The bag I was most drawn to of the three was the Portsmith Tote – nice and simple and perfect for the second bag that we all seem to use to cart all of our stuff around nowadays!
I didn’t particularly like the way it was finished though and was worried that you would see the tops of the side seams from the outside of the bag. I tried to get my head around how to line it with the current construction method but just couldn’t make it work that way.
Instead, I decided that if you sewed the side seams first before the fold over top, not only would it look neater, but you could attach a lining and make it all neat.
These are the changes I made:
Mark a line 1/2 an inch up from the second Fold To marks on the pattern piece for the main body. Draw a line across both marks to join them up and fold the pattern piece to that line.
Cut out the lining fabric on the fold using the new pattern piece. I used this lovely Cotton and Steel fabric for my lining.
Attach the base to the main body as per the instructions. I would also baste the base and main body together at the sides using a 1/4 inch seam allowance to make sure they don’t shift about during the rest of the construction.
This is where we deviate from the pattern. Ignore the section about folding the top of the bag down and topstitching it down for now. Instead, move on to sewing the side seams. Simply match up the side seams and pin them. Use the instructions for advice on how to do the envelope fold at the bottom. Sew down each side.
Construct the bag lining in the same way as Step 5. You will need to measure up 6 inches from the bottom of the fold and use that as your marker point for the envelope fold. Leave a three inch gap in the middle of one of the side seams to enable you to turn the bag through later on.
Turn over 1/2 an inch from the top of the main bag and press wrong sides together. Press another 2.5 inches down again – this will match with the fold lines from the pattern and enable you to fold the bag correctly once the lining is attached.
Turn the main bag right sides out and turn the lining wrong sides out. Slip the main bag inside the lining and pin the top edges together, matching the side seams. Sew these together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Pull the main bag and lining through the gap in the lining of the side seam. This may be a bit tricky if your fabric is bulky but persevere gently!
Find the fold that you pressed in 2.5 inches down and pin the main fabric in place. Sew a line of topstitching around the top of your bag at 2.25 inches down.
Either hand slip stitch or machine topstitch the gap in the lining fabric closed.
Attach the handles as per the instructions.
Ta da!! You’ve made your own lined tote bag!
You can, of course, add a zipped section to the lining but you would need to do this before adding it to the main bag.
I have ordered the leather strap kit from Klum House and as soon as that is delivered, I will be able to show you the finished result!