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(c) 2015 Wolfe Quilting LLC by Kelli Wolfe

When I heard about the shop hop pattern invitation and saw the fabrics, I knew I had to make this monster tote! I’ve been wanting something big enough to hold my cutting mat and now I have it. Doesn’t hurt that it will hold all the fabric for any class I want to take.

Size 18 x 17 x 3 (approximately)

Fabric and supplies needed:

Techniques Used:

Rotary cutting, piecing, and machine applique.

Cutting Instructions

Remove selvages from the blue piece of fabric.

Cut from non-border side of blue piece (1 1/4 yard long edge):

Trace one large star and 3 small stars onto the fusible. Iron the large one onto the white fabric and the small ones onto the red fabric. Cut out the stars on the lines.



Cut the 2 blue 5 inch strips to 36″ in length. With wrong side up, iron the pieces in half (long sides together). Open the strip up and working with one side at a time, fold in one raw edge to the center and press; repeat with the other side; then fold together. When this step is done, you should have 2 strips 36″ long and 1 1/4″ wide with the raw edges touching in the center. Open one side and place one strip of duck cloth inside, matching up the ends. Wrap the fabric over the duck cloth and fold closed.

Using blue thread, or the same thread you will use for top stitching around the stars, stitch 1/8 of an inch from the open edge all the way to the end. Then stitch 1/8″ from the other edge. From here you are a couple of options, stitch a 1/4″ in from each edge, or use one of the fancy stitches on your machine and stitch down the center. Repeat for the other strap.

Tote Front

Position your stars on one piece of the blue border fabric and iron in place. Place that piece right side up on top of one of the duck cloth pieces. Using matching or contrasting thread, stitch to outline the stars. I personally like a double blanket stitch, but a regular blanket stitch, satin stitch, or a short zig-zag will work just as well. Since you are stitching on the duck cloth, you shouldn’t need a stabilizer, just be sure to loosen your top tension a bit, that way the bottom thread won’t get pulled to the top. Attach your button to the center of the piece about 4 inches from the top edge.

Add one of the straps to the top edge on the right side of the piece. Be sure you don’t have a twist in the strap. Line up the ends of the strap with the top edge of the piece, the strap will be hanging down towards the bottom of the tote. Center the ends on the tote with at least 5 inches between the straps. Stitch across the ends 3 times (forward, back, forward) to secure them.

Tote Back

Place the second blue piece right side up on top of the other duck cloth piece. Add the strap as you did on the front, making sure the two straps are in the same position on each piece. Put the pieces right sides together to check the placement; stitch in place.

Fold the cording in half and stitch the loop end to the top edge of the piece, centered between the straps. The cord ends should hang to the bottom of the piece, similar to the straps. Tie a knot in the ends to keep them from unraveling.

Tote Body

Place the front piece on your work surface, right side up. Place the other blue piece right side down on top of the front piece. Check to be sure the border lines up at the edges and that the straps and cord are not in the seam allowance. This is the tote sandwich. I like a bigger seam width for bags so I’ll use the edge of a large sewing foot (i.e. opened toed embroidery), which is 3/8″ to 1/2″. Whatever you use is fine, just make it consistent between the tote pieces. Stitch around the sides and bottom edges of the bag, leaving the top open.

To give the tote depth we need to create a pleat in the bottom. With the piece wrong-side-out, hold one of the bottom corners and push the side seam down to lie on top of the bottom seam, make sure the sides are poofed out. Mark a line from side to side 2 inches in from the point. Sew across this line 3 times (forward, back, forward) . Repeat on the other side. Cut the corners off leaving 3/8 to 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Tote Lining

Now it’s time to make the pockets. Start with one of the white pieces, folded in half hot dog style, right sides together (the piece should be 18″ by 4 1/2″). Start stitching, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance at the folded edge and stitch around to about one third of the way to the bottom center. Pick up the needle and presser foot and move forward leaving about 4 inches unstitched. Continue stitching to the opposite side of the folder edge from where you started. Clip the corners, turn the piece inside out through the opening, and press. Repeat for the other white piece.

Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the red lining pieces. On the interfacing side, use a pencil to write “top” on one of the long edges; do this on both lining pieces. Place one of the pieces, right side up, with the “top” edge away from you on your work surface. Place one of the pocket pieces on top of the lining with the folded edge away from you. Center the pocket from left to right and put the top edge of the pocket about 5 inches from the top edge of the lining. Pin in place. Use a temporary marker or chalk to mark sections in the pocket by drawing one line about 2 inches from one side of the pocket and another line about 5 inches from the other side. Top stitch the pocket to the lining, back stitching at the top edges and stitching up from the bottom to the top and back down on the drawn lines as you go around the pocket. Repeat for the other lining piece.

After the pockets have been attached, place the 2 lining pieces right sides together and “top” edges together. Using the same seam allowance as the tote body, stitch around the sides and bottom edges of the pieces. Create the pleat the same as you did for the body.


Turn the tote body right side out. Leave the lining wrong side out. Put the body inside of the lining, right sides should be facing each other. Line up the top edges and pin making sure to match the side seams. I like a sturdy top, so I use a 5/8″ to 1 inch seam allowance. Starting on the front side, with the strap closest to the side seam in your sewing direction, back stitch on the strap and continue around the bag until you get to the last front strap back stitching over the strap to secure. You should be left with a 5 inch hole in the top of the tote. This is where we are going to pull the tote through to turn it right side out.

Once you have the tote right side out, straighten the top edge, pinning as needed, to make a sharp edge. Ensure the opening is folded over straight and not puckered out; the opening should be invisible. Starting on one of the side seams (to hide the start/stop) top stitch around the bag 1/4 inch from the edge. Make another round of stitching 3/8″ from the edge.

Enjoy your new Starry Eyed Shop Hop Tote by taking it shopping!