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Cost
$ $ $ $ $
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• • • • •
Time
5h00

A no-sew vinyl bag base which you can play up to suit your style.
If you are coveting a unique transparent tote bag but are terrified at the thought of sewing up one, I guess this would be a perfect project for you!

With the eyelets, you will have the flexibility (and fun!) coming up with different lacing styles using materials of your choice. For my versions, I included a macrame focal panel on the tote bag and came up with a furoshiki style handle.

Posted by Christine R. B. Published
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  • 104446_2F2014-09-28-171926-rhinestic_schematics_vinyltotebag.pdf 65.8 KB [ Download ]
  • 104446_2F2014-09-28-171946-rhinestic_pattern_sheet_vinyltotebag.pdf 118 KB [ Download ]
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  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 1
    Step 1

    For the template, you can either download the pattern sheet PDF and assemble the pattern according to the assembly diagram; or download the schematics PDF and draw your own, following the dimensions in the diagram.

    I suggest printing the pattern sheet on thicker weight papers as this will make tracing easier in the next step.

    If you are drawing out your own template, I suggest a stiffer material like thin cardboard. (I used a piece of vanguard sheet that I already had on hand)

    For both methods, redraw the circles to fit the inner circumference of your larger-sized eyelet (follow the size recommended by the manufacturer) if you are not using similar sized ones.

    Cut out the template, including the circle cut-outs for the large eyelets.

  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 2
    Step 2

    Fold the vinyl in half. I recommend flattening the folded edge by pressing it with an iron at the lowest temperature with a pressing cloth.

    Lay the template over the vinyl, with the bottom of the template flushed along the folded edge. Trace the pattern with a non-permanent marker, including the circle cut-outs and the 1-inch marks. (If you only have a permanent marker like sharpie, you would need to prepare some rubbing alcohol for cleaning up later)

  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 3
    Step 3

    With the vinyl still folded in half, carefully cut along the traced lines and circles (except the 1-inch marks) with the cutter and metal ruler. You might want to use scissors for the curved areas.

  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 4
    Step 4

    You will get something like this.

    Next, you will need to fold the top flaps down inwards, making sure that the circle cut-outs on each flap overlap exactly with the circle cut-outs on the respective side of the bag. Then, fold the sides in at the 1-inch marks. It would be easier if you unfold the middle first.

  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 5
    Step 5

    Again, I recommend pressing the folds (at the lowest setting with a pressing cloth) for a cleaner and neater finish.

  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 6
    Step 6

    Once everything is folded like so, wipe off all the marker markings. (If you used a permanent marker, use some rubbing alcohol to get rid of the markings.)

  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 7
    Step 7

    Following the manufacturer's instructions, set the larger eyelets through both layers of circle cut-outs (flap and body) on each side of the tote-bag. For mine, I just need to snap the parts together.

  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 8
    Step 8

    Next, you will need to mark out the positions for the smaller eyelets.

    From the bottom of the tote bag, measure 3/4" up and 1/2" from the edge, make a small mark with the marker. Make 14 more markings, 1" away from each other. The last marking should be about 3/4" away from the top.

    Do the same for the other side.

  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 9
    Step 9

    Following the manufacturer's instructions, place and set a small eyelet on every marking, going through all the 4 layers.

    If your eyelet setter does not come with a hole punch, you can possibly use a regular single hole puncher or an awl and scissors. However, this might take longer as you would most probably not be able to punch/cut out a hole through all four layers at a single time.

  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 10
    Step 10

    You now have the base of the vinyl bag to start lacing up and embellishing with!

  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 11
    Step 11

    These are the materials that I had decided to use to embellish my bag.

    I decided to create a furoshiki look for the handles and do the lacing with some cords which I had hand-dyed a batch to match the color of my fabric.

    I also spruced up my bag with a simple macrame decor using some cords, polymer clay geometric beads which I had made and a couple of hexnuts.

    (For my second bag, I was very inspired by macrame wall hangings, and decided to incorporate that look into it.)

  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 12
    Step 12

    For the furoshiki-style handles, I just made 2 long strips from my fabric.

  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 13
    Step 13

    For the lacing on this bag, it was a straight-forward criss-cross pattern by passing the ends of the cord through each eyelet in the opposite direction. I started from the top of the bag.

  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 14
    Step 14

    Once I reached the last eyelet, I finished the lacing with a square knot, followed by some glue on the knot. I then trimmed off the tails.

  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 15
    Step 15

    For the macrame decor, I planned the design that I wanted. I needed 8 strands of cord from the middle of each side of my bag. To do so, I located the middle 4 eyelets on each side of my bag. I then threaded 4 long strands of cord through the lacing coming out from each eyelet. After which, I started doing my macrame design.

    To learn more about macrame stitches, I suggest taking a look at this website: http://www.stonebrashcreative.com/MacrameTutorial.html

  • How to sew a vinyl tote. Laced Up Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag - Step 16
    Step 16

    For my other version, I created a separate macrame panel using a thin brass rod to emulate a wall hanging. I then attached this panel to my bag with more cords.

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