Using a crochet needle, fold the bag in half, right sides together, and stitch the seam. You can do this with a crochet needle using a blind stitch, or a yarn needle and a straight stitch. Click on the video below to see how to stitch the seam with a blind crochet stitch.
Attach The Pockets To Your Tote Bag
Note: You can choose where you want your pockets to sit on your bag. Try to center them or keep them towards the top. If the pockets are too close to the bottom, then if it is full, the pockets might roll under the bag. Also, this pattern shows 2 pockets. You can easily create more and add them to both sides of the tote. It's your decision.
Using a crochet needle as before, attach the pockets using a blind stitch from the inside of the bag. You can see an example of this in the video below. Alternatively, you can sew the pockets on with a yarn needle and yarn, using a straight stitch.
Click below to view a tutorial on how to attach the pockets
It's best to use a top loading washing machine, however, I (the author) have a side-loader that does not allow you to stop and check. I successfully felted this tote bag by running the bag on a short hot water cycle.)
Set your bag to run in the machine for 15 minutes on a hot/cold cycle. Add a pair of jeans or towels to help agitate the item and a little soap or baking soda.
If possible, check it after 15 minutes for the correct size. Repeat if needed.
Allow the bag to run through the rinse and spin cycles.
Shape the piece to the right measurements if needed, and stuff wads of paper in the center of the bag, allowing it to dry upright. Make sure the straps are the same length.
Be sure to allow the bag and pocket parts to air dry completely; do not use a dryer.
Click below to activate the Felting Tutorial
Determine where you want the buttons to be placed. You'll want to put the buttons in before lining your bag. Magnetic buttons have two prongs on the back that need to be folded in, so once you locate the proper spot for your button, push the prongs through, attach the button backing, and fold the prongs over to hold the button in place. You can center the second half of the magnetic button more easily by sticking it to the already attached side and then pushing the prongs through. This way, it's already in its correct placement. Attach the backing and fold the prongs over like you did with the first half.
Click on the video below to activate the tutorial that demonstrates adding magnetic buttons to the tote bag pockets.
Line the Bag *Optional*
I chose to line this bag so that my sharper needles wouldn't poke through, and so that my gauge markers (which are shaped like safety pins when open) won't get caught up in the pockets. Lining the bag is a very simple process.
What you'll need:
Fabric - Recommended 100% cotton - 1 yard or less - you'll have to measure your finished bag to get exact size.
Ruler or Straight Edge
Measure the dimensions of the bag after it's been felted and dried. Add a half an inch or 1.5 cm to each side for your seam allowance.
Spread your fabric out and mark the bag's dimensions plus seam allowances.
Repeat for the pockets.
Sew three sides and fold under the open edge.
Do not turn right side out.
Fit the lining into the bag/pocket and pin in place.
Now stitch to the bag along the top edge and you're done!
The video below demonstrates how to line your tote bag and pockets