The Verbena Tote - Free Sewing Pattern

Posted on July 22, 2020 by Lee Norris

A bag can make or break an outfit, so why not design your own to ensure that it always matches your vibe? The Verbena Tote free sewing pattern helps you make the perfect tote with large pockets and an attached clutch that can never get lost. Transparent bags grew in popularity last year and it seems like showing off your life to the world is still on trend into 2020, with more PVC bags hitting the market every day. Personally, I like the trend, but I also like a bit of privacy, so I mixed and matched a few of Mood's new luxury vinyls to play with transparent pockets and sides rather than a fully transparent tote. Which direction will you be taking your design in?

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All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated. See chart below for sizing specifications. Note, this specific pattern is available up to a size 30.

Mood Sewing Pattern Size Chart

Before you start, I strongly recommend leather machine needles. If you're using a regular home sewing machine, a walking foot attachment will also be your best friend!

If you're working with just the basics though, you can make your machine a bit more vinyl-friendly with some matte tape along the bottom of your sewing foot and throat plate. (Be sure to load your bobbin first!)

The matte tape allows the plastic of the vinyl to glide more effortlessly through the machine so it doesn't get stuck or cause uneven stitches.

To start sewing, take one of your pockets and sew one piece of pocket binding along the top edge, face to face. Double fold the binding so the raw edges are hidden inside and edge-stitch into place, like you see at the top of the image on the right below. Take a second piece of pocket binding and sew it along the bottom of the pocket, face to face.

Place your pocket face down on your main bag piece and align the raw edge of your bottom pocket binding with the middle of your bag. The pocket should be face down toward the back portion of your bag, like you see below. Sew along the bag's center line, stitching the bottom of your pocket into place.

Flip your pocket up toward the front half of your bag and stay-stitch along the sides to keep your pocket in place.

If adding a pocket along the side of your bag, repeat all steps above with your inner back panel.

Stay-stitch your inner and outer main bag panels together along the sides and bind the top edges of your bag the same way you did the top of your pockets. Repeat with the top of your side bag panels.

Clip the curved edges of your side panels, like you see below. This will prevent wrinkled and warps as you attach it to your main bag panels.

Using Wonder Clips instead of pins, stitch the side panels onto the main panels of your bag with the raw edges facing the outside of your bag, like below.

If you're adding a chain to your tote and clutch, create a small chain loop with your solid contrast fabric. I made mine with a 2"x3" rectangle. Fold it in half, face to face so you have a 1"x3" shape and sew along the raw edge. Turn right side out and edge stitch along the sides. Loop one end of your chain through and clip.

Clip and stitch your chain loop into place toward one of the top corners on the front of your bag.

Cover the raw edges along the side of your bag with binding similarly to how you bound the top edges of your bag and pockets.

If your machine has trouble going through so many layers of thick vinyl, you can fold the raw edges of your binding in, stitch them down, and secure the binding onto your bag with a strong glue, such as E6000.

Once the side binding is attached, insert your magnetic snaps at the top corners of your side panels following the instructions on the back of your package.

Create your tote straps by folding them in half along the length, faces together, and sewing the majority of the perimeter. Let a small opening to pull the strap right side out and then edge-stitch along the entire strap.

Fold your straps in half and stitch down along the middle, leaving 3" unsewn on either end.

Stitch your handles onto the outside of your bag and your tote itself is complete! Next is the attached clutch pouch, which goes together in about 5 minutes.

Place the zipper face down along one of the short edges of your clutch piece. Stitch into place and repeat with the other side of the zipper against the opposite edge of the clutch, like below.

Fold the clutch in half, faces still together, with the zipper at the top. Sew up the sides of the clutch and pull it right side out through the zipper opening. Voilà - super easy zipper pouch!

Carefully open the end link on your tote chain and loop it through the zipper pull on your pouch before closing it shut again.

Will you be giving this bag a try? Let me know which of Mood's gorgeous new vinyls you're considering in the comments below!

The Verbena Tote - Free Sewing Pattern - Mood Sewciety
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