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August 22, 2023
Maureen Fiorellini's latest fabric collection, Cottage Farmhouse Fusion, by StudioE Fabrics is the perfect blend of rustic and charm. Her collection also includes 8 different panels. Realizing the Cloudburst Tote, pattern by Justine Wilson from Great Heron Thread Co, would be the perfect way to showcase a panel, I hacked the front pocket to create this charming tote. Justine's pattern uses a patchwork section for the front pocket on the original pattern. Today, I'm going to explain how I hacked the Cloudburst Tote to create the front pocket using a panel from the Cottage Farmhouse Fusion collection.
The first step was to add fabric to both sides and bottom of the panel to create the dimensions of the front pocket. I made sure to add enough to the bottom so that I would not lose a lot of the panel when the boxed corners were added.
Next, I interfaced the completed front panel with SF 101 interfacing.
After interfacing, I did a quick topstitching along the seams at 1/8". I like to topstitch using a 3.5" stitch length.
To finish off the pocket, I cut a 2 1/4" strip that measures along the top of the pocket. I folded the strip in half, wrong sides touching, ironed flat and lined up the raw edges along the top of the pocket. Before sewing together, I added the pocket lining to the back of the panel, making sure wrong sides were touching.
Clipping in place to ensure everything stayed together, I then sewed all 3 pieces (binding strip, front panel, and back pocket lining) at a 1/4" seam allowance.
With the panel facing me, I then flipped the binding over to the backside of the pocket piece, and clipped in place. After clipping the binding in place, I stitched in the ditch to sew the binding in place.
View from the backside, showing how to turn the binding over the pocket to the backside.
I use a Janome Memory Craft 9450 as my main sewing machine, and it comes with this handy "stitch in the ditch" foot. I line up the black curved portion with the seam I want to stitch into, and it helps guide me and keep my stitches in place.
View from sewing - you can see the back curved part is right up against that seam so I can sew right in there. Again, I sewed at a 3.5" stitch lenghth.
Ta-da! You did it! This is a view of the front and backsides so you can see how it looks after you stitch in the ditch.
Now, you're ready to continue on with the rest of the bag. Your finished panel pocket should look something like this.
I hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial on how the add a panel to the front pocket of the Cloudburst Tote! Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think! And, if you make this tote with the panel hack, please feel free to tag me on social media with @bemandythings or #bemandythings - I'd love to see!
Thanks for reading!
Amanda, Be Mandy Things
Handcrafted Bags to help you Be the Many Things
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November 13, 2022