Looking for a quick, yet creative sewing project for this summer? Why not use a super-sized tote pattern, changing the pockets from simple to sensational!

The directions given fit the pocket dimensions of McCall’s#6296, yet you could easily adapt this technique to fit any other tote pattern. Since the technique is so adaptable, I’ve included it in my Creative Designer Bag Sewing series.

Here’re the steps:

•           Cut the pocket pattern pieces from a lightweight cotton fabric. It will be the foundation of the patchwork—you’ll never see it when the tote is complete. So use a remnant!

•           Each patchwork section is created from seven strips. Cut crosswise strips from leftover fabric: 2″ and 1″ crosswise strips.

•           Arrange in a pleasing order, alternating 2″ and 1″ strips.

•           Cut two strips for each row.

Row 1: Cut two 2″ crosswise strips

Row 2: Cut two 1″ crosswise strips

Row 3: Cut two 2″ crosswise strips

Row 4: Cut two 1″ crosswise strips

Row 5: Cut two 2″ crosswise strips

Row 6: Cut two 1″ crosswise strips

Row 7: Cut two 2″ crosswise strips

The layout of the patchwork design is a personal choice. Take a little time to play with the order to make certain it is to your liking!

•           Cut 18; 3-1/2″ squares for the prairie points. Fold in half, wrong sides together. Fold outside corners to center; press. Either side of the prairie point may be used as the right side.

•           Mark the center of each pocket section on right side with chalk or a washable marking pen. Pin strip from Row 7, wrong side of strip to right side of pocket along lower edge of pocket. Pin one prairie point along the top edge of fabric strip and at center.

•           Pin a strip from Row 6 along top of Row 7, right sides together. Stitch a 1/4″ seam.






•           Fold up strip. Press. Trim off excess fabric along sides.






•           Align strip from Row 5 along top of Row 6, right sides together. Stitch 1/4″ seam. Fold up strip. Press. Trim off excess fabric along sides.

•           Pin three prairie points along top edge of Row 5 as illustrated.






•           Align strip from Row 4 along top of Row 5, right sides together. Stitch 1/4″ seam. Fold up strip. Press. Trim off excess fabric along sides.











•           Align strip from Row 3 along top of Row 4, right sides together. Stitch 1/4″ seam. Fold up strip. Press. Trim off excess fabric along sides.






•           Pin five prairie points along edge of Row 3 as illustrated.

•           Add rows 2 and 1 following the  same process.

•           Repeat strip piecing technique on each side pocket. Adding prairie points is optional. Create pockets for each side of the tote.

Now, just finish the tote using the instructions. Ta-da! A sensational pocket!

This super-sized tote is ideal for portable sewing, knitting, or craft projects. The pattern includes a removable organizer! Fun to make, practical to use. Hmm, detailing the organizer might be another blog post. What do you think?

 


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Bye for now,


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