SUPPLIES & TOOLS:
- 19 Dritz® Fun Tape Measures
- Zigzag sewing machine (preferably an open arm machine)
- Basic sewing supplies
- Rotary cutter & mat
- Grid-marked ruler
- Tape (optional)
- Plastic canvas for bottom stability
- Set sewing machine to a zigzag stitch – width 4 and length 2.
- To join tapes: Center 2 tapes under presser foot so long edges are flush. Zigzag so stitch evenly catches both tapes as it swings left to right. Hold tapes taut and stitch at medium speed for best result. Join entire length of the tapes. Trim off metal ends.
- Join 2 sets of 5 tapes each as in Step 2. Use rotary cutter to cut joined strips into 32 squares, 3-1/8" x 3-1/8".
- Join 4 squares, alternating tape direction to create one row. Create 8 rows. Four rows should start with horizontal tapes, and four with vertical tapes.
- Join 4 rows, alternating tape positions to create tote front. Repeat for tote back. Finished pieces should measure 12-1/2" x 12-1/2".
- Side & Bottom Tote: Join 4 tapes as in Step 2 to create one long strip.
- Join side strip to front square as Step 2. Start with side strips extending about 1" above front top edge. Stop sewing 1/8" before reaching bottom corner. Turn corner stitch by stitch. Because stiff tapes tend to fold, stop after each stitch, and with needle in the down position, raise foot and turn pieces slightly. Force edges to meet. Do not catch folds in any stitch. After 5-6 stitches, edges will be parallel again. Zigzag along bottom edge, repeating corner procedure at opposite corner. Finish by stitching to top edge of front.
- To attach remaining side edge to back square, make sure top starting placement matches front piece. (TIP: Use tape to hold sections in place while you stitch.) Start stitching at middle of bottom edge, stitch across bottom, turn corner and finish one side. Remove bag from machine. Starting in the bottom middle again, finish attaching other side to back. Check placement as you stitch to be sure front and back align at top edge. Trim away excess side tapes so top edge is straight.
- Zigzag a single tape around top edge of tote. Cut excess tape so ends overlap by about 1/4". Zigzag the overlap to secure.
- Join 2 tapes; cut to 40" long for first handle. Fold in half, aligning short ends. Zigzag edges together to create a double thickness. Repeat for second handle.
- Stitch to front, centering handle ends over the joint between outer two squares. Ends should meet bottom edge of top square. Straight stitch handle ends to tote. Repeat for back of tote.
Optional: Cut a piece of plastic canvas to 2-3/8" x 12-3/8" for added stability at bottom of tote.