The journey is almost finished. I started constructing my Tag-Along tote last Thursday. Tomorrow’s the big reveal so we better hurry up and get this thing finished. Oh, and don’t forget I’m entering my tote in the Stitched In Color Shelburne Falls Contest tomorrow.
This is what the tote looked like yesterday.
Let’s Add the Pockets
We are now ready to position the pockets on the inside of the rail fence sandwich. Each pocket must be placed 2″ down from the 12 1/2″ (My modification: 15 1/2″) outside edge. Now grab the 2 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ (My modification: 15 1/2″) inside bottom strip. Turn under both long edges 1/4″, press. The pattern tells us the strip’s measurement, after pressing under 1/4″ on both long edges, should be 32″ x 12 1/2″ (My modification: 15 1/2″). The 32” has to be a typo because the strip started out at 2 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ (My modification: 15 1/2″). I believe they meant to say the strip will end up measuring 2″ x 12 1/2″ (My modification: 15 1/2″). Our newly created bottom strip is now ready to install.
To place the bottom strip in its proper location first place your rail fence sandwich lining side up. Lay the bottom strip, created above, in the center of the project, making sure the bottom edges of the pockets are covered. Once you are satisfied with the placement top-stitch along both long sides of the bottom strip close to the fold line.
We’re Rounding the Corners
After finishing the application of the pocket bottom strip we are told to baste around the rail fence sandwich, then round off the corners. It didn’t make any sense to me to baste around the perimeter first because the corners were going to be trimmed away.
(My modification: I marked and trimmed the corners using a small plate as my template, then cut along my drawn line with my scissors. After I had rounded the corners I basted around the entire outside edge.)
Time to Seal it Up
My rail fence sandwich is now ready for binding. I can’t tell you how excited I am to finish my project. The excitement is barely manageable. Now that I’ve made it to the binding I can hardly stand it.
The binding was really kind of straight forward. The author of the Tag-Along recommended using 2 3/4″ bias binding. While I would agree that bias binding is a must, given the four curves you must maneuver around, I don’t, however, agree with the 2 3/4″ width.
(My modification: I used 2 1/2″ bias binding and I thought it was more than adequate.)
The bias binding was cut from the Crest Blue fabric. The author recommended purchasing a 1/2 yard. I would totally agree with this quantity. However, I will mention that you will have plenty of fabric left over.
The Tag-Along pattern tells you to first stitch the binding onto the inside edge then turn it to the front and stitch down the other edge. For once I did exactly as the pattern instructed. Of course I did add one little step.
(My modification: On the top side of the rail fence sandwich I ran my iron along the binding with the intention of simplifying the stitching process.)
The binding was incredibly easy to sew. As I turned first one corner, then the second corner, then the third corner my heart began to jump. I was ALMOST done! The anticipation grew and grew until finally I was on the home stretch. As I back-stitched a few stitches it was finally evident that I had indeed finished my very first Tag-Along tote. How awesome is that! Of course two small details were left to take care of. First was to see how my iPad and keyboard looked in their brand new tote bag and the second was to take a whole slew of pictures.
That’s A Wrap
Well I can’t believe it! My very first This & That Tag-Along modified tote is complete. All that’s left now is the reveal. I know you would like to see the final project today but you will just have to wait until tomorrow when I will be linking my post with Stitched in Color’s Shelburne Falls Contest. Until then here’s links to my previous posts: