Chamomile Tote, Sew Alongs

The Chamomile Tote Sew Along Day 9: Insert the Bag Base and Finish the Bag

Today we are finishing up our Chamomile Totes! Thanks for hanging in there with me- hopefully it will all be worth it in the end. All that is left to do is insert the bag base and bag feet, close up the bottom gap, and topstitch the top zipper. Ready?

Double check the measurement of the plastic embroidery mesh to make sure it matches the measurement of the bottom of the bag. Trim to fit if needed. You may choose to round the edges of your plastic mesh and get rid of any sharp edges to reduce friction and wear and tear over time. This will be your bag base. Mark the the placement for the bag feet on both the Outer Body (A) as well as on the bag base, 3/4” in from each corner. 

Using a seam ripper or scissors, poke a small hole through each of the markings on the Outer Body (A)  (you will be puncturing the contrast fabric and outer body fabric together) and bag base then insert the bag base through the 8” gap in the bottom of the Lining Body. Insert the prongs of the bag feet into the holes in the Outer Body (A) and bag base. Reach inside the lining gap to spread out the prongs on the bag feet and press them flush with the bag base.

Here is a nice little video from our Benjamin Dopp Kit Sew Along that shows how to insert a bag base and bag feet:

Slip stitch the bottom lining gap closed by hand or sew by machine. Here is a video demonstrating how to sew the gap closed by hand:

Now to topstitch: make sure the zipper tabs and handles are clear of the top edge of the bag. Also check that the seams of the outer body and the lining facing are matching up nicely, and secure with a clip to keep them in place. Use thread that matches the Outer Body fabric. Topstitch 1/8” away from the top edge of the bag. You most likely will not need a zipper foot, and the stitching will look better with a regular foot. The topstitching will go right along the zipper tape until you near the side seam. At this point, the zipper goes up out of the top of the bag, and the topstitching continues around the side seam. Note: On my sample I used contrast fabric for the bag's facing. Since making the sample, we have changed the pattern to have the lining facing match the outer body fabric instead. 

This last step is optional (but I do recommend it if you are going to loading up your bag with lots of stuff)- see how you like the way your bag looks when you pick it up by the handles. If you would like it to keep its shape a little bit more when picked up, switch your top thread to match the color of the webbing and stitch all four webbing handles to the top of the bag right at the topstitching line, backstitching at the start and finish of the stitching.

And with that, YOU ARE DONE! You can be very proud for having made quite a complicated bag! I would love to see pictures of your finished projects- you can email them to me at or post your pictures on Instagram (and tag us using our handle @redrabbitmercantile). 

Thanks for joining the Sew Along!