Wednesday 16 November 2011

Candy Cane Mini Tote Bag Tutorial

My new Candy Cane Love pattern pdf includes two canes in mirror image which join together to make a candy cane heart.  The block is perfect for a mini tote bag.

A little bag perfect for putting filling with treats or a present in itself!  The finished tote bag is 7.5" Square.  There is a gadget at the bottom of the post for printing this pattern with and without the photos.
To make a Mini Tote you will need:
For the front- 7"x7" Square Candy Cane heart block (pattern available to buy here).  You could use any quilt block 7" square. 
Sashing strips for the front blocks-2 strips 1" x 7" and 2 strips 1"x 8"from a co-ordinating fabric
For the back-8"x8"Square from the same co-ordinating fabric as the strips
For the Straps- Cut 2 strips 3"x 8" from same co-ordinating fabric
Lining-Cut 2 squares 8"x8", contrasting fabric
Fusible Fleece- 2 squares  8"x8".  I used Vilene 630 fleece interlining (supplied by Julia at Gone to Earth).  You could also use cotton batting or interfacing.
Sewing supplies-thread, rotary cutter etc.
Step 1- Sashing the front
Stitch sashing strips to the top and bottom of the 7" square block.  Press seams away from the block.  Repeat adding sashing strips to the left and right sides.  Block should now be 8 x 8".  
Step 2- Making the Handles
Take the 3" x 8" handle strips and fold length ways so the long edges meet and press.  Open out and bring both long outer edges in towards the centre fold.  Leave a small gap, less than 1/8 inch between them, press again creating fold on the outer long edges. Bring the folds together and stitch as close as you can to the outer edge.  Repeat for the other handle.
Step 3- Adding the Handles
Fuse fleece/interfacing to the wrong side of the front and back bag pieces.  If you are using batting you could use basting spray or tack/baste your batting to the front and back pieces.  Mark the centre of the top front and back bag pieces (right side facing) with a pin.  Place handles an inch either side of the pin so that each handle loop is lying downwards on the bag.  Stitch along the top edge to secure the handles 1/8 inch from the outer edge.   
Step 4- Making Bag Outer and Lining
Take the front and back bag pieces with handles attached, with right sides together, stitch 1/4" seam along side, bottom and side edge.  Use very small stitches around the bottom corners and trim the corners.  Turn through to the right side.  Press side seams open at the top of the bag-this is to make seam matching easier when you stitch the bag outer and lining together.  Place the lining squares right sides together and stitch from the top edge, down the side and a little way accross the bottom, securing the seam at this point.  Leave a 4" gap at the bottom to turn the bag through in the next stage.  Repeat on the other side seam.  Trim corners.  Press seams open at the top of the lining side seams.  Leave the lining with the wrong side outwards.
Step 5- Joining Outer bag and Lining
Place the outer bag inside the lining so the right sides are facing each other.  Use the open side seams to match up the outer and lining as in the picture, use pins to hold in place.  The handles should be lying downwards.
Stitch all around the top edges sewing through the lining and bag outer with a 1/4" seam.  Turn the bag through the 4"opening in the lining.  Press.  Close the opening with ladder stitch or by machine.  Top stitch around the top edge of the tote bag.  Fill with goodies and get ready to give- you weren't keeping it for yourself were you?
sib blog


  1. That is just so cute. And I love the idea of a little gift bag. Your patterns are just so nice. Great artistry!

  2. Your patterns are great! Thanks for the tutorial, the mini tote is super cute.

  3. oh my goodness! this is just too cute!

  4. Kerry, this is adorable! I have been needing a cute project and this is just perfect. Thanks so very much!

  5. Just came over from Amy having seen her lovely stocking - it is really original pattern, and I love your bag too!

    Pomona x

  6. Yes, I was thinking of keeping it for myself but I won't.hah.ah.aa..I like the idea of a potholder!
    The candy cane is just super cute.

  7. Another great pattern and the little bag is a wonderful idea!!

  8. i just love it kerry! i am going to buy this pattern tonight. i love it.

  9. I wish I had time for this project this year. SO CUTE.

  10. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [18 Nov 02:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  11. Thank you for the fun idea&tutorial, brightened up my day to read your post first thing in the morning! :)

  12. awesome!!!!
    thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Nice and easy tutorial. Thanks for sharing :)

  14. Off to the US and then I will definitely make thes gorgeous little candy canes!
    Happy weekend.

  15. This would make a perfect gift bag, and the candy canes will be just right for using up my Christmas stocking scraps!


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