Sew What : Art Tote To Go

Have you seen BasicGrey’s newest fabric line? It’s called PB&J. Between the primary color scheme and alphabet prints, I was inclined to make a child’s project.

I wanted to think of a new take on the typical crayon apron or crayon roll and designed a tote bag that fits one drawing tablet and a couple of coloring books and has exterior pockets for 7 markers on each side. My set of Crayola markers had 10 markers so I left the outermost slots empty. It’s perfect for art projects on the go, killing time in waiting rooms, long car rides, etc.

To begin, you can use leftover jelly roll strips to cut 14 pieces of fabric 2″ wide by 13″ long. You can use one strip and cut it into two pieces so that the front and back of your bag will match. Or, you can go scrappy as I did and make them all different. Using a 1/4″ seam, sew 7 strips together for the bag front and 7 for the bag back. Cut two pieces of fusible fleece measuring 11″ x 13″ and adhere to the wrong side of the exterior bag sections.

Next, cut two pockets from one of the alphabet prints measuring 4 1/2″ high and 11″ wide. Make a 1/4″ hem along the upper edge and pin to the lower edge of the bag front and back.

I used red contrasting thread to coordinate with the stitches around each alphabet letter on the fabric print. To make the slots for each marker, score your pocket fabric following the seam lines to provide a guideline for your stitching and stitch.

Cut two lining pieces 11″ x 13″ and stitch with right sides together using a 1/4″ seam, leaving an opening in the bottom for turning. Likewise, stitch around the exterior of the bag, this time there is no need to leave an opening.

To create the handle straps, cut one piece of fabric 4″ wide by 18″ long. Cut a piece of iron on interfacing to the same length, but only 2″ wide and iron onto the wrong side of the fabric, centered. Then press the handle wrong sides together. Open out and fold edges into the crease and press. This will form a 1″ wide handle. Edge stitch on both sides of the handle. Cut the handle in half to create two 9″ lengths.

Baste handles to the right side of the bag, lining them up with the second seam line on both sides. Then, with right sides together, sew lining and exterior bag together around the top and turn. Press. Handstitch opening in lining closed. Topstitch around upper edge of bag.

I chose to embellish the bag with a little matching fabric flower but that is, of course, optional.

Now it is time to fill the slots with markers – my favorite part!

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