Charm Pack Tote
You will need:
(47) 5” squares + up to 6 more for centre appliqué* (2) 19” squares of wadding (3) 6” x 19” pieces of wadding (cotton gives a floppier bag, polyester tends to make it a little more rigid) 6” x 35” piece of wadding (for handles) 9 ½” square of plain/neutral/co-ordinating fabric (for appliqué background) Small piece of bondaweb or freezer paper (depending on which appliqué method you use!) 1 yard lining fabric (plus extra for any pockets you want to add) Any embellishments you fancy! *If you can’t get charm packs then it’s not a problem -you can cut your own squares! You’ll need about 1 yard of fabric in total but try to use at least 2 different prints – more for a really shabby chic, “scrappy” look!
1. Lay out 16 squares for the front panel of your bag, and 16 for the back. You can arrange them however you choose in a way that is pleasing to you! Take away the 4 middle squares of what will become the front panel of your bag. You’re going to use these to make the appliqué pieces. Sew the four squares together like this
Tip: Press seams of each row in opposite directions – this will make it easier to sew the rows together! Press seams
Press seams 2. Now to make the appliqué block. You will need the 9 ½” square of background fabric for this. Make sure it is pressed and it is helpful to draw a faint ¼” line all the way around the edge of block – this is where your seam will go when you join the block to the other pieces and it is a good guide to help you to position the appliqué pieces centrally. When you trace the appliqué piece, ensure you also trace the cross. This should be lined up on the back of the block you’ve just made, where the stitches cross at the centre, this will give your appliqué piece a nice symmetrical look! Appliqué the design to the centre block using your chosen method (see general directions for more details) Apply any buttons or embellishments on top of the appliqué pieces once they are both in place.
3. That’s the hard bit done! Now let’s make the outside of the bag. Starting with the front panel, join the squares together in rows, like this:
Press the seams in alternate directions, just like you did on the appliqué block. You should now have this: (arrows indicate suggested direction of seam pressing but of course you can press yours the other way if you like!)
Don’t sew the rows together just yet because you’re going to use a quick quilt method, which will save you a bit of time later!
4. Lay the top row, which you’ve just made along the top edge of one of the 19”, squares of wadding, right side up. Lay the middle section on top of that row, with right sides together. Join the rows together with a line of stitches, stitching all the way through the wadding. Like this: Row 1
Fold the middle section back and press. Repeat with the bottom row. You have now made the front panel of your bag and you’ve almost quilted it! You just need to sew down the vertical lines and across the two small horizontal lines of the middle panel to have completely ditch stitched it to the wadding (see below) Sew down here
You can add any more quilting you like – for example, stitching around your appliqué piece will give a nice effect.
5. The back panel is made in exactly the same way as the front but as there is no appliqué panel it is a bit quicker! Start by making 4 rows of 4 blocks and then join them together and to the wadding in the same way as for the front panel. Finish off by stitching down your vertical lines and you’ve completed the back panel!
6. Make the side and bottom panels.
Each panel is made up with 4 squares and a piece of batting (approximately 6”x19”) Again, you can quilt as you go with these – simply take four squares of fabric and join them together and to the batting in the same way as before. For these panels, you’re joining single squares rather than rows.
You will need 3 sets of these – one for each side and one for the bottom of the bag. Trim off any excess wadding from around the edges of each panel. You should now have 5 pieces, quilted and ready to join! Join the front panel to the bottom panel and then the bottom panel to the back so you have one long piece (A). With right sides together, pin one side panel to the front (B). A)
Sew down the length of the side, stopping ¼” from the bottom. Now pin the bottom of the side pale to the bottom of the bag, like this:
Sew along the short edge, stopping ¼” from the end. Finally, pin the long side to the back panel of the bag, and sew along the long edge, from bottom to top.
Repeat with the other side – you almost have a bag!! 7. Make some handles! Sew 7 squares together in a row. Press the seams in one direction. Place this row, right side up on top of the 6”x35” strip of wadding. Cut a piece of lining fabric the same size as the row of squares and position it, right sides together, on top of the 7 square row. Pin down the centre of the piece and sew along both long edges, leaving the short edges open. Trim off the excess wadding from around the edge of this long strip Cut straight along the length of the strip, right down the middle! You now have 2 strips, 2 ½” wide. Sew along the long edges of each strip where you’ve just cut, still leaving the short edges open. Trim wadding and fabric close to the stitches, turn the pieces right side out and press. To give a nice finish, top-stitch ¼” in on each edge of each handle. Pin the handles on the front and back panels of the bag, lining up the raw edges and with right sides together
You can space them how you wish and cut them to the size you like. Pin them and try the bag on – adjust the handles to suit you! When you’re happy with the position and length of the handles, hold them in place by running a line of stitching about 1/8” in – this is just to hold them, they’ll be secured in place later and this row of stitching will be hidden.
8. Time to make the lining. Cut two 18 ½” square pieces from your lining fabric and 3 pieces 5” x 18 ½”. If you would like to add pockets, now is the time to do so.
You can add a large pocket by cutting a piece of lining fabric (or contrasting fabric – this also looks nice!) 18 ½” x 28” and folding it in half with wrong sides together. Top-stitch along the fold. Attach this piece to one of the 18 ½” lining pieces by aligning the bottom raw edge of the pocket with the bottom of the lining piece and pinning or tacking around the edges, leaving the top open. Sew divisions down the pocket as you like. Top Stitch
Pocket Piece Tack & Pin
For a smaller pocket, cut two pieces of fabric to the size you like (remembering to add ¼” all around for seam allowance). Place them together, right sides in and sew all the way around, leaving a 3 inch gap on one side for turning. Clip the corners, turn right side out and press – folding in the edges of the unstitched opening as you do. Top stitch along one long edge. Attach this to the right side of one of the 18 ½” square lining panels but top stitching around the other three sides. Assemble the lining in the same way you assembled the outer bag (see 8) BUT leave a 4” opening on one of the long sides of the bottom panel for turning.
Press all the seams but leave the lining with the wrong sides out.
9. Last bit now! Stuff the outside bag inside the lining so that the right sides are together. Make sure the handles aren’t caught up and adjust the pieces so that the seams line up. Pin all around the top Wrong side of bag
Wrong side of lining
Sew all the way around the top using at least a ¼” seam – you can take a slightly bigger seam if you like. Find the gap in the lining and turn the bag through. Whip stitch the gap closed. Push the lining down inside the bag. Press the edge with an iron and top stitch all the way around. You’re finished!! Fill bag with lovely things, or even better – go shopping!!
The boring bit…(sorry) This is pattern was designed and written by Emma Corbett and Lisa Harper for Buttonberry. We offer it as a free pattern in good faith, please use it for your personal use, or share it with a friend. We don’t even mind if you would like to use it at a group or in a class (although it would be nice to know if you are!). Please don’t resell it though (as if you would!!) as that’s just not cricket!