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Monogrammed Library Tote and Zipper Pouch {A-Z Series, “M”}

When you were a little kiddo heading off to school, what was your favorite part about your school day? Mine was definitely those weekly trips to the library and the moment my teacher would tell me it was time to pull out my library book and silently read at my desk. And today, I still love those trips to the library and when my kiddos and I have our daily reading time here at our home, where we cuddle up on the couch and read our library books! However, one of my favorite parts about those library trips…are the cute bags we get to put our library finds in, of course I would say that, HaHa! Michele from The Scrap Shoppe is sharing her A-Z project today that is all about those library trips and a great big monogrammed “M”! Enjoy!

Monogrammed Library Tote and Zipper Pouch - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
“M” is for monogram! And, in this case, a Monogram Library Tote!

Hello, friends! I’m Michele from The Scrap Shoppe, and I’m super excited to be participating in this fun Back to School A-Z series! Haven’t the projects so far been fantastic?

I selected the letter M because I’m a bit obsessed with monograms. I just love to put them on everything! Maybe it’s because I’m from the south? But everything does look better with a monogram, don’t you think? Including this Library Tote!

Monogrammed Library Tote and Zipper Pouch - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Monogrammed Library Tote and Zipper Pouch - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
I can’t wait to share all of the delicious details of this tote bag! There were a lot of “firsts” for me in this project including sewing an applique, making and adding piping, sewing a pocket…  But the devil is in the details and all of these details really make the bag something special.

Monogrammed Library Tote and Zipper Pouch - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Let’s start with these gorgeous Riley Blake fabrics from The Ribbon Retreat! They are part of the Apple of My Eye collection and, as you can imagine, incorporate apples into some of the patterns. Perfect for this Back to School theme!

Supplies:
1/2 yd Red Apple Stripe
1/2 yd Yellow Apple Dot
1/2 yd Blue Main
1/2 yd Aqua Simple Gingham
1/4 yd Green Herringbone
1 fat quarter Red Herringbone
Steam-A-Seam
cording for making piping

Apple of My EyePB
Get All Of Your Supplies1
The front and back of the tote are comprised of two pieces of fabric each: the top portion is 10″x12″ and the bottom is 4″x12″. To make the sides of the tote you will need two pieces 2″x18″ stitched together end-to-end to make a 2″x36″ strip. To make the matching lining for the interior of the bag, cut two 14″x12″ pieces and two 2″x18″, also stitched end-to-end.

The pocket is two 5″x6″ pieces. The handles require four 40″x1 1/2″ pieces of fabric. 

We’ll be using the fusible fleece interfacing on nearly every piece of fabric cut to ensure that the tote bag is sturdy and can support the weight of a lot of books.

Allow for a 1/4″ seam for all pieces of fabric.

Monogrammed Library Tote and Zipper Pouch - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Let’s begin with the handles. We are going to make 2 long handles; they stretch almost the entire length of the tote! Once you have cut the 4 pieces of fabric for the handles, attach the fusible fleece interfacing to each piece of fabric. Take 2 strips of the fabric and place right sides face to face and stitch the long sides together. Repeat for the second handle. Pull handles right side out. Iron smooth then stitch right up the center of each handle. Once that is done set the handles aside. We’ll come back to them shortly.

Monogrammed Library Tote and Zipper Pouch - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
I really wanted to make my own piping using fabric from the Apple of My Eye collection so that it would match perfectly with the other fabrics. Can you believe I cut over 9 yards of 1″ trim to use for the piping from a single fat quarter? You can get the details of the custom piping in my Monogram Zipper Pouch tutorial. You will need approximately 4.5-5 yards of piping for this tote bag.

Monogrammed Library Tote and Zipper Pouch - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
The bottom corners of the tote are rounded so stack the front and back pieces of the inner lining with the front and back pieces of the bottom portion of the tote. Use a bowl to trace the rounded corners then cut out them out.

Monogrammed Library Tote and Zipper Pouch - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Add fusible fleece webbing to the back of the top and bottom pieces of the tote.
To make the front and back of the tote, pin the handles in place on the top portion of the tote. They should be centered and separated by 5″. Add the piping between the top and bottom portion of the fabric (see the arrow in the first photo) by placing the piping along the edge of the right side of the top portion of the tote. Fold up the bottom portion of the tote so that the right side of the bottom of the tote is on top of the right side of the top of the tote (see center photo). Use a zipper foot to stitch the piping on.

