Letter M tote bag

M Is For … Bag

Pattern  Self drafted
Fabric exterior: Michael Miller Cha Cha Stripe Watermelon cottoninterior: Dark brown cotton twillPocket: Pink striped cotton

Inspired by an image of a magazine rack styled in the shape of the letter M, I drafted this bag as a gift for my sister (whose first initial is also M). I initially intended to construct it in solid colours, but when I came upon this piece of striped cotton deep in my fabric stash I couldn’t resist using it.

Construction Notes: I designed the bag with a sturdy cotton twill lining to give structure, and a lighter cotton shell, with cut-outs used to outline the initial M. With the lining seam exposed along the base, I chose to encase this seam in a strip of straight-cut binding from the same fabric, and used a piece of textured ribbon to hide the top hem of the lining where it peeks out at the top of each side. Tapered hems along the cut-out shapes were then over-stitched to the lining; at the apex of the cuts I found it impossible to completely mask the frayed edge, but hopefully the over-stitching keeps this secure. I hadn’t quite planned the position of the inner pocket sufficiently to avoid hand-sewing a small stretch of the folded hem of one of the cuts, but this was a small issue, and generally the construction was straightforward.

The bag was finished in mid-December, but I have held back this post for a couple of weeks to avoid any chance of spoiling the surprise for my sister!

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