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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tote bag lining tutorial

Since my first purse lining, I've done a few more and gotten better. I've lined cylindrical drawstring bags, rectangle totes, small circular purses, and who knows what else.  I'm still no expert, but I think I have the hang of it!

If you don't have basic sewing skills I suggest you learn.  Just enough to make a seam is fine.  You do not need a sewing machine, but it makes it much quicker.

eh, about 10 1/2 inches, I guess
To line my CHD tote bag from the previous post's tutorial, I first measure the bag. It doesn't have to be exact, a rough idea is fine.  I get 12 inches wide by 10 1/2 inches tall. Actually if you can't find a tape measure, just trace around the outside of the bag.  Like I said, it can be rough. We'll fix it when we seam them together.

 Cut out your pieces (for this bag, I just want 2 rectangles to sew together because it's a rather shallow bag). I cut out two 10 1/2 x 12 inch rectangles out of some jersey (tee-shirt material) I had from a previous project.  Sew around the sides and bottom of the pieces, right sides together.
Sew around sides and bottoms
of cut out pieces

I ironed down the top edge toward the outside, but I forgot to take a picture (what is wrong with me!).  *You need to turn down the top edge toward the outside and iron it down!

I will be hand sewing the top edge onto the bag. I don't want the stitches shown on the outside of the bag.

Now insert the lining into the bag.  Line up the side seams with the sides of the bag.  The seams should be on the outside of the lining, touching the inside of the bag.  The neat seam should be on the inside. Pin sides in place, just below the top line of crochet stitches. Then pin the heck out of the middles! Pin every inch of it! Leave no inch unpinned! The more the better! Pin, pin, pin!
insert needle through,
hiding knot between bag
and fabric

go under the yarn,
but not through bag
Start with your needle on the wrong side of the lining and insert it to the inside of the lining, to hide the knot between the bag and fabric (see photo). You can start anywhere, but I always start by a side seam.  Then, insert your needle through the lining, back toward the bag, going under one leg of one sc stitch, but not through to the outside of the bag.  Try not to split the yarn.  Bring your needle back through the lining to make your next stitch start where your last stitch ended.  Keep repeating this method all around bag. Do not pull the thread too tight or the lining will pucker. Keep a steady tension and try to keep your stitches even. I'm using white thread on a white lining in a white bag so if my stitches are a bit uneven I don't think anyone will notice.

Finished photos at the bottom of this post.

I hope this tutorial helps you with your purse/tote linings!  If you have any questions or comments, let me know!  You can leave comments here (please do!) or email me at and let me know if anything needs clarification or if you have any problems following my instructions.
go back through same place
close up photo of finished lining

Finished lining!

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