Hello all! I was doing my routine Pinterest search for inspiration, and found this lovely tutorial on this Octopus Tote Bag! You can find the tutorial here on our Pinterest page. I don’t know about all of you, but I just love to tweak patterns for efficiency and to make something look more professional. That is exactly what I did here with this pattern, because the big octopus on the front was originally supposed to be a normal applique that you print out and trace. However, with the Scan n Cut, everything is easier!
The pattern does not begin with the cutting out of the Octopus, but I began with that just because I could not wait to use my Scan n Cut and I wanted to get that all situated first sine it was the focal point of my bag.
First I scanned in the octopus image into the Scan n Cut like this.
I used tissue paper to trace the Octopus from the pattern print-out, adapting some of the features of the animal so that the Scan n Cut would read it clearer. In order to scan it into the Scan n Cut, I covered the tissue paper with a clear plastic sheet. After I had it all scanned in, I went into my Scan n Cut Canvas software to edit the design, which is an online web based portal that all Scan n Cut owners use.
This is what the Octopus looked like on the Scan n Cut Canvas software.
The Scan n Cut Canvas is super user-friendly, and very helpful when you need to edit designs before you cut them out.
When I was ready to cut the Octopus out on the Scan n Cut, I made sure to prepare my fabric with Terial Magic to stabilize it for a cleaner cut. I also Ironed Heat n Bond Ultra Hold to the back of my fabric before I cut the Octopus out, because this helps to stabilize and it will allow me to iron the Octopus onto My tote bag when I’m ready for that step. Now for the cutting!
This is so easy to do, and the Scan n Cut really does most of the work for you! Imagine how many appliques you can be cutting out!
At this point I had my Octopus cut out, and it was so beautiful! But now it was time to follow the tutorial for the rest of the bag.
The pattern called for five assorted cotton print fabrics, and I used different Cotton Batik fabrics that went well together. I chose the batik fabrics, because usually the blue ones remind me of marine life.
We have an amazing selection of Cotton Batik Fabrics on our website!
I used 3/4 yds of the fabric required for the Octopus, instead of the 1/2 yd the pattern listed.
I used a plain White Kona Cotton instead of the canvas duck cloth.
I cut the 2″ strips like the pattern called for, and I proceeded to cut them into the various sizes that the pattern said to do. My pieces ended up looking like this.
I really enjoyed the way all of the blue batik prints go together to look like the ocean! What a lovely ocean!
The next step in the tutorial was to construct the front and back of the tote bag, so I did that. And then I fused the Octopus onto the bag. I put it in the general area that the pattern showed, but like I said before, there is nothing wrong with tweaking a pattern here and there. You could place that Octopus anywhere your heart desires!
Here is what the front and back of my bag looked like before I placed the Octopus on.
They were essentially the same on both sides, minus the obvious applique.
To applique the Octopus on once I fused in onto the front of the bag, I used a small zig-zag stitch. I thought it would look nicer than the stitch that the pattern called for.
I also added a pocket on the inside of the bag. To do this, I cut 2 10″ x 20″ pieces, and ironed on Craft Fuse interfacing to each wrong side. I then sewed the right sides together, leaving a a space to be able to turn it inside out. Once it was turned inside out, I pressed it really well. I need pockets in every bag that I make!
I then proceeded to follow the pattern for the rest of the construction of the bag, and when I got to the part for the handles, I did something different. Instead of just a plain, one fabric handle I used the scraps I had left from the production of my strips! I cut 4 pieces that were 10 inches long, and stitched them together like this.
How much better does that look compared to just one fabric? I think it really adds something to my tote!
Of course, I still ironed on some Fusible Fleece like the pattern called for.
I then added my straps onto my bag, and continued with the construction until it was all finished!
I love my new tote bag!
I cannot wait to haul this beauty out to the beach, because I know that everyone will LOVE it, and thanks to the Scan n Cut it was a breeze to make.
This is what my finished bag looked like:
- Brother Scan n Cut
- Heat n Bond Ultra Hold
- Terial Magic
- Craft Fuse
- Batik Fabrics
- White Kona Cotton
- Fusible Fleece