, I LOVE IT!

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  12. I am so excited that you released this pattern. I can't wait to make this adorable tote. Thank you so much Cheri.

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  13. Maybe I'm just missing it or not able to figure it out but how big is the finished bag?

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  14. beautiful projet and great tutorial!!
    Thank you Cheri
    xxx Sara

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  15. i am so excited to try this pattern. your directions seem very easy to follow, thanks for thinking of 'newbies' to sewing, like myself. :0) Happy Labor day!

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  16. This is the most gorgeous bag! I would LOVE to make one .... but in Australia, we don't use 'letter' sized paper. We use the International Standard sizing. Any suggestions for the measurements so I could draft the pattern?

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  17. Melissa - Sorry, but I don't have an intentions of selling the bags themselves. They are kind of time consuming to make and I'm a little too busy right now. Thanks for asking though.

    Cheri

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  18. I think this is adorable, I am in love with the fabric, though. What line is it and where can I find it? I have to have it.

    Thanks!
    Sarah

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  19. Thank you for the early Christmas gift ;) The tutorial is great and so detailed for someone newer to sewing like me!

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  20. Thanks for a great tutorial!

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  21. Awesome! What a cute bag! Can't wait to go and pick up some fabric.

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  22. Awesome! What a cute bag! Can't wait to go and pick up some fabric.

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  23. It's ok Cheri, really. Ha ha ha, I just look forward to the day I can retire and make the little sucker. Until then I will covet the bag and hold the pattern close, safe in the knowledge that I have it!

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  24. You've inspired mectons, thanks!
    This tote is beyond awesome!
    Cheers
    Andrea

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  25. Awesome bag Cheri! I absolutely love it. It scares the crud out of me though. Sewing is not my strong suit.

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  26. I bought fabric yesterday and can't wait to start. Thanks for the great tutorial.

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  27. THANK YOU! I have never sewn a bag of any sorts before BUT your tutorial is amazing so I think I'm going to give it a try! What great gifts for Christmas! I hope mine comes out even close to as beautiful as yours! :0) THANKS again!

    ~robin

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  28. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome tutorial!!!!

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  29. what a nice tutorial! thanks a lot!

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  30. Do you have any suggestions for what to do since my printer won't let me print borderless? I ran into the same problem with a pattern from Dana @ Made. I have tried everything, and cannot print borderless. I tried printing out your pattern with regular printer settings, hoping it would still match up but it doesn't. I'll try to still make it work, but I'd love to make it with the pattern pieces as you intended them.

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  31. Thanks for sharing Cheri! You did a great job w/ the tute :)

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  32. I love the bag and a wondering what the finished dimensions are.

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  33. Ladies - The finished purse it roughly 12"x12".

    Cheri

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  34. The fabric was from a store I love here in Utah, but I don't know the line of the fabric or any details! Sorry! The store is "Home Fabrics" and I found the fabric for around $3 a yard so I bought a few yards of it. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

    Cheri

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  35. I found this the other day and went right out to buy fabric, but now Google Docs won't let me open the pattern. I think I might cry.

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  36. Thanks so much for the great tutorial.

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  37. I'm SOOOO bummed. I can't get my pattern to print borderless. I've tried absolutely everything, including trying 2 different printers. Please HELP if you can.

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  38. I couldn't get mine to print without borders either. As long as the ends of the lines touch you'll be ok. Just check your printing, like she said to do. Make sure the length of the fold is 12" for the exterior and 15" for the interior. The pages will overlap slightly, but thats ok. Just tape and cut and you're good!

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  39. LOVE this bag! Adorable! My sister-in-law asked me to make a tote for my niece and this is perfect!

    One question, can I use regular interfacing? I have regular interfacing on hand, but not fusible.

    Thanks!

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  40. Thank you, thank you! I can't wait to try this out.

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  41. Wonderful tutorial... as usual! Can you explain, though, how come that the pleat does not look as "creased" in version 1, please?
    I'm afraid I'm a real newbie at sewing and need some more "nails on my head"
    Thanks for sharing
    linedupuy(at)hotmail(dot)fr

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  42. I made one!

