Have some extra ribbon lying around? This woven ribbon tote is a great way to use up your extra stash!
I picked up a pack of 16 rolls of this cute polka-dot ribbon at Marshall’s a while back. Organizing my things has made me realize just how many cute things like this I have lying around. So let’s use some!
Here’s an easy ribbon tote tutorial. All seams are 1/4″.
Cut your fabric and ribbon pieces as follows:
Exterior fabric: 13″ x 15″ (cut 2)
Interior fabric: 13″ x 15″ (cut 2)
Straps: 2.5″ x 26″ (cut 4, 2 each of 2 fabrics)
Horizontal ribbon: 13″ x width of ribbon (cut 4)
Vertical ribbon: 15″ x width of ribbon (cut 4)
To affix the ribbons to the exterior fabric, I sprayed the back of the ribbons with 505 spray-adhesive. This allowed me to weave the ribbons together and get them to stay put without pins (pins will warp the ribbon). Start with the top and left-most ribbons and start weaving them together. You’ll have to lift ribbons you’ve already placed to weave them:
Because the spray-adhesive sticks and re-sticks, it made it pretty easy to weave the ribbons together. Soon you’ll have the ribbons woven like so:
Sew along the edge of each ribbon. I used coordinating thread for each ribbon. Get as close to the finished edge as you can. You may notice the ribbon pulls and warps the fabric a little as you sew but it doesn’t really matter because you’ll square everything up in a bit.
When I got to an intersection of ribbon, I just sewed across the other ribbon:
Once all the ribbons are sew on, square up the fabric by trimming off the uneven edges. I lost about a 1/2″ of fabric vertically, and a 1/4″ of fabric horizontally because of the warping. Trim down your other exterior piece and your two interior pieces to be the same size as the exterior ribboned piece.
Sew the two exterior pieces together, RST, on the bottom and sides. Do the same with the lining pieces, but leave a 4″ gap at the bottom for turning the bag right-side out later. Trim the corners. Press the seams open.
Make your straps. For mine, I used the black crosshatch for the top of the strap, and the teal ovals for the underside of the strap. Sew the long sides of two of the strap pieces, RST, leaving the ends open. Iron the seams open. Turn the straps right-side out, press, and topstitch down the long edge, 1/8″ away from the edge.
Now it’s time to assemble the tote.
Turn the exterior of the bag right-sides out and nestle it within the wrong-sides out lining. Then nestle and pin the straps between the exterior of the bag and the lining of the bag, 2″ from the edge on each side. The straps will be in between the layers of the bag, with the raw edges of the strap lining up with the top raw edge of the bag.
Make sure your straps are pinned the right way up. For mine, I had the black crosshatch fabric together with the black crosshatch exterior, and the teal ovals together with the striped lining.
Sew all the way around the top of the bag, making sure you catch the straps as you go around. Backstitch at the start and finish. Turn the bag right-side out through the hole in the bottom of the lining. You’ll see that the straps are now on the outside of the bag. Stitch the hole shut, either with your machine and a stitch very close to the edge (my preference), or by hand sewing.
Topstitch around the top of the tote — first 1/8″ away from the top edge, then 1/4″ away from the top edge. This will help secure the handles.
Tada! You have a super cute ribboned tote! The nice thing about this tote is that you can make it pretty much any size you’d like, use any ribbon you’d like, make the straps any length you’d like — it’s incredibly versatile!
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