Here’s a couple I made for Chrissy presents last year…
Notice the one on the left has a directional print. This was on the bottom of the tea towel so I cut the tea towel in half and stitched the bottom half to the top half so that the print was then on the top. It just means you’ll have a seam in the bottom of the bag – no problem .
So here’s what you’ll need …
2 Tea towels (of course lol); 1 pretty button; about a metre of 1” wide canvas webbing cut into two pieces (for the handles).
Firstly unpick all the stitching around the outside of the tea towels and press them.Next fold your tea towel for the outer of the bag in half top to bottom and trim the left hand side and the top so that you have nice straight edges.Measure about 15” from one side of your teatowel and cut off the excess, put this pieces aside. If your tea towel has a pretty side to it, trim it on the other side to make the most of the design. Cut the other tea towel to the same size as this will be your lining, again keeping the piece you’ve removed. Below is a pic of my bag outer on the left and the lining on the right. They are both the same size.Take the pieces you trimmed off and sew the two strips together with right sides together, press the seam open as it’s less bulky.Trim this piece back so that it’s about 7 1/2” x 15”. Because the size of tea towels generally differ so much these are only approximate measurements … this piece is for the pocket so it really just needs to be ‘pocket sized’ .
Next you’ll need to fold the bottom of this piece up to the top and sew up each side. Turn the pocket right sides out then topstitch about 1/4” from the top (folded edge). Centre the pocket 2” from the top of the bag outer and mark the bag outer with a dot 1/2” from the bottom raw edge – on both sides of the pocket, with a frixion pen (or one that isn’t permanent). Remove the pocket and draw a line between the two dots.Place the raw edge of the pocket on the drawn line with the right side of the pocket facing the right side of the bag outer. Pin it in place and sew it to the bag with about a 1/4” seam allowance from the raw edge. Zig Zag along the raw edge when your done to prevent fraying.Flip the pocket up and sew along each side about 1/8” from the seam to secure the pocket to the bag front.With right sides together bring the bottom of the bag outer to the top and sew along each side with about 1/4” seam allowance. Press lightly along the bottom fold.To create a base for the bag you’ll need to flatten out each corner of the bag so that the side seam lines up with the pressed crease inside the bag. This will ensure a neat 45 degree angle. Measure 2” from the point and draw a line. Pin in place and sew across this line. Do the same for the other side. You can then cut the points off leaving a 1/4” seam allowance.
Make the bag lining up the same way … minus the pocket . But don’t turn it right side out.
Position the handles on each side of the bag outer as shown below – once the front ones are pinned on you can line up the ones on the back with them. My handles are about 1/2 metre (18”) each as I like to be able to sling my bag over my shoulder. But you can make yours any length you like.Slip the bag outer inside the lining , right sides will be together. Line up the side seams and pin the two pieces together. Pin all the way around the top of the bag. Sew all the way around leaving about 4 or 5 inches open to turn the bag right sides out.Once the bag is turned then you can push the lining into the inside of the bag outer and pin all the way around the top of the bag ready to topstitch it. Do one row of stitching about 1/8” from the top and another about 1/4” below that one.Sew a cute button to the front of the pocket, just to make it pretty …And you’re done !!!!!
I hope you enjoy making your tea towel bags, I’ve had a blast bringing the tut to you, I love to share fun ideas. Feel free to send me a piccy of your creations, I’d love to see them!!!!