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=250243048345057&set=a.169529646416398.29102.167778566591506&type=1&theater

    Hopefully it will go much faster for the one for my niece. Had to make me one first! :)

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  43. How sweet of you to share this! I plan on making one for the "create with me" over at Ucreate. I am super excited to make one. I think I will try it out with some burlap that I have. :)

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  44. This is fantastic! I thought I would never ever pull out the sewing machine again after doing over 40 scallop square bags whew! but now it looks like I have to :) this is awesome! Thanks for the great idea!

    Inky Hugs,
    Cristena

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  45. Beautiful!!!
    Thanks for great tutorial :)))

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  46. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I finished mine for ucreate! Made some alterations (not many since you can't improve on perfection), but in all, I was able to follow the tutorial with only a few head scratches! (mainly user error!) here is my bag-

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2394263334546&set=a.1657355872320.251389.1189812801&type=1&permPage=1

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  47. Wow just come across your blog and I have sat for hours reading it! Love your style!
    I am quite a new sewer and I am so so thankful for your bag pattern. Not usually to inspired by most handmade bags...but this looks so chic! So I am dying to get started on it...only problem is that I dont have a printer at the moment (very annoying!). Is there any chance you could tell me the size of the front/back piece that you need to cut and also the top strip. Think I could work it out from there.

    Thanks again!

    Adele x

    (adelearmstrong87@gmail.com)

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  48. For the pleat on the first version I didn't pleat as much fabric. It was a smaller pleat AND I didn't iron the pleat either.

    Cheri

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  49. Ok so managed to get printer. Went and bought some gorgeous fabric (always such a chore...NOT!) and I am ready to sit down and get this bag done. BUT...cant get the pattern printed correctly. Sizes only seem to be off slightly.
    I am from the UK so could it be due to us lot using A4 paper? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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  50. I just finished one!! It turned out cute. I did Pink Zebra with black bow and strip. then the handles are the zebra pink and the other side is the black. Thanks for the tutorial!!

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  51. This is amazing doll! Love the tote and hopefully I can get in sewing mode and do this ;)

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  52. Cheri,
    Is the pattern intended to be used on the pre-pleated fabric? I am guessing YES because, well, that is how the pictures are, but I wanted to make sure!

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  53. thanks for the great tutorial! i have one question. everything makes sense except the cutting of the exterior piece. If you are placing the pattern on the fold than how are you pleating it down the middle before you cut it? Am I just misunderstanding something?

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  54. Nevermind, nevermind. Of course after posting that I decided to read the instructions one more time and now I see why you made the comment about cutting the back piece first and using that. Totally makes sense now.
    Thanks! ;)

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  55. This is Gorgeous! Thankyou for sharing. I'm a sucker for a bag with a bow!

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  56. Is there a way to make it so that the lining is not seen when looking straight on at the bag? like maybe having the top border go over the full top rim of the bag? I am just asking because I was thinking of using a PUL fabric lining on the inside so that its easy to wipe out...

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  57. This is the bridesmaid gifts I am making for my wedding. They will be made in the wedding colors (dark purple, black, and ivory) Thanks for posting it.

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  58. I love this bag...but don't sew! LOL

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  59. When I click the link to get the pattern the website is not found, is the link still available?

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  60. Very helpful thanks so much!!!

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  61. The pattern won't print!!!

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  62. Absolutely adorable! Is it feasible to sew this by hand? I'm none too savvy with a sewing machine.

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  63. Kolacsky - I wouldn't recommend sewing it by hand. It would be a ton of work, as there's a lot of sewing involved and some of it includes thick layers.

    Cheri

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  64. love this purse! I'm making it for Christmas presents! =) question, do you iron on the fusible interfacing before or after you do your pleating?

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  65. So cuuute! Christmas present!

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  66. I just finished making myself one. Thank you so much for posting! Your directions are great.

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  67. I can't sew to save my life but I would BUY several of these if ou had an Etsy store ;-) Spotted on Pinterest.

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  68. Making this for my daughter to take to a birthday party. Her friend is turning 16 and we are doing the outside in denim, two different tones and the inside and bow are a bright pink pattern. Thanks for a great unique gift idea. It's almost done.

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  69. Thanks for the great tutorial this is such a cute bag, I gotta make one :)

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  70. Thanks for having this pattern out there, I tried it myself for the first time today. http://jaie.livejournal.com/1685801.html

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  71. Your tutorial is awesome! Thanks!

