(Embroidered) Trick-or-Treat Tote Tutorial!

Dracula Pattern - made into a tote!

So have you finished your Dracula embroidery yet?! Hmm, maybe you need a little more time — or the pattern! Don’t forget to go enter the giveaway for a free copy!

When you do finish, you might want to turn your embroidery into a super-cute Halloween or trick-or-treating tote! This tutorial assumes that you will use your finished full-page Dracula embroidery (as shown) – but of course you can also use the simpler version (included in the pattern) and work out the spacing yourself, or just a piece of cute Halloween fabric! This is the easiest project ever, and won’t take more than an hour or so. Let’s go!

(Embroidered) Trick-or-Treat Tote Tutorial!

This tutorial makes a finished tote 12.25″ wide x 14.5″ tall, with a handle drop of about 11″.

You will need:

  • A FQ (fat quarter) of fabric to embroider on, to be trimmed to size after stitching,
  • A FQ of fabric for the tote back – we used Spider Stripe from Too Cute To Spook for Riley Blake Fabrics,
  • 1/2 meter of lining fabric – we used Kona Cotton Solids in Kumquat,
  • 1/2 meter of woven fusible interfacing – we used Vilene G700,
  • 1.25 meters of cotton webbing for tote handles,
  • The usual sewing tools – including thread to match your fabrics, a removable fabric marker, rotary cutter, pins, ruler.

** NOTE: If you want to use up scrap fabrics, all tote and lining pieces will be trimmed to 13.25″ wide by 15.5″ tall.**

If you haven’t already done your embroidery, trace the full-page design onto fabric, centered-ish on the FQ. Stitch, wash, block if desired (I didn’t bother), and press carefully.

(Embroidered) Trick-or-Treat Tote Tutorial!

Now we’ll need to trim the embroidered piece to the right size for the tote. This is a little scary (not the good Halloweeny kind), because you don’t want to cut it wrong after doing all that stitching, right? So measure thrice – maybe even frice – and cut once. First, mark out the size with your fabric marker: 13.25″ wide by 15.5″ tall. This will be just about 3″ all around your embroidered design. Trace four sides, check it, double-check it, triple-check it – then cut.

Cut your other fabrics to the same size so you will have …

  • 1 x front fabric – embroidered,
  • 1 x back fabric,
  • 2 x lining fabric,
  • 2 x interfacing.

… all cut to 13.25″ wide by 15.5″ tall.

(Embroidered) Trick-or-Treat Tote Tutorial!

Apply your interfacing to the wrong side of your lining fabric. This will make your bag sturdier, but keep your outer fabric from feeling crunchy, and keep interfacing away from your embroidery! (By the way, Vilene G700 is my most favoritest interfacing, it leaves your fabric all fabric-y, but adds a surprising amount of strength. Is it too dorky to have a favorite interfacing?)

(Embroidered) Trick-or-Treat Tote Tutorial!

Pin your two outer pieces, right sides together, and sew them around the two sides and bottom, using a 1/2″ seam. Everything in this tutorial is sewn with a 1/2″ seam. Do the same for your two lining pieces, but leave a 4″-ish gap in the bottom when you sew. You’ll use this gap to turn everything right-side out later:

(Embroidered) Trick-or-Treat Tote Tutorial!
(Embroidered) Trick-or-Treat Tote Tutorial!

Trim all four corners widely, but not too close to your stitching! Now it’s time to put your three elements – handles, lining, and outer shell – all together. Cut your webbing in two even pieces about 25″ long. (If your tote is going to be for a small child, you may wish to make the handles shorter. 25″ should be fine for bigger kids and grown-up kids. :) ) Turn your lining right-side out and pin the handles, hanging down, to the lining’s top edge on either side. Let the webbing ends stick up over the top by about 1/2″, and place them 2.5″ from the edge:

(Embroidered) Trick-or-Treat Tote Tutorial!

Do that on both sides and then baste them in place to keep them steady as you put the layers together. Press seams open on the outer shell and lining, then tuck the lining (RS out) inside the outer shell (still WS out). The handles will be sandwiched between the two shells with their RS facing each other. Line up side seams and pin around the top edge.

(Embroidered) Trick-or-Treat Tote Tutorial!

Sew around the top edge with a 1/2″ seam, then pull the lining out of the outer shell, reach into the gap and pull the outer + straps through it.

(Embroidered) Trick-or-Treat Tote Tutorial!

Poke the corners out, hand-stitch the gap in the lining closed, push the lining into the outer shell, and basically straighten everything up. Press the top seam nice and neat, then top-stitch (I like to make my stitch length longer for top-stitching) all around the top, about 3/8″ from the edge. Stitch another line about 1/4″ below the first, for extra strength.

(Embroidered) Trick-or-Treat Tote Tutorial!

And that’s it! I’m crazy about my Dracula tote, I’m going to be carrying it everywhere all month!

Dracula Pattern - made into a tote!

If you stitch a Dracula or make a trick-or-treat tote of your own or for your little ones, I’d love to see – promise you’ll come back and show me! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

2 Comments on (Embroidered) Trick-or-Treat Tote Tutorial!

  1. Lee
    October 2, 2013 at 00:26 (5 years ago)

    A fabulous bag and stitching!!

  2. Hannapat
    October 3, 2013 at 11:20 (5 years ago)

    So so pretty I love it!


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