How to Box Corners in a Tote

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Editor’s Note: With the kids back-to-school, there’s more time to sew! From Sept. 6-15, we’ll be celebrating “back-to-school” season in a number of different ways — from ideas for sewing for children to inspiration for sewing for yourself!

Looking for an excuse to root through your fabric stash and spend the afternoon sewing? You can never go wrong with a bag or tote! Bags are the perfect “me time” project or gift, and they generally aren’t that difficult to construct. One of our favorite tote bag designs is Missy Billingsley’s “Calypso Tote.” Made in a cheery blend of mix and match fabrics, its a wonderful project to make yourself or as a gift for a student or teacher. It’s a great size for carrying items to class or work and is even big enough to hold some laptop computers!

Calypso Tote

Calypso Tote

Below, follow Missy’s instructions for boxing corners in a tote as featured on her Calypso Tote DVD:

1. To box corners in tote, line up side seam to center fold on bottom and flatten out creating a triangle (fig. 1).

Figure 1

Figure 1

2. Measure 2 inches from point and mark a line across the triangle. Slide hand up inside corner to make sure fabric is smoothed out nicely. Stitch across this line to box the corners.

3. Repeat for both corners in lining and both corners in outer tote fabric.

4. Once you have boxed the four corners, fold the point up to the side seam along the stitched line and hand stitch/tack in place (fig. 2). This will help the tote to stand up better.

Figure 2

Figure 2

5. Turn outer tote right sides out.

6. Place lining inside outer tote, wrong sides together and pin together along top edge. Pin side seams first, then the middle and work to each side. This will be very snug and you may need to work the fabrics to keep the edges even. This will make for a nice finish to the tote.

7. Stitching around this top edge about 1/4 inch from the raw edge to baste the pieces together and get rid of the pins. Set aside.

The Calypso Tote DVD – as well as many other bag-makes resources – are 50 percent off in our Back-to-School Sale! Stitch up a bag for yourself, a friend, student or teacher with one of these finds:

Save 50% on almost everything during our Back to School Sale!

We’re hosting a huge “Back to School Sale” in our online store – almost everything is 50 percent off, including the products mentioned above! Click here to shop and discover all the savings!

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We also have 30 specially selected products on sale for $9.14 the entire month of September in honor of National Sewing Month — click here to see a list of products included in this offer!