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Tote Bag with Pockets

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I love to collect flowers and leaves from the outdoors and bring them in to use in my crafts. And after flowers, fruits, and vegetables have matured, I collect seeds for next year's garden.

This bag works beautifully for collecting natural specimens and seeds!  The lining is packed with pockets that are just the right size to slide small seed packets into and to tuck in tiny flowers to be pressed. Leaves and seed pods are perfect for nature crafts too!

Supplies


Supplies needed:

  • 1/3 yard each of outer fabric, lining, and pocket fabrics

  • 1 1/4 yards of 1" wide cotton or nylon webbing (strapping)

  • 2 yards of 5/8" wide decorative ribbon

  • 5/8 yard of double-fold wide bias tape.

Embroidery design from Embroidery Library 

Designs Used

Instructions:

On the right side of the outer fabric, mark out a rectangle that is 25" by 10".

On one half of the rectangle, center and sew out the embroidery, with the top of the design towards the nearer short side of the rectangle.

From the lining fabric, cut out 2 rectangles that are 10" wide by 13" tall.

From the pocket fabric, cut four rectangles ─ 2 that are 10" wide by 5" tall and two that are 10" wide by 4" tall.

On each of the pocket pieces, sew a narrow hem on one long edge. This will be the top of the pockets. 

On the other long edge of each pocket, press 1/2" to the wrong side of the fabric. This will be the bottom of the pockets.

Starting 1" from the top, place one of each size pocket piece on each piece of lining. I placed the smaller one at the top and the larger pocket about 1/2" down from the bottom edge of the first pocket. 

Sew the pocket pieces to the lining pieces along the bottom pressed edge of each pocket.

Using a narrow satin stitch, sew dividing lines in each pocket piece. I made 4 pockets on top and 3 on the bottom.

Sew the lining together by placing the lining pieces right sides together with the pockets at the top. 

Use a 1/2" seam allowance to sew a seam at each side and at the bottom.

Decorate the strap by sewing the ribbon down the center of the webbing. 

Cut out the marked rectangle on the outer fabric and fold the rectangle in half with the right sides together.

Use a 1/2" seam allowance to sew seams up the sides of the outer fabric. Clip the corners to eliminate bulk and turn the bag right side out.

Slide the lining into the bag so that the wrong sides are together and the side seams match. 

Encase the raw top edges using the bias tape.

Stitch the remaining ribbon around the top edge of the bag for additional decoration.

Stitch the strap to the top of the bag at each of the side seams. 

Reinforce the stitching by stitching a square on the end of the webbing to the side of the bag.

To collect tiny seeds and flowers, I make my own simple seed packets using a half-sheet of paper. Simply fold the paper in thirds in both directions, which makes a nice square in the center to hold your tiny objects.

Re-fold the paper around the seeds, and use a rubber band or string to secure the packet together. Label the packet with the contents.

Use a full sheet of paper for larger seeds or large quantities. 

The packets fit nicely in the pockets of the bag.

Upon returning home, You should open each packet and set the contents out to dry for at least a week. 

This handy little bag is light enough to carry with you on any outing to the park or into your own back yard, and it can hold a multitude of natural seeds, flowers, and herbs.  There's no limit to the treasures that you can find in the great outdoors.