DIY – Lining a tote!

I have this great Etsy tote I picked up at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago.  As a crafty blogger and shopkeeper I was so thrilled to have something with the Etsy name on it!  Normally I use it as my work/school bag.  Over the Christmas holidays I planned on relining it with some fun fabric.  Initailly I was going to use a vintage sheet, but then I thought of better plans for those where they’ll be seen more and settled on this cute little print I was given in one of those loads from a friend.  Those ‘oh I came across this at my house/mom’s/grandmother’s and thought you might be able to use it’ sort of things.   So here are some steps you can take to turn a simple tote you have into something way cooler.

You will need a tote, fabric for lining it, tape measure, scissors, sewing machine and iron.

If you want to follow my Little Miss Fancy Pants steps you’ll also need a zipper.  Just in case you want to take the more adventurous path.

First measure your tote.  Measure the width and length.  My tote has boxed corners so I flattened the bottom out to get an accurate measurement.

My tutorial contains some very technical steps so bear with me.  Mostly it’s me just making up things I think will work along the way.  Don’t worry, they do work.

Lay the tote onto the fabric you’re going to line it with and leave some seam allowance along the top and sides, 1/4 inch is good.

Because of the boxed corners I measured to the seam and added that measurement to the lining fabric.  Then later I had enough material to box the lining as well.  Mine was about 2 1/2 inches so that’s where I made my cut across the bottom of the lining fabric.  Cut down the remaining side to leave the 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Now you have your tote and 2 pieces to line it with.

*If you’re feeling up to adding a zipper I’m going to post those steps tomorrow in a part 2 DIY*

Otherwise carry on here!

Head to the sewing machine, lay the 2 lining pieces right sides together and sew around the sides and bottom, leaving the top open.

Now you will have this big pocket type lining piece (possibly without a zipper).  Can you tell I was screen printing with my lovely emulsion covered thumb?

Fold over the top edge 1/4 inch and press.   I think I need to put ironing board cover on my To Sew list!

If your tote has boxed corners, lay your lining piece under your tote with the top edges lined up where they will be sewn.  Mark off the bottom of the exterior tote so you have a guide line to sew along.  Now note it was late at night and you can see my lovely jammie clad knee.

Fold the bottom of the lining at the mark line to make a squared bottom and sew straight across the tote to create a boxed corner.  You can trim that excess triangle of fabric off or just fold it under.

Now plunk your lining inside the pre-made tote exterior.  Make sure you get the boxed corners down deep in the tote and pushed in at the corners.  Match up the top seams of the lining and tote and pin all around.

Go back to the machine and sew all around the tote top edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance attaching the lining to the tote!

Behold your newly lined tote!

5 Responses to DIY – Lining a tote!

  1. I’m really impressed, Tara! Lining AND a zipper? nice.

  2. Very Nice Job! :)

  3. Pingback: Sew Tara » Blog Archive » DIY – Adding a zippered pocket while lining your tote!

  4. I’ve always wanted to make a lining for my tote I have but I didn’t know how to make it look like it wasn’t one I had to put it in. This is awesome and the bag looks great!

  5. Hey Tara, I mentioned this in my post today! Here is the link: http://yellowbirdyellowbeard.blogspot.com/2011/04/lunas-first-words-yard-sale-finds.html

    Thanks for the tutorial!
    xoxo
    Janee

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