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  72. HELP! I have a bag nearly finished and it appears when I cut the front piece, I must have misunderstood the directions as it appears the front sets lower in front than the back piece. I laid the pattern piece over the top of the fabric to cut, but must have done it incorrectly. I had the pleats folded and pinned smoothing out the lower edge so the pleats did not go all the way to the bottom. As a result the top edge curved. What is the proper way to cut this piece.

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    1. Hi Janice,

      I don't mean to frustrate you more, but it's really hard for me to know what you did incorrectly just by reading what you said. Can you see where what you did varied from what I did in the pictures? If you want to email me a picture or something, I could probably be more helpful. Sorry!

      Cheri

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  73. Awesome bag! Love it. I have made my own version of it and sent people here for clarification. http://kiwigirlskiwiblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/holiday-project-5-tote-bag/

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  74. Can you please send me the measurements to start this tote? My computer and I are having severe issues printing out the pattern! :( Thanks!

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  75. I used your bow pattern and pleat instructions to make this scripture bag for my daughter. I love it--thanks!
    http://craftingintherain.blogspot.com/2012/02/make-splash-bows.html

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  76. Love this pattern! Thank you for sharing. Do you think I could do a single strap instead of two?

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    1. I've never tried it. It's worth a shot. Let me know how it works out if you try it! Good luck!

      Cheri

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  77. Merci merci!!! :-)

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  78. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Cheri - what a fantastic tutorial ! It took me a long time but I had so much fun getting there and Im THRILLED with the finished bag !
    I've just started blogging and would be honoured if you would like to visit my Blog & see how my bag turned out!
    http://craftlee.blogspot.com/2012/03/my-first-ever-hand-sewn-bag.html

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  79. I made mine in red w/ black...I get SOOO many compliments!! Thank you so much!!!!

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  80. Cant wait to try this one!!!

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  81. Cant wait to try this one!!!

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  82. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. This was the first bag i tried out and it came out perfect. Please see the link to take a look http://charmingstitches.blogspot.in/2012/05/back-with-bag.html

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  83. my sewing machine must be too old, or my material is too thick. I have broken two needles trying to sew the bow. :( Thinking about trying a thinner fabric or a different bow.

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  84. me encanta el modelo lo voy a intentar a ver si soy capaz sera el primer, gracias por compartir tus trabajos son estupendos

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  85. I love this bag. Thank you so much for being so generous to make this available to all us idea challenged crafters. I can't wait to make this.

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  86. I made a bag for my SIL for her wedding. It's here come check it out!

    http://wentzellscreativedesigns.blogspot.ca/2012/06/tohoku-bridal-tote.html

    Thanks for sharing this tutorial I look forward to making one for myself.

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  87. Hi Cheri,
    I love this and would love to feature it (and some of your other tutes) on www.sewcanshe.com. Please drop me a line and let me know if that's okay.
    Thanks so much!

    Caroline
    caroline@sewcanshe.com

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  88. Made this for a sweet 16 gift. out of Denim and a cute bright print for the lining which I also used for the bow. She loved it! Thanks!

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  89. I was wanting to sell this bag at a boutique. So do I need to purchase rights or is it for public use? Thank you! I have already made one for myself and I love it!

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    1. Just drop me an email and we can talk about it.

      Thanks!
      Cheri
      iammommahearmeroar at gmail dot com

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  90. Great tutorial. I love the bag! Thank you for sharing.

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  91. Great!!!I have made one, you can see in : http://cosiendoaoscuras.blogspot.com.es/
    Thank´s for all!!!!!
    kisses!!!!

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  92. Am I the only one having trouble printing the pattern pieces? Im making sure that my settings are at borderless and 100%, but my pages keep over lapping and my demensions are not as mentioned on the site (Exterior 15" at the fold, interior 12" at the fold and the strip 6 7/8" across the top). I want to make this tote :o(

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  93. what a lovely tutorial, i love this bag and you've explained it so well. usually people don't explain so clearly. i'm going to make one immediately and am thinking of gifting one to my friend too :) i bet she'll love it!

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  94. Hi.... thanks a lot for the great tutorial.... Pictures speaks by themselves...I m going to make when I have enough time for that...!!! greetings from Chile...

