December 15, 2010

Polar Bear Tote Bag -tutorial-

You will need:
1/2 yard of black canvas or other heavy fabric
1 yard of black webbing for the strap
1/2 yard of polar bear skin (you won't use it all, but you need the width)
3x3" scrap of pink felt
2x2" scrap of black felt
(if you don't have a serger you may need 3 yards of white bias tape or skinny quilt binding to match the bear skin)
sewing notions

Okie dokie... let's get started!
1. Fold your black canvas in half to form a square. Feel free to cut it down a bit to make the size tote you want. Sew/serge down both sides.
2. Fold the top rim under and topstitch so the top edge looks pretty.
3. Squish (technical term) the side of the bag so that the side seam is in the middle. Then snip off a triangle piece and sew the opening together. This will be the side width of your tote. Turn right-side out.

4. Cut out a polar bear head from your polar bear skin fabric. My skin was conveniently already backed, so I just serged around the whole shape. If you don't have a serger you may want to sew some bias tape around it to keep his head from fraying.
Cut out two half-circle shaped ears and attach to the head only at the flat side so they are flappy.
5. Cut out two paws and serge/bias tape around them like you just did to the head.
6. Spend 10 minutes sketching the perfect heart and then cut it out of the pink felt. While you're at it... cut out two circle eyes and a half-circle nose from that black felt.

7. Now is a good time to start wondering why the he'll you're making a polar bear tote bag of all things. Oh yeah, crazy Niece #1 loves polar bears. Oh my.
8. Pin the head to the rear-inside of the tote to make it a flap. Check to make sure it looks right before you sew it on. A simple topstitch will do. Now position, pin, then sew on your paws and heart on the bag so the head flap won't cover them up. Then finish it off by sewing on his eyes, nose, and strap. Pin on the strap and try it on before sewing!
9. Done? Good! Now relish in your new creepy-cute Polar Bear Tote Bag-ness.

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