Innovative Bags & Totes by Nancy Zieman

What’s the difference between a handbag and a tote? Namely, space! The featured Innovative Bags & Totes technique that I’d like to share with you is the Drawcord-Top Bag. It’s this week’s Sewing With Nancy streaming video feature. Click here to watch the TV program. If you missed the first program of the series, click here to watch the first episode online.

Start with a basic handbag pattern or template

I used the Trace ‘n Create Bag Template—City Bag Collection.

Trace 'n Create Bag Template—City Bag Collection by Nancy Zieman

Here’s one of the City Bag versions without the drawcord-top conversion. It’s a handbag size, not tote size! Adding the drawcord-top is like adding a second story to a house.

Trace 'n Create Bag Template–City Bag Collection Nancy Zieman

The extras

You’ll need extra fabric and supplies. Find specific details in the book that accompanies this series. Here’s a quick review:

  • Two packages of 1″ Create-a-Strap
  • 1/2 to 3/4 yards of additional fabric (Yardage will vary depending upon size of bag or tote.)
  • Two yards of drawcord

Innovative changes

When you watch the online video, DVD, or TV show on PBS, you’ll learn exactly how to make the updates to a basic handbag pattern. Here’s an overview!

  •  Instead of adding straps at the top of bag as indicated on pattern/template, add the straps to the body of the bag.

  • Create a drawcord closure. Measure the top width of front bag. Example 16″. Cut two rectangles the width (16″) x the length measurement + 2″  (18″).
  • Create the tote part of the bag with upper casing as detailed in the online video and Innovative Bags & Totes book.

  • Stitch the drawcord section to the lining.

 It took me three tries to get the right dimensions! (Anybody need a drawcord bag that’s not quite right?)

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What’s your favorite bag or tote from the series?

For a chance to win a copy of the Innovative Bags & Totes book, let me know which bag or tote option is your favorite from either the first or second episode. (Watch the show online in order to vote!) Leave a comment below and we’ll post the random winner on March 6th.

Innovative Bags & Totes

Watch online or on your iPad!

Watch Sewing With Nancy online,  "Innovative Bags and Totes."Bye for now,

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