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  95. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  96. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  97. Here are some pictures of my finished bag:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/62495237@N02/

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  98. This is awesome! How much would you charge to make one for me LOL :) I love this bag

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  99. Thank you for this great pattern. I just made it with fall colors and plan to carry it tomorrow. I would suggest to move the hint about moving the snap down to an earlier placement, as I just looked at the pic and did what you did, then read the hint too late. (I did read the pattern beforehand, but just forgot that part until too late. Just a thought. Thanks again! I love it! Good job on the pattern.

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  100. Question: is the exterior strip supposed to be wider at the bottom (as i'm looking at the paper pattern)
    thanks
    jenniferdyrdahl@yahoo.com

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  101. Question: is the exterior strip supposed to be wider at the bottom (as i'm looking at the paper pattern)
    thanks
    jenniferdyrdahl@yahoo.com

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  102. I just finished my purse - woohoo! It was more work than I thought it would be but your instructions were clear and I learned a few new things :) I noticed that just about anytime I sewed 2 pieces together that I had interfaced, one side seemed to stretch, making the pieces uneven at the end. Have you encountered this before? Is there a way to prevent it? thanks. Eventually I'll take some pictures and post them for you to see my purse (checking a Christmas gift off the list!)

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    Replies
    1. I'm sorry Kelly, but I haven't ever had that happen to me. I would just trim them off at the edge to make them even again if you can. If you use the fusible interfacing it shouldn't shift on you. Good luck!

      Cheri

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  103. Your tutorial was impressive. Very easy to follow. I am a seasoned, experienced seamstress and I thoroughly enjoyed reading and following this. Not everyone is experienced and can be intimidated by sewing, but you make it very easy to follow. Very cute idea, too. Thanks.

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  104. I just love, love, love your purse and had to enlist my mother-in-law to help me with the sewing. We finished it this past weekend and since then have used it and have received many compliments. I owe it all to you, Thank You!

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  105. Thank you so much! This is an adorable pattern!

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  106. Thank you for your kind contribution. Your bag is very beautiful! You are being very cool!
    Lu Cordeiro from Brazil

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  107. whats a year of bows mean????????

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  108. also can i hand sow it or do i HAVE to use a sewing machine i would use it for the bow but im not sure if i can hand sow it

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  109. I can't seem to find the PDF, help please.

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  110. I am the one who can'tfind the PDF for the pattern and would love to make one of your bags. Will you please help me out? Thank you
    Kim

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  111. I love the bag, but i am a new sewer and am confused on the pattern you have above? I am unsure of how to cut out the pieces using it and the difference between interior A and B and Exterior A and B and why they are such different sizes? Could you please help out a new sewer?

    Thanks,
    Tiffany

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    Replies
    1. the exterior strip (the small piece) will be sewn on the top of the exterior piece making it the same size as the interior piece :)

      Delete
  112. Thank you so much for this! I live in Miyagi, Japan so the name caught my name before anything else! Now all I need is to find an affordable sewing machine that I can understand and I'll be on my way. :)

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  113. Thank you so much for the tutorial - I've just finished making mine!

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  114. I just finished making mine today too!!!! I made Version 1 but used interfacing to make a stiffer sitting bow. Thank you so much for your tutorial. This is the first ever time I've made a lined bag! I love it. It's a gift for my little boy's teacher when school starts back this year as she LOVES orange. I used 3 different fabrics. Really loved making it! Feel brave enough to attempt Version 2 now! I have shared on Facebook and linked back to your page!
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=456992674360880&set=a.295832390476910.68849.148074418586042&type=3&theater

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  115. Came here from Melody @ House on the Side of the Hill.....wow......love that bag! It's on my list and I'm pinning it if that's ok? lOVE LOVE LOVE version 2!!!
    thanks and I'll be back to visit again
    Sugary hugs
    Wendy :O)

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  116. Just made mine in green and teal. I love it! I'm using it to carry all my piano stuff to the piano lessons I teach. It is gorgeous! Thanks!

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  117. Just found this! LOVE it!!! I am a relatively new sewer-all quilting. Do I need to use heavier-like decorator fabric to make this? I can't wait to try one. I love the bow!

