old dog bed tutorial #1: tote

let’s start with something FABULOUS.


yes, our dog beds are amazing & durable & la di dah di dah. but eventually, they need to be retired—either because they are loved to the bone, or you just want a new one.

I faced a dilemma when this happened the first time—a few years ago. and because the whole brand is based upon the “don’t-throw-it-away” ethos regarding textiles-I found myself in quite a quandary. the old duvet was just too exhausted to keep washing & using anymore (and I was ready to move on to something new)

what to do with all that fabric?

over the years, I have used the old duvets to make a TRILLION things-using the fabric for lots of awesome (and EASY) sewing projects-which after 476 years, I have finally written up & am ready to share!

let’s start with an easy one-a tote!

instructions pdf here
pattern pieces here

finished size: 12” wide x 7“ depth x 14.75” height
seam allowance: .5”

3/4 yard outside fabric
3/4 yard inside fabric
coordinating thread

cut (print pattern pieces & cut around them)
outside fabric – 2 front panels, 1 long inside pocket, 1 short inside pocket, 2 handles
inside fabric – 2 inside panels, 1 long outside pocket

instructions: pockets
Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 1.32.00 PM

1. long inside pocket – fold fabric in half, right sides together. IRON. sew all the way around leaving a 2″ gap on bottom.

turn fabric right side out. topstitch top. sew onto FRONT OUTSIDE PANEL, 4″ up from the bottomScreen Shot 2015-08-04 at 1.35.01 PM2. long inside pocket – same as above. sew onto FRONT INSIDE PANEL, 4″ up from bottom.

3. short inside pocket – same as #1. sew onto FRONT INSIDE PANEL, 6″ up from bottom

instructions: handles
fold fabric in half, right sides together. iron. sew along both sides-leaving opening on both short ends. turn right side out. iron. topstitch.

instructions: outside
1. sew FRONT OUTSIDE PANEL with pocket to BOTTOM PANEL (right sides together). sew FRONT PANEL #2 (one without pocket) to bottom panel (right sides together). when you’re done, it will look like this:Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 1.40.40 PM2. sew SIDE PANEL #1 to FRONT PANEL 1, BACK PANEL & FRONT PANEL 2.Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 1.41.41 PM3. sew SIDE PANEL #2 to FRONT PANEL 1, BACK PANEL & FRONT PANEL 2. after this step, you should have the outside of your tote, without handles. Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 1.42.29 PM4. time to sew on those handles! end end should be 2″ from the side seam. sew on the OUTSIDE of bag (you will be hiding this seam in the final step)Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 1.43.47 PM

instructions: inside
1. same instructions as outside with ONE difference! when you get to step #3, leave a 4″ gap in the middle, so you can turn the tote when it’s all done. don’t forget this gap!!

instructions: you’re almost done!
put your outside tote with handles inside of the INNER tote. so RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER. i know, that sounds SO CONFUSING. it’s like this & in this order: wrong side of the INNER tote on top, following by right side of OUTER tote inside of that. sew all the way around the top. turn by using the gap you left on the INNER tote. top stitch along the top & voila, you’re done! (you may want to top stitch the sides & bottom panels together, so you have a more solid structure-but that’s a personal preference thing!)

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