Jun 1, 2019

Tote-ally Packed Summer Tote

Supplies + -

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Are you heading on the road to go camping or vacation? Don't misplace or lose your favorite go-to items with this summer-friendly mesh tote.

Download the Project Instructions here.


  • Pet Screening Pieces (various sizes measurements below)
  • Cotton Fabric (5 pieces for binding)
  • Cotton Fabric (4 pieces for zipper pocket trim)
  • Cotton Webbing for Handles (2 pieces)
  • Nylon or Polyester Zipper
  • Chalk
  • Sewing Thread
  • 4" embroidery hoop
  • Water Soluble Stabilizer (2 pieces)
  • Water Soluble Stabilizer (1 piece or scrap size)
  • Temporary Spray Adhesive
  • Embroidery Thread of Choice
  • 'J' Foot (all-purpose)
  • Wonder Clips
  • Basic Sewing tools
  • wonder tape (optional)
  • wooden seam ripper (optional)
  • 'R' Foot (blind hem foot)
  • Narrow Zipper Foot



  1. Cut Pet Screening into the following measurements:

    1. Two pieces 12" x 16" (front and back)

    2. One piece 16" x 6" (bottom)

    3. Two pieces 22" x 6" (front and back pockets)

    4. Two pieces 12" x 6" (side panels)

    5. One pieces 8" x 7" (side pocket)

    6. One piece 6" x 8" (zipper side panel pocket lower)

    7. One piece 6" x 2" (zipper side panel pocket upper)

  2. Pocket Instructions

    1. With chalk and ruler mark the 12" x 22" pocket sections as follows. Along the 16" edge make chalk marks at these measurements:

      • 2" from edge
      • 1"
      • 2"
      • 1"
      • 3"
      • 1"
      • 2"
      • 1"
      • 3"
      • 1"
      • 2"
      • 1" which leaves 2" at the end.
    2. In the two 3" sections draw a line halfway (1-1/2" from the 3" mark all the way to the top of the pocket. This is pocket sections and handle placement.)

      Do this to both pocket pieces. Set aside.

    3. With chalk and ruler mark the 6" x 8" side pocket section with these markings.

      On the 8" edge measure in 1-1/2" place a mark then 1" 3" 1" and that leaves 1-1/2" to the edge.

    4. Place raw edge of one of the 1-1/2" strips along the opposite edge from where markings are and with right side against the screening.

    5. Sew binding along the top using a scant 1/4".

    6. Fold the binding over to the front clip in place.

    7. Adjust the seam to sit close to edge along the fold and stitch down.

    8. TIP: Using the ‘R’ foot helps for this step place the fold of the binding along the guide on the foot and get a perfectly straight line of stitching.

      Do this for this side pocket piece and front and back pocket pieces.

    9. Pinch the pocket together on the 1" marked lines to create a 1/2" ‘pleat’ to make a pouch effect for the pockets.

    10. Baste pockets sections onto the back and front and one side panel.

    11. Sew the two long lines which were drawn on the pockets to create the dividers between the pockets.

  3. Handle Instructions:

    1. With one of the webbing pieces lay it centered on the sewn line that divides the pockets.

    2. Place it straight up to within an inch of the top of the screen.

    3. Loop it coming down the other sewn line to the bottom of the pocket as shown in the picture.

    4. Stitch along the outside edge of the webbing stopping an inch from the top of the screen sew across and come down the other side of the webbing.

    5. Do this on both straps.

    6. Then do the same thing with the other section of the bag.

  4. Embroidery Instructions:

    1. Turn off machine. Attach embroidery unit and embroidery foot. Change to embroidery thread and bobbin thread. Turn machine back on.

    2. Choose an embroidery design if desired.

      Select Letter of choice change to medium set on screen. Add second letter medium size and set on the screen. Move so they stagger and fit within a 2-1/2" width and 2 to 2-1/2" height. (See project photo)

    3. Mark the screen between the handles where the design will go.

    4. Using the 4" x 4" hoop hoop the two pieces of water soluble stabilizer (solvy) spray with temporary spray adhesive and lay screening on the thoop.

      Top with 3" x 4" scrap of water soluble stabilizer (solvy).

    5. Embroidery design being careful that screen stays in position.

      When finished remove from hoop and carefully tear away water soluble stabilizer (solvy) one layer at a time. Trim away if desired and spritz with water to remove any remaining bits.

    6. Turn machine off. Replace embroidery foot with narrow zipper foot.

      Remove embroidery thread and bobbin thread and thread up with all-purpose thread in needle and bobbin. Turn machine back on.

  5. Zippered End Pocket Instructions:

    1. Using two of the 6" x 2" pieces of fabric with right sides together sandwich the zipper between them.

    2. Hold with Wonder Clips of use Wonder tape to hold zipper to fabric. Use left needle position and sew zipper to fabrics.

    3. Do the same with the other side of the zipper. The zipper now is inserted between two pieces of fabric on both edges.

      Tip: The right side of the zipper has the right sides of the fabric and the back side of the zipper is the lining side.

    4. Attach the all-purpose foot.

    5. With right side of zipper facing down take one of the fabric pieces (right side only not the lining piece) and sew it to the 6" x 8" piece of pocket screen.

    6. Again with the right side of zipper facing down take the other fabric piece and sew it to the 6" x 2" piece of pocket screen.

      The two lining pieces should be loose yet.

    7. Press the fabric away from the zipper being careful not to melt the screen!

    8. Attach the zipper foot and top stitch along the fabric edge to keep it from getting caught in the zipper when it is opened and closed.

    9. Fold the lining pieces up approximately 1/4" and sew along the seam line to encase the screen raw edge.

    10. Attach all-purpose foot.

    11. Cut off the excess zipper length.

    12. Select zigzag stitch width 6 or 7 length 0 and stitch across the end of the zipper to create a ‘stop’ since we cut off the stops.

      Do this to both ends of the zipper.

    13. Using Wonder clips clip the pocket we just created to the 6" x 12" side panel (trim to fit).

    14. Sew a scant 1/4" around all four edges to hold pieces together. This is the zippered pocket end piece.

  6. Assembly Instructions

    This tote is not put together in the traditional way. It is put together so the seams are on the outside and bias trim will be encasing them so beware putting the pieces together!

    1. Place the front piece and bottom piece with wrong sides together clip to hold together.

    2. With a piece of the binding right side against the screen start 1/4" from edge and stitch across stopping 1/4" from end.

    3. Cut off excess binding.

    4. Fold binding over the seam just created and top stitch down again starting 1/4" from beginning and stopping 1/4" from end.

    5. Repeat these steps for the back remember the seam faces out.

    6. Place the pocket side piece onto one end of bag lining up sides and bottom. Sew the same as the bottom with the binding.

      When to the bottom corner pivot resituate as needed sew across then pivot and sew up the other side.

    7. Clip off excess binding. Fold binding over seam and top stitch easing in at corners.

    8. Place the zippered pocket end onto the other end of the bag. Sew same as the pocket end.

    9. Attach binding along the top of the bag by sewing right side of binding to the inside top edge of the bag.

    10. Then fold binding to the outside of the bag clip to hold in place and topstitch.

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