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  118. Very clear and detailed tutorial. Can't wait to try it. Thank you.

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  119. I really want to make this purse. I am stuck because my laser printer doesn't print borderless and you said I shouldn't have to overlap the pages. Can someone show me how to put this together the correct way if my pages "DO" overlap. I would greatly appreciate it.

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  120. I just figured out that I have enough fabric on hand to make this bag! Woohoo! I might need to get a bit more interfacing, but that's it. I'm tired of not having a cute purse to take when I don't have my kid/diaper bag in tow. I've been saving some fabric for something unknown that would be super cute...we'll see when I get a chance. ;)

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  121. I made four of these and sent them to my best friends. They were thrilled:-)
    http://www.bindu-made.blogspot.com/2013/03/tohuku-bag.html

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  122. Your instructions were detailed enough for even a beginner to be successful. Because I live in Arkansas, Razorback print fabrics are extremely popular! I created a bag using heavy red fabric for the outside, bow and straps. The interior and all the extra pockets were done with 3 different Razorback prints. For extra punch, I added black piping when I sewed the exterior to the interior. I've posted the bag on my Etsy site with my other Razorback-themed creations. *as a courtesy and respect the link to your pattern is given in the listing on Etsy.
    Thank you for sharing your creativity and I hope to create many more Tohoku Totes for family and friends.
    Blessings,
    Laura Grisham
    Laura Grisham Designs

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  123. Cheri,

    Thank you for the great tutorial. I have emailed you, but you may be busy with family right now. I would like to "possibly" make some of these bags to sell at local arts and crafts, but I want to be respectful of your rights to the pattern. How can I contact you about this?

    Thanks!

    Robin McLain

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  124. What are the finished dimensions?

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  125. I enjoyed making a bag using this pattern as a gift for a friend - I have linked to you on my blog - http://alittlebirdmademe.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/list-of-30-free-bag-tutorials-and-patterns/

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  126. Such a fun and well-explained tutorial. I really had a great time making the bag, here you can see my first result : http://tattewatteke.blogspot.be/2013/07/stof-tohoku-tote-summer-edition.html and I'm sure I'll make this bag again. Maybe a more winter-colour-edition, cause this one is very summerly...

    Thx for the pattern and tutorial

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  127. Thanks so much for this pattern. This is the first bag I have made, and now there are four. Great tutorial and easy to follow.

    You can see my bags here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/83163149@N08/sets/72157634724730293/

    Thanks again

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  128. awsome bag,thank you for the pattern

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  129. Great bag nearly done with mine,my back peice is slitghly bigger than the front as the front is pleated is this normal how? do i line it up if its like this?

    thanks for the tut so helpful

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  130. I jut re-ead the pattern again , i must have missed the part, or misunderstood the explanation about the pleat being put in the fabric before you cut the pattern peice for it out :( ah well i will just have to make the bag a little smaller but i will rember next time.i shall pleat both sides so that it will all line up. thanks

    chrissie

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  131. I just finished the bag and it looks great! It took me over a month from start to finish, because I have a busy toddler and busy life,:) but your instructions were wonderful! For those that have had troubles printing borderless, don't stress too much. My bag still turned out great! I did one adjustable shoulder strap so I can wear it cross body, and I added zippered pockets and a pleated pockets for diapering items. What a cute bag, I can't wait to stuff it with essentials and go grocery shopping! Thanks again for the tutorial! I will have to post it to your flikr soon!

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  132. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this wonderful tutorial! Got it done in 3 hours!!!!! Now I know, however, to read the entire tutorial before starting! Luckily I only messed up the first step, with material that I can still use for something else! This is my favorite purse so far, and I've made 4 this year!!!!!

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  133. Just saw this post and the new art in your family room. Love your site and all your great tips. I purchased this and am happy you were able to raise so much for charity! Thanks again!

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  134. This bag looks awesome! I hope to get one made soon. :)

    Irene (For more info)

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  135. Well... I may have put the bow on upside down... But I love it!!! Thanks for making such an easy-to-follow tutorial for us beginners :) I got to use my new sewing machine - and didn't break it! I used thicker canvas fabric, so I am hoping to use this instead of my diaper bag! Thanks again :)

    http://instagram.com/p/iiMOgSG4kC/

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