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5 Patterns, 3 Days, 2 Girls, and 1 Sewing Machine

January for us means one important thing… OUR ANNUAL SEWING RETREAT!!

Any time spent at Ali’s river house is always special, and this year we added an extra day because we committed to something new – an actual sewing retreat! We are so excited to announce that we were asked to be teachers at this year’s Virginia Consortium of Quilters bi-annual retreat in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. We will be teaching full-day workshops for our Stowaway and Whole Shebang bag patterns, but we also offered to teach our Wine Totes, Winezies, and All Charged Up free patterns as fillers, so we knew we needed to spend a lot of time refreshing our minds about all five patterns.

We spent the first day making decisions about fabrics, notions, and then Cutting.All.The.Things.

Oh, and we went grocery shopping. SUPER important step.

And of course, beautiful sunsets are just gravy.

Day two was super productive and before lunch we had two amazing finishes – Wine Totes and All Charged Up.

Since it was a (cold, but) gorgeous day, we made sure to get out of the house and headed to historic Gloucester Virginia for a delicious lunch at LuLu Bird’s Kitchen.

After lunch, we refocused and finished out day two with another fabulous finish – Stowaway.

On our third and final day, we focused on our last two fun finishes – Winezies and Whole Shebang.

Neither of us have sewn Winezies in a while, and we remembered how nice and quick they come together, as well as how cute they are! The versions we sewed up in this sweet winter flannel would make amazing hostess or holiday gifts.

We both were a bit blown away by the beauty of this Whole Shebang after we finished – it gave us all the *heart eyes*

We both felt so rejuvenated after sewing together and being creative together for three days in one of the most peaceful places in the world. Until next year!

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So a Thing Happened Today

And that thing would be this…

Yep. That’s us. In print. For reals.

If you don’t believe me, here’s a sneak peak of the rest of the issue. (Which is the July 2018 issue of British Patchwork & Quilting by the way.)

So I don’t know about you, but we’re going to be spending all weekend driving around Richmond trying to find hard copies to buy. #realdealpublication #webefamous

In all seriousness though (and you know how we hate to be serious), we couldn’t be more honored to be included in their publication. When we started on this adventure in our kitchens years ago, we never thought we’d see our company’s name in print. So, go, follow your dreams. Well, really only the good ones. Much love – the now famous Ali & Courtney

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Free Wine Totes Tutorial

To celebrate the 9,000th download (what the freaking what?!?) of our Wine Totes Free Pattern on Craftsy, we decided to republish our most popular pattern as a tutorial. Enjoy!

(If you prefer to print out the original PDF version of the pattern, just click here.)

Wine Totes promo

What’s more fun than one cute tote to carry your favorite wine? Two complimentary totes made from the same tutorial. These wine totes feature a padded divider so you can carry two wine bottles or one bottle and other supplies (plastic wine glasses, anyone?). Includes two outside pockets for a wine opener or other small items. This tutorial also has step-by-step instructions for French seams for a professional finish that even a beginner can follow.

(So we realized AFTER the photoshoot in Ali’s beautiful backyard that we probably should have waited to put the ice in our glasses. We swear that the bottle hadn’t been chilled… LOL)

Wine Totes Handle

Wine Totes Top View2

Wine Totes Side View

Finished Size:

Wine Totes are about 12” tall, 10” wide, and 5” deep.

General Notes:

  • Read all instructions before cutting and sewing.
  • For strength and durability, use canvas, duck cloth, outdoor fabric, or something of a similar weight and weave.
  • When adhering batting, place it fusible side up on ironing board, then place fabric, right side up, on top. Place another scrap piece of fabric (i.e. pressing cloth) between the iron and your fabric.
  • Test any disappearing inks or chalks on fabric before making any marks to ensure they will not be seen later. You can also use masking tape to mark lines and remove it after sewing.
  • If you have trouble with needles breaking when sewing through several layers of fabric, switch to a heavier needle rated for denim/canvas (e.g. 100/16).
  • If you have trouble with your thread breaking, switch to an extra strong/upholstery weight thread.

Abbreviations Used:

RST = Right Sides Together; WST = Wrong Sides Together; WOF = Width Of Fabric

Material List:

 For 44/45” Wide Fabric:

⅔ Yard Fabric A

⅔ Yard Fabric B

 

For 54” Wide Fabric:

⅝ Yard Fabric A

⅝ Yard Fabric B

 

NOTE: If using directional prints, you may need to buy more fabric than stated.

 

2 – 9” X 7” Pieces of Batting or Pellon Fusible Fleece (987F)

4 – 7” Strips of Sew-On Velcro

 

Cutting List:

Cut the following from BOTH Fabric A and Fabric B:

2 – 12 ½” X 9 ¾” – Body

1 – 12 ½” X 6 ¾” – Pocket

2 – 12 ½” X 6 ½” – Bottom

1 – 33” X 5” – Handle

1 – 2” X WOF – Binding

2 – 9” X 7” – Divider

 

When sewing Wine Tote #1, use Fabric A for the Body and Pocket and Fabric B for the Bottom, Handle, Binding, and Divider.

When sewing Wine Tote #2, use Fabric B for the Body and Pocket and Fabric A for the Bottom, Handle, Binding, and Divider.

