With Halloween two weeks away, I’m finally starting to get in the spirit of the season. Which is an improvement on last year when I made Monica’s dinosaur costume only a few days before the big day. And yes, this year’s costume is still a work in process. However, I found the time to sew her this perfect little trick or treat bag.
Last year, we only carried her to a few neighbors’ houses. This year, we’ll walk to a few houses as a family. And since Monica loves acting like the big kids and adults, she obviously needed her own trick or treat bag. I don’t plan on letting her eat any of the candy, but she already enjoys carrying her bag and putting things in and taking them out.
I can’t say exactly how long it took me to sew this tote since I didn’t do it all in one sitting and was taking pictures along the way. If you’re an adept crafter, you can probably whip one up during nap time. If not, you have two weeks!
4 pieces of orange fabric, cut 13 inches wide x 14 inches long
4 strips of green fabric, cut 1.75 inches wide x 13.73 inches long (this was the total width of my green fabric cut into four equal strips)
1 sheet of black felt (I only used about half)
Thread (orange, green, and/or black depending on if you want things to coordinate or contrast)
Serger – optional
Iron and ironing board
We’ll start bymaking the straps first. Pin two strips of green fabric together with the right sides of the fabric touching. Repeat for the second pair of green strips.
Sew the pieces of fabric together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Repeat.
Turn the straps right side out. I pin a safety pin to one side of the strap, pushing it through the opening, and pulling it out the other side.
Press the straps with the iron. Finish the straps by sewing down the sides (1/8 inch seam allowance).
Pin the strap to the right side of one of the tote panels. Make sure the loop of the strap is facing down. I pinned mine to the panel that would ultimately be the lining of my tote. Repeat with the second strap and panel.
Stitch the strap to the side panel, about a 3/8 inch seam allowance. You’ll be sewing the bag together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, so you want to be sure the straps are sewn within that allowance. Set these panels aside.
Cut the letters “BOO” out of the felt. Each letter was about 4 inches tall and 3 inches wide.
Pin the letters to one of the outside panels. Sew the letters onto the panel. I used orange thread for a little contrast, but you can also use black if you want it to blend in. This might be a good idea of you don’t want any mistakes to stand out.
It’s now time to assemble the tote! Pin the right sides of the outside panels together. Repeat with the inside panels (make sure the straps are inside and facing down).
Sew the outside panels together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving the top open. Repeat by sewing together the inside panels. You’ll now have two “bags.”
If you want, you can sew the corners to create a boxed bottom. Pull apart the sides at one of the bottom corners so that the side seam is directly on top of the bottom seam and the corner forms a sharp point.
Mark a line perpendicular to the side seam at the point where the corner is 4 inches across (the seam should be at the 2 inch mark).
Sew along the marked line and then trim off the excess fabric, about 1/4 inch above the sew line. If you have a serger, you can serge the edges together. If not, don’t worry since the raw edges will be hidden.
Pin the two bags together, rights sides touching.
Make sure to match the seams up when pinning them together. You’ll want to start pinning at the seams and then work your way around to make sure everything is even.
Sew the bags together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Leave an opening larger than two inches, or else you’ll have to deal with this once you turn the tote right side out:
Seriously, I think it took me about 15 minutes to pull everything through that tiny opening. The straps and felt letters were a little bulkier than expected.
I’d say a 3 inch opening would make things easier.
Press the bag with your iron and hand stitch the opening shut using a slip stitch.
If you’re feeling fancy, finish the bag by sewing 1/8 inch in all the way around the top.