I am very good at making tote bags, but not very good at the handles. Any tips or instructions?
By Sam from MO
Have you checked my tote bag directions? Daisy pattern fabric. It was posted in april-ish: www.thriftyfun.com/
If you plan to carry a lot, you can make the straps all the way around the bottom, using just a longer strip of fabric. If you lay the fabric of the bag down and pin the straps around the entire fabric and sew them when the fabric is flat.
You can even out the load with the extra support from the bottom.
Take a piece of fabric about 4 inches wide by however you want long. Put right together and sew long side and one short end. Then turn inside out using wodden spoon handle or some thing. Sew other short end shut. Then sew some rows the long way. Done
You can buy nylon woven strapping from fabric stores by the yard. This is what is used for backpack straps.
Don''t bother turning the handles inside out. Sew them right the first time. Use wide strip and fold raw edges in pin and sew shut. I stagger seam as photo shows, but this comes with a price.
When I make handles, I fold the outer edge in to the center on both sides (the raw edges then meet). This is done down the lenth of the handle. Then the whole thing is folded in half, and stitched --close to the edge. Now all the raw edges are hidden, and you have a nice sturdy handle to sew onto your bag that is already right side out!
Pat in Michigan
If you want a more sturdy handle with a little cushioning,here is the way I make handles for my nicer tote bags and for purses: Cut your fabric strips 4 inches by the length you want for a narrow handle(1 inch.)For a wider handle cut it 6 inches by the length you wish( 1 1/2 inches)Next you will need iron-on fusible fleece. This is not very thick but is dense. cut two strips for each handle a little shy of 7/8"wide for the narrow handle and 1 3/8 wide for the wide handle.