NOTE: All of the construction seams are French seams (¼” WST and ½” RST), but they will be explained step-by-step each time. If you’ve never done a French seam, it will seem really weird and counter-intuitive, but they will give you an amazing finished product!

Wine Totes French Seams

Instructions:

Let’s start by assembling several different components of the Tote.

Handle and Binding:

1. With Handle wrong side up, press both long sides with raw edges folded towards the middle.

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2. Fold in half lengthwise and press. NOTE: You may need to use steam to lock in the fold. 

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3. Repeat Steps 1-2 to make the Binding.

Making Pocket and Attaching Handle:

1. Sandwich one of the long sides of the Pocket inside the Binding. Measure and cut Binding the same length as the Pocket.

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2. Pin Binding to Pocket and sew with ⅛” seam.

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3. With right sides up, place Pocket on top of one of the Body pieces, aligning the bottom edges. Baste ⅛” along the two sides and bottom to hold Pockets onto Body.

4. Draw a vertical line down the middle (6 ¼” from either short side) on both the right and wrong sides of both Body pieces.

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5. On the wrong side of one of the Body pieces, sew the loop side of the Velcro centered on the line drawn in Step 4, starting 1” from the bottom.

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6. Repeat Step 5 with the other Body and Velcro piece.

7. On the right side of one of the Body pieces, pin Handle centered on the line drawn in Step 5, aligning the bottom edges.

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8. Sew a scant ⅛” seam along the left side of the Handle. Stop 1” from the top of the Body, but don’t remove your needle.

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9. Sew across the Handle, and then back down the other side with another scant ⅛” seam to mirror the seam in Step 8.

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10. Add a box stitch on the Handle for support and decoration. We made the box 1 ¼” long, but feel free to use whatever size you like.

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11. Repeat Steps 7-10 on the other Body piece being careful not to twist the Handle.

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12. Fold the top of each Body piece behind the Handle so you don’t sew over it. Starting at one of the box stitches, continue the scant ⅛” seam along the side of the Handle all the way to the top of the other box stitch.

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13. Repeat Step 12 on the other side of the Handle.

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Now let’s work on constructing the Tote itself. Here come the French seams!

Sewing Bottom to Body:

1. With WST, place one of the Bottom pieces on top of one of the Body pieces, aligning the bottom edges. Sew together with ¼” seam. Press seam to one side.

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2. Fold at the seam so that Bottom and Body pieces are RST and press. Sew ½” seam, encasing the seam made in Step 1.

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3. Press seam towards Bottom.

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4. Topstitch ¼” below the seam on the Bottom.

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5. Repeat Steps 1-4 for the other Body and Bottom pieces.

Making the Tote:

1. With WST, match Body to Body and Bottom to Bottom, making sure you match the seams where the Bottom attaches to the Body. NOTE: Be careful not to twist the Handle. Sew ¼” seam along both sides.

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2. Press seams to one side. Flip Tote inside out so that the Body pieces are RST and press. Sew ½” seam along both sides, encasing the seams made in Step 1. NOTE: Go slow at the seam where the Body and Bottom meet. It will be very thick and could break your needle.

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3. Press seams towards the front of the Tote (the side with the pocket).

4. NOTE: If desired, topstitch ¼” from the seam on the front of the Tote along both sides. There will be several layers of fabric, so your machine and/or needle may not be able to handle it.

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5. With WST, sew Bottom closed with ¼” seam. Press seam to one side.

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6. Flip Tote inside out so that the Body pieces are RST and press. NOTE: Don’t worry about pushing out the points at the corners because you will be boxing them in the next step. Sew ½” seam along the bottom, encasing the seam made in Step 5.

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7. Flip Tote right side out. With WST, align the side seam with the bottom seam to “box” one side of the bottom of the Tote and pin. Draw a line across the ends at the point where the Tote measures 2 ¾”” from end to end. Sew along the line, then trim to ¼” from the seam.

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8. Repeat Step 7 for other side of the bottom of the Tote.

9. Turn Tote inside out, push out points, and press seams to one side. With RST, sew ½” seams on both box seams, reinforcing at both ends.

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10. Flip the Tote right side out. Starting behind the Handle, sandwich top of the Tote in between the fold of Binding and pin. Overlap the Binding 1”, then cut and fold back the Binding ½” to encase the raw edge. Sew to the Tote with ⅛” seam. NOTE: Be sure not to sew over the Handle.

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Making Divider:

1. Iron on or place batting on the wrong side of one of the Divider pieces.

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2. With RST, sew Dividers together with ½” seam along three sides, leaving one short side open. Clip corners, trim batting close to the seam, and turn right side out.

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3. Fold opening inside itself by ½”, press, then sew closed.

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4. Quilt, if desired.

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5. On one side of Divider, sew the hook sides of the Velcro along each long side.

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6. Attach Divider inside the Tote.

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And, we’re done! To make your other matching Wine Tote, follow the tutorial all over again, but with the opposite fabrics! Then step back and admire your beautiful Wine Totes, and use them with pride. Or, if they’re not so beautiful, give them to someone else as a gift. People love handmade gifts.

(© Copyright Wives of Whitewood 2014. All Rights Reserved. This pattern is intended for personal use. No part of this pattern may be shared, copied or redistributed in any manner. Items made from this pattern may be sold in limited quantities by independent crafters only. Please credit “Wives of Whitewood Pattern” in all sales.)