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3 Tips to make your Ingenious Tote (and other handmade bags) even better!

Hi everyone 🙂

Today I’m going to give you some helpful tips and tricks to make your Ingenious Tote (or other bag) even better!

3 tips for your ingenious tote

1. Ensure longevity of your bag

The Ingenious Tote involves cutting/creating holes in your fabric to insert bag feet, magnetic snaps and rivets.  I don’t know about you, but I like to apply FrayStop to each hole I make in my fabric before applying the hardware to the bag.

I use this brand of FrayStop, not for any particular reason,
it’s just the one they had for sale at my local Spotlight or Lincraft.
You should be able to get FrayStop/FrayCheck at any store that sells sewing supplies 🙂

Using FrayStop on all holes made in your bag ensures the life of that bag is a little longer.

2. Reduce your sewing time
I’m not going to lie to you, the Ingenious Tote is a BIG sew…it can take a big chunk of time!  It’s because of all those pesky zip pockets ;P

To reduce the time it takes to make the Ingenious Tote, I like to sew all my zip pockets in an assembly line.  So when I sew them I make the 2 large Zip pockets, then the 4 small zip pockets all together.

To do this I:

  • Lay all the main bodies out in front of me
  • Lay the pocket pieces face down on top (according to the measurements given in the pattern)
  • Draw all my boxes for my welt zip pockets
  • Sew all my boxes
  • Cut all my zip seams
  • Push all my zip pockets through and press them
  • Glue baste all my zips in place
  • Sew all my zips in place
  • Fold and press the pocket fabric in place and
  • Sew all the pockets to finish.

 

When I wright it all out it seems LONG…but it really does go much faster when doing ALL 6 zip pockets in the Ingenious Tote in a production line 🙂

I also often use the production line method for the 4 side gusset pockets too 🙂

 

3. Give your non reversible handles a different look
One of my lovely testers (Melisa) decided to give her non-reversible handles a different look, and I thought you might like to do this too?!  So I thought I would let you know what she did 😉

To achieve this look, when completing step 10 in the pattern, instead of measuring an marking 7″ from each short edge, measure and mark 3″ from each short edge.  Then clip and sew as per the instructions in your pattern…and you will achieve handles that look like this:

I hope you have found these tips and tricks helpful!
If you don’t own the Ingenious Tote Pattern, and would like to it is available for purchase from my shopEtsy or Craftsy

Happy Sewing!
Emma

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