We are ready to get started sewing! In this post, we’ll demonstrate how to mark the pocket placements, sew the straps, and attach the patch pockets. These steps apply to all Sun Tote sizes.

SEAM ALLOWANCES & PATTERN MARKINGS

Select a sewing needle that matches your fabric weight. A Seam Jumper can be helpful when sewing bulky seams.

A bright orange seam jumper and a package of jeans sewing machine needles are shown on a white background.

Unless noted, the seam allowance included is 3/8” (1 cm) for joined seams. The side seams and bottom seam are sewn as flat felled seams and the bottom corners are sewn with French seams. Don’t worry if these are new sewing techniques, we will help you every step of the way!

Clip or mark the notches indicated by “T” marks. If including pockets, mark the front piece (there are no pocket placement marks on the back piece). The larger pocket is marked on the right side of the front and the smaller pocket is marked on the wrong side of the front. The pocket placements are indicated by “+”. These marks are slightly smaller than your finished pocket size and will be completely covered when attaching the pockets.

SEW THE STRAPS 

Decide if you are sewing one set or both the short and long straps to your tote. If your fabric is thick, only use one set of straps. With the right sides together, fold the straps in half lengthwise. Sew the long side of the strap.

Strap pieces for the Sun Tote sewing pattern are shown on a white background. The top piece is shown folded and pinned on the long edge.

Press the seam open with the seam centered. Turn right side out and press.

Two sewn Sun Tote sewing pattern straps are shown. One is inside out with the seam pressed while the other is turned right side out.

A turning tool or safety pin can be helpful for turning the straps.

A safety pin is shown attached to one end of a Sun Tote sewing pattern strap.

Edgestitch both sides of the straps. You can lengthen your stitch length during this step. Repeat for the second strap and/or the second set. Set the finished straps aside. 

The Sun Tote sewing pattern straps are shown pressed and edgestitched.

PREP THE POCKETS

Press the top in 3/8” (1 cm) wrong sides together. Flip the pocket over so the fabric is right side up. Fold back 1” (2.5 cm) at the fold/notch line, right sides together, and press.

Stitch at 3/8” (1 cm) around the sides and bottom of the pocket. This will secure the top hem and act as a fold guide.

The pressed and turned top edge of the Sun Tote sewing pattern pocket is shown from the wrong side.

Flip the top hem right side out. Press the side seams and hem in 3/8” (1 cm).

Edgestitch the top hem. You can lengthen your stitch length during this step.

The top edge of the Sun Tote sewing pattern pocket is shown pressed and sewn.

Repeat for the other pocket. 

Both Sun Tote sewing pattern pocket pieces are shown with the top edge sewn and other sides pressed.

PIN THE INTERIOR PATCH POCKET 

Pin the smaller interior pocket to the wrong side of the tote front, using the “+” markings for placement. Your pocket will cover the pocket placement markings. 

SEW THE INTERIOR PATCH POCKET 

We start with the interior pocket first and the stitching will be covered after we sew the larger exterior pocket. Edgestitch the pocket in place and then topstitch the pocket at 1/2” (1.25 cm) to enclose the seam allowance. You can lengthen your stitch length during this step. Sew both rows of stitching in one step by following the illustration.

A visual shows where to stitch the interior pocket on the Sun Tote sewing pattern.

Starting at the top right, edgestitch around the pocket and then come back down for the interior topstitch line back to the start. Press the pocket. 

SEW THE EXTERIOR PATCH POCKET 

Pin the larger exterior pocket to the right side of the tote front, using the “+” markings for placement. This will cover the interior pocket stitching.

The top corner of the Sun Tote sewing pattern exterior pocket is shown pinned to the outside.

Repeat the same edgestitching and topstitching. Following the illustration.

A visual shows where to topstitch and attach the Sun Tote sewing pattern exterior pocket.

Press the pocket. 

The exterior piece of the Sun Tote sewing pattern is shown with pocket attached.

Next, we’ll be sewing the bottom and side seams with flat felled seams and finishing the corners with French seams.

Sun Tote Sew Along Posts: Getting Started | Sew the Straps & Pockets | Sew the Flat Felled Seams & French Seams | Attach the Straps & Hem the Top


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