1 yard each of cotton fabric (This is the flower and stripe fabric I used)
1/2 yard solid color fabric (this is the yellow)
2 zippers – 2-”-22″
medium to heavy weight interfacing (I just used what I had on hand)
For reference, this is what I will refer to the pockets as:
First, cut to pieces for the main part of your tote, being the outside (flower) and the inside (stripe). This piece, with 1/2 inch seam allowance is 32″x15″. Cut 2 large pockets (both flower fabric) 13.5″x15″. Cut 1 medium pocket (yellow) 7″x15″. Cut one Pen pocket (stripe) 4″x15″. Cut two straps (stripe)31″X5″. you can make these longer or shorter as you need. Cut 8* pieces to attack to the zipper (yellow) 18″x3″ (this gives you a bit of room to play with).
*I only did 4 pieces, but 8 would look better and give more stability because you will have fabric on both the outside and inside of the zipper.
Cut interfacing an inch smaller than each measurement as your above pieces for EACH piece EXCEPT the zipper pieces. Example, for your two large pockets, cut 2 pieces of interfacing 12.5″x14″.
3. More ironing. iron 1/2 inch seams on pen pocket and medium pocket.
4. top stitch the tops of all of your pockets.
5. Marking. Lay the pen pocket on top of the medium pocket. Starting at the left side of the pen pocket, make a mark 2″ from the edge (this is giving you that 1/2″ seam allowance for later). Then make three more marks 1.5″ apart.
7. Attaching large pocket. Now lay your medium pocket on top of one of your large pockets and fold the pen pocket out of the way.
11. Now take the pockets that you just sewed and lay them on top of your large stripe piece that you just ironed. Lay it 2″ down from the top of your raw edge on your large piece. First, fold under the bottom of your pockets that you previously ironed, making sure the pen pocket seam covers the other pockets as pictures above. This way, you don’t see a sandwich of fabric, just one fold. Top stitch this to the large piece. Just roll the other side of the large piece so it is out of your way.
You should now have this:
Set this piece aside for now.
14. ZIPPERS! This is much dreaded for a lot of people, but hang in there, it isn’t that bad… really!
First, lay your zipper down, right side up and place one of your yellow pieces of fabric on top (right sides together).
Pin this and sew it down using your zipper foot. Don’t be intimidated… this is really not hard! You can so do this!
18. now, here is the part I do not have pictures for because i didn’t do this step, but should have (forgot to). On the wrong side of your zipper, attach two more strips in the same fashion as above. this way you will have fabric on both sides. There may be an easier way of doing this, but this is how I did it. If anyone has tips on how to make this easier, let me know! If you want to skip putting fabric on the back side of the zipper, simply top stitch the fabric down to the zipper at this stage… that’s what I did.
19. Repeat on the other zipper.
23. Sew your straps to the large piece you sewed the pockets to. Go over a bunch of times to make it secure enough to hold weight. You may even want to sew a box shape over the strap. I sewed my straps in about 3 inches from each side.
25. now you’re going to take the large piece that has all of your pockets sewn on and fold in the corner where your zipper will be. You could make a mitered edge, but I forgot to so this is what I did:
27. Now turn the zipper so it goes down the middle of the bag on the back side of the large piece.
28. now unzip your zipper and do the other side.