Florida Gem Tote A Bag Makeover Inspiration by Nancy Zieman

Welcome to my fourth installment in Clover’s Bag Makeovers Series. This time with the Trace ‘n Create Bag Templates—Florida Tote Collection  gets a makeover.

First introduced in 2010, the two templates included in the package can be used to make six style options. The bag featured below is the original Florida Key West Plus Tote. Whether you’re vacationing or running errands—this roomy tote is just the right fit, all while merging function and style.

Florida Gem Tote Makeover features

Don’t be limited by the six options given in the instructions—there’s more, much more. The center panel of the tote is an ideal palette to showcase fabric or an embellishment. It’s a “gem” of a tote style that provides great design potential.

Florida Gem Tote Makeover Steps

  • Start with Clover’s Trace ‘n Create Bag Templates—the Florida Tote Collection: Key West Plus Style B. Gather the fabric and notions listed on the package back.

  • For additional designer touches, I added:

–       Clover’s Fuse ‘N Bind

–       Four coordinating fat quarters for center Dresden panels

–       1/2 yd. coordinating fabric for piping, binding, and straps

–       1/2 yd. Pellon® Fleece

–       1 yd. Pellon® Peltex® Ultra Firm Sew-in Stabilizer

  • Follow the Florida Tote Collection instructions: Press interfacing the outer bag sides and side pocket fabrics, trace the templates, and then cut out the Key West Plus Bag—Style B. The instructions will guide you through the easy steps of bag assembly.  Note: Do not cut outer bag center panels or outer bag center pocket. 

  • Create the center panels: Measure 10-3/4” from bottom of Dresden Wedge—Template A. Mark a cutting placement line on the template with piece of tape.

  • Trace and cut four Dresden wedges from each of three coordinating fat quarters. Cut two Dresden wedges from the one remaining fat quarter.

  • Assemble and stitch seven Dresden wedges for the bag front center patchwork panel. Alternate Dresden shape to create a parallelogram shape. Repeat for the back.
  • Place a layer of Pellon® Fleece behind center patchwork panels.

  • For a designer touch, topstitch or “quilt” each Dresden wedge, 1/4” from seams. The unique look of hand quilting was created with Baby Lock’s Sashiko 2 machine.

  • Position Florida Tote Template A to center panel, trace and trim. Baste layers together close to edge. Repeat for the back.
  • Follow the Florida Tote Collection instructions for easy assembly of side panels and side pockets. Bind the top edges of the pocket for additional style. Use Clover’s Fuse ‘N Bind Cut a 2” x 30” fabric strip and press Fuse ‘N Bind to center of strip.

  • Follow the instructions on the Fuse ‘N Bind package and attach binding to pocket top edges.

  • “Pin” the layers together with Clover’s Wonder Clips. The clips are easy to use yet securely hold multiple layers together.

  • Add an “inner” snap to the lining. This is a technique I developed after the Trace ‘n Create Bag Templates—Florida Tote Collection was released.

  • Cut two 1” x 2” Rectangles Clover’s Shape ‘n Create to use as a backing for the magnetic snap.
  • Stitch Shape ‘n Create rectangles to lining wrong side at center/top front and center/top back.

  • Follow the Florida Tote Collection instructions to stitch lining side seams, lower seam, and gussets.
  • After inserting the lining and basting the layers together, finish the top edge with Clover’s Fuse ‘N Bind. Cut a 2” x 42” fabric strip and press Fuse ‘N Bind to center of strip.

  • Follow the instructions on the Fuse ‘N Bind package and attach binding to bag top edge.

  • Add a designer touch with contrasting strap lining. Cut 1-1/2” strips, thread them through Clover’s 3/4” Bias Tape Maker, and press. Instant trim to accent your bag straps and strap connectors!

  • Cut two shoulder straps 24” to 28”—I prefer the 28” length. Cut four 4-1/2” strap connectors from remaining strap. Slide Clover’s 1-5/8” O-Rings onto one end of strap connectors.

  • Press under 1/2” at strap connector end and stitch O-Ring securely in place. This is another technique I developed, after the Florida Tote Template was introduced. It works great when binding the bag top.

  • Press under 1/2” at opposite end of strap connector and topstitch to bag top. The strap placement lines are conveniently printed on the template!

  • Attach shoulder straps to O-Rings.

Ta da! Another gorgeous bag makeover! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading how to create the Florida Gem Tote!

Which of the bag postings was your favorite makeover? Let me know what tip is your favorite!

Be sure to check out the Town & Country Bag MakeoverCity Bag Makeover, and the California Bag Makeover

For all the latest and greatest in sewing, quilting and creating visit my blog, nancyzieman.com/blog  http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/

And connect with me on Facebook, facebook.com/nancyzieman http://www.facebook.com/NancyZieman

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman

3 thoughts on “Florida Gem Tote A Bag Makeover Inspiration by Nancy Zieman

  1. What an inspiration this series has been. I have all the trace and create bag templates except for the Florida bags. Now I’ll have to add them too. The tips have been just great. Thanks!

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