“Boxing Corners”

Today I started working on another Christmas gift; some custom tote bags for my nephew and his wife to take to the farmer’s market.  They are vegetarians and love to get all their fresh food at local farmer’s markets.  My nephew has even been known to be found playing his guitar and singing as one of the musicians who often provide entertainment for all the shoppers!  I took some time this afternoon to design the bags: deciding on the dimensions and how I wanted the bags to look.  Once the design was complete, I made a list of the cuts of fabric I needed and got busy.

I love projects like this because I am just dealing with rectangles!

I am using unbleached muslin for the bags and their lining.  I wanted the bags to have body, but I didn’t want them to be as structured as the totes I usually make, so I decided to use OESD’s “Fuse and Fleece” as the structure.

This fusible gives just the right amount of structure for these bags.

This gives the material body and a neat appearance but will also allow the bags to be folded and stored.  Since I want the bags to hold a fair amount of items, I decided on a 4 inch base.  To achieve that, I needed to box the corners.  There are a couple ways to go about this, but I decided to make cuts in the bottom of the bags’ fabric, 2 inches high by 2 inches wide.

I marked the bottom corners of the bag and the lining…
then cut them.

Because I cut the 2” x 2” squares on each piece, when I put them together, I will get a four inch base.

Here the front and back of the bag are laid together. They form the 4 inch box for the bottom of the bag.
This is where I will sew the bottom seam.

Once the corners were cut in the totes’ lining and fabric, it was time to start the assembly.  I started by sewing the lining pieces.  Since I want the lining to be a tad smaller than the outer tote, I took a little larger than a half inch seam.  I first sewed the bottom seam, then the side seams.

Having sewn the bottom and side seams, I am ready to create the box.

I then met the bottom seam with each side seam  and sewed them together.

Pinned and ready to sew. The red pin is placed where the bottom and side seams come together.
The box is now sewn.

Remember, my finished box will be a little smaller than 4 inches since this is the lining and I intentionally took a little larger seam allowance.

This is the boxed bottom of the lining. It’s intentionally a tad smaller than 4″. When the bottom seam of the outer tote is sewn and the boxed corners are made, it will be 4 inches exactly.

Once I finish the first bag and am sure I like the way it turns out, I will cut and sew the rest of the bags to that design.  I’ll make sure I include a picture for you in next week’s blog.  Happy sewing!