Monogrammed Library Tote and Zipper Pouch - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Add fusible fleece interfacing to the back of one piece of the pocket fabric.

Follow the directions on Steam-A-Seam to attach to the fabric you will be using for the monogram. I printed an M on card stock then cut it out to use as a stencil. Trace the M (face down for a reverse image!) on the back of the Steam-A-Seam. Cut out and follow directions to iron onto the piece of pocket with the fusible webbing.
Stitch along interior of the monogram.
Place right sides of pocket pieces together and stitch along the top and bottom. 
Flip pocket right side out, iron smooth, and topstitch a couple of decorative lines across the top (see arrow).

Monogrammed Library Tote and Zipper Pouch - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Center the pocket on the front of the tote, approximately 3″ from the top. Attach the pocket by stitching down the sides and the bottom.
Now we can stitch down those handles that were previously pinned down. Stitch 1/4″ in along the handles on each side up to 3/4″ from the top of the tote. Don’t stitch all the way to the top or you won’t be able to attach the lining.

Monogrammed Library Tote and Zipper Pouch - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Add fusible fleece interfacing to the side pieces of the tote. Attach front and back of tote to the sides, again incorporating the piping using the same method we used previously with the zipper foot.

Make the lining of the tote by adding fusible fleece interfacing to pieces of the lining then stitch together, leaving a 4″ hole in the bottom to pull the tote right side out later. 
Baste piping to the top of the outer piece of the tote. Keep the lining wrong side out and place the right side out outer piece of the tote inside it. Use zipper foot to stitch together the top of the tote along the piping.
Pull the tote right side out through the hole in the bottom of the lining. Hand stitch the hole closed.
Iron along piping as needed to smooth out the fabric. And you’re done!

Monogrammed Library Tote and Zipper Pouch - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Isn’t the tote fun? And with all those layers of  piping it is sure to hold up to carrying around those library books.

I made a fun matching Monogram Zipper Pouch with some of the leftover fabric. Be sure to check that out!
It also contains a lot of great links to figuring out piping. 
Do you see a Monogram Library Tote in your future?
If I can do it, I know you can, too!



Thank you Michele for sharing such an adorable “M” project. This bag is terrific! I actually can’t wait to make this fun tote for my own Back to School gift. All of us mamas need our own school supplies sometimes and this magnificent Monogrammed Tote is on top of my personal school supply list.

Did you guys know that this talented lady just started sewing not to long ago…like less than a year ago. Isn’t that awesome? She is so talented! If you don’t currently sew but want to…you totally can! Don’t stress, don’t think about it…just do it! Look at what Michele has accomplished, and you can too! Make sure to visit Michele on her super crafty and creative blog, The Scrap Shoppe and make sure to check out these other fun sewing projects perfect for a brand new beginner all the way up to a seasoned sewist!

Easy Chevron Curtains - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Back To School Pillows Covers - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Kid Designed Monster Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
What is your favorite thing about Back to School time?

Monogrammed Library Tote and Zipper Pouch - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Happy Creating & Happy Library Time!
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4 Comments

  1. Posted August 15, 2014 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Thanks for all of the sweet words, Michelle!! I am completely addicted tote bags and so excited I can now make them myself! 🙂

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted August 15, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Hi Michele! Of course! We love you and think you are amazing! Thanks for joining our fun A-Z Series! You are awesome! Have a great day! Michelle 🙂

  2. Posted August 16, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    I love this so much!! That fabric is so cute and I love the tote with the pocket on the front. So super cute Michele!!

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted August 18, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Hi Bev! Thank you so much! Didn’t Michele do awesome! The fabric is so cute, bright and cheerful! Thanks again Bev and have a wonderful day! Michelle 🙂

One Trackback

  • By Monogram Zipper Pouch on October 21, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    […] ID, a cell phone. It pairs lovely with another project I just finished, and you can see it here! I used these gorgeous Riley Blake fabrics from The Ribbon Retreat. They are from the Apple of My […]

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