Chamomile Tote, Sew Alongs

The Chamomile Tote Sew Along Day 8: Put Version A Together

Today we are putting our bags together! This part seems weird, but don’t worry, it will work! Start by unzipping your top zipper halfway.

For this step you can either use thread that matches the contrast fabric, or switch threads partway through the side seams so that your thread always matches the fabric you are sewing. Bring the two Outer Body pieces (A) right sides together and match up the sides and bottom edges. Reduce your stitch length slightly. Sew the side seams all the way to the top edge, moving the zipper out of the way and making sure the fabric at the top of the seam is not folded under as you sew.  Sew the bottom seam. Press or crease all seams open. 

To make the boxed bottom, open the bag up at one bottom corner and line up the bottom seam and side seam, right sides together. Pin. Sew across the corner opening. Note: it can be awkward to get a good position to sew your boxed corner. Don’t be shy about squishing the rest of your bag out of the way so that your corner can lay flat as you sew. Check out our video on how to make a boxed corner here:

Trim and grade seam allowances on your boxed corner to reduce bulk. Repeat on the other corner. 

Now, bring the two lining sides right sides together, matching up sides and bottoms. Switch thread to match lining. Sew the side seams, moving the zipper out of the way at the top edge. Sew the bottom seam with a 5/8” seam allowance, leaving an 8” gap in the middle of the seam and backstitching at each end of the gap. Press all seams open, and make sure to get a crisp press on the seam allowance on the bottom gap. 

Create the boxed bottom as you did with the outer body, sewing across the the corner with an 5/8” seam allowance. The larger seam allowance will help the lining fit better into the outer bag. You now have something that looks like this (cute, right?):

Ready for magic? Reach through the gap at the bottom of the lining and the opening in the top zipper (you did unzip it, didn’t you?) and gently pull the outer body through the openings, turning the entire bag right side out. Unzip the zipper all the way, and gently stuff the lining into the outer body. Use a point turner or chopsticks to poke the corners of the bag out.  Mold the bag with your hands to sharpen all of the seams, particularly around the zipper. The zipper may be twisted when you turn your bag- try zipping it make sure it is installed correctly. Here is an animation showing the birth of your bag:

Whew! Take a rest. We are on the home stretch now! We'll see you back here on Monday to insert the bag base and finish up the rest of the bag!