A while back, I saw some black and white duck cloth printed with cartoon giraffes. As soon as I saw it, I saw a completed tote bag in my head that I wanted to make for my sister. That sounds like a good thing, but, in general, if I see in my head the way I want it to look, I’m very likely to never find a pattern even close to what I want.
The pattern I wanted was a two-toned unlined tote. Seems simple, but no go on finding a pattern. So, I thought I’d try to give a go at making it myself. The fabric was way too cute to learn on, so I found some cute owl duck cloth (haha!) with a matching solid to make a prototype with. This post isn’t really about either bag, actually. (I’ll share it with you soon, I promise! Both bags are too cute not to share. 🙂 ) This post is about learning the seams I needed to construct the bags.
The bag consisted of joining solid color cloth with printed (to get the two-toned part), making the handles and then sewing the sides. To join the solid and the print and also to join the handle section on, I wanted to use a flat fell seam. To finish the side seams, I wanted to use a french seam. For those unfamiliar with those types of seams, they are two seams that are self-finishing: there’s no raw edges with the seam is complete. Since I had never done these seams before, I did some practice pieces to figure it all out.
This is a picture of the the flat fell practice seam. For those observant ones among you, you may notice that the side labeled the “back” of the seam in the picture is the front of the fabric. Like I said, this was a learning curve for me. The labels are correct, I put the fabric together incorrectly to start the seam.
If you look at a pair of jeans, the flat fell seam is what the side seams of jeans are constructed with. After this journey, I have much more respect for what goes into jeans! This seam can be tricky, but I like how it turns out.
The next seam I practiced was the french seam. It was much easier than the flat fell. The main difference is that the french seam leaves a “flap” of sorts when it’s done. (In comparison, the “flat” part of flat fell makes sense now.) The french seam makes more sense to me to use on seams like side seams or other seams like that where the flap won’t cause an issue.
That’s all for the technical learning curve stuff. In the next post, I’ll show off the finished totes!