You’re back! Are you ready to get to work? Time to make progress on our Tag-Along tote for the Stitched In Color Shelburne Falls Contest.
We Need Handles
A decked-out tote bag needs handles and this one is no exception. There are two handles, each measuring 7″ x 14.” The fabric I chose for my handles is the Circle Square Lilac. Fused to the wrong side (ws) is a light-weight fusible interfacing cut the same size as the fabric.
The interfacing, just as with the Velcro, came from my stash. The interfacing was found tucked inside a box. When I removed it from storage it had obvious folds. Jokingly I thought how nice it would be to press out the creases. Of course that would be a terrible idea. What a disaster that would be. Without any challenges, I fused the interfacing onto the Circle Square Lilac.
What Did That Say?
Have you ever read something over and over again yet still not understand what it says? I have, multiple times. The next steps, in creating the handles, were a little confusing. The printed words say, “With wrong sides together (wst) fold long edges of handle rectangle to meet in the center. Press. Fold in half and press. Fold in half again and top stitch . . .” They lost me after the first “press.” Here’s how I interpreted the instructions the first time:
1. I placed my first piece of fabric on my pressing surface (rsd).
2. Next I folded each long edge in toward the center line (wst) and pressed.
3. Next I folded the strip in half by meeting up the two long edges and pressing.
4. Again I folded it in half by meeting up the two long edges and pressing.
This method seemed a bit odd. On one edge of the handle was a nice fold. On the other there were multiple folds. I wasn’t at all happy with the outcome. Some how it just didn’t seem right. Either I totally misread the directions or there just had to be a much better way. It didn’t really matter who had the issue. I just knew I had to change it.
Let’s Do That Again
I read and re-read the instructions again. After digesting them I decided to do things a bit different. Here’s how I approached it the second time:
1. With my fabric flat on my pressing surface, (rsd), I folded one long edge in toward the center and pressed.
Then I did the same thing to the other long edge.
2. Starting on the same side I used in step one above, I folded that edge in toward the center again and pressed. I repeated the same with the other long edge.
3. Finally, I folded the first long edge over to meet the second long edge and pressed.
The end result gave me a closed fold on one edge and two folded edges on the other one. On top of that it looked much neater and was much easier to make than my first attempt. I repeated the same three steps with the second handle. With both handles neatly folded and pressed I top stitched them as directed.
After completing the construction of the handles there was one last step to do. All that was left was their installation onto the rail fence sandwich. If I had followed the instructions as printed, which I seldom do, I was told to pin the handles to the designated edge. I didn’t really like the idea of using the pins so I basted them in place.
Here’s a photo of my Modified Tag-Along as it appears now.
My Tag-Along tote has come a long way since Day 1. Left on our list of things to do are pockets, tab closures, binding and the very exciting reveal. It’s been so fun watching the transformation. With only three days left I can’t wait until the reveal. No sense getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s take one day at a time.
That’s all for today! See you next time. Oh, if you are interested in reading the previous posts for this project you may find links to them here: