I've been so inspired by Japanese Boro Mending lately and wondered... could I use The Dream Fabric Frame to create the look of the Boro Mending on a tote bag? Essentially we'd be creating the fabric panels on The Dream Fabric Frame and I was right, we could! I opted to use a heavy duck cloth for this project but I would also try this with a denim, canvas or home dec weight fabrics. I really wanted to be able to see the beautiful stitches, so I used a few different heavier weight threads in the machine for the stitching. While stitching, I also varied the stitch length by moving faster and slower resulting in a hand stitched feel. I've broken it down into ten simple steps. Let’s get started!
Supply ListYour The Dream Fabric Frame
VQ2400 Sewing Machine
with the Echo Quilting Foot (XE0766-001)
loaded (you can also use Foot O - the Free Motion Open Toe Foot SA187
) ½ yard of white duck cloth ½ yard of blue duck cloth ¼ yard of grey duck cloth 1 yard of cotton for lining Fabric glue stick Various weights of heavy thread in a few colors (outdoor thread, denim thread, button craft thread)
What Fabric to CutCut 2 pieces of your white duck cloth 13 ½” x 22” inches Cut 2 pieces of your blue duck cloth 8” x 22” inches Cut 2 pieces of your grey duck cloth 2” x 22” inches Cut your lining: 2 pieces at 18” x 19 ½” Cut your straps: 2 pieces of the blue duck cloth 4” x 25”
Putting things TogetherStep 1 Pin white and blue duck cloth pieces together along the 22" wide side and sew using a ½" seam allowance. Press seam open. Step 2 Adhere grey piece with fabric glue to cover the seam.
Embellishing with your Dream Fabric FrameStep 3 Load the fabric panel onto The Dream Fabric Frame. Stitch across the grey panel several times to attach the grey piece to the panel. [caption id="attachment_2155" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Step 3 - Stitching embellishment shown up close. The use of different weights and colors of threads adds such great texture, achieving the Boro Mending Style we are going for.[/caption] Repeat for other exterior front panel. Step 4 Now that you've finished embellishing the exterior panels, trim them to the finished size of 18” x 19 ½”.
Bag ConstructionStep 5 Pin exterior panels RST (Right Sides Together) around 3 sides leaving top open. Repeat for lining, pinning RST leaving top open. [caption id="attachment_2158" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Step 5 - Pin RST[/caption] Stitch both exterior panels and lining with ½" seam allowances around the 3 pinned sides, leaving the top open.
Box CornersStep 6 On both corners of duck cloth, pinch bottom corner together, lining up the side and bottom seams so they lay flat. Measure and mark a line 4” from corner as shown. Stitch across on this line. Repeat for lining. Cut extra fabric off corners from both exterior and lining leaving a ½" seam allowance.
Handle TimeStep 7 a. Press fabric in half lengthwise b. Open Fabric up and press each side down to meet the middle crease. c. Press this piece in half d. And top stitch down each side close to edge. Repeat with other handle. Step 8 Press side seam allowances on both exterior and lining fabric to the side. [caption id="attachment_2165" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Press side seams firmly.[/caption] Step 9 Attach handles to exterior of bag. Make a crease with your iron in the center of the bag. Measure 5” from that crease on both sides and attach handles with pins. Sew across the top of the handles using a ⅜” seam allowances.
Lining the BagStep 10 Place the lining fabric inside the Exterior fabric. Make sure that Right Sides are together (facing each other.) Pin at the top where the side seems line up first, then continue pinning all around the top of the bag, leaving an opening unpinned about 3 inches wide for turning. (I usually do this on the side of bag.) [caption id="attachment_2166" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Step 10 - Sewing in the lining.[/caption] Step 11 Turn Bag right side out. Push the lining back into the bag. Press top edge with your iron. Top stitch around the top edge of bag making sure lining is pushed into bag. (This will close the opening.) Enjoy your new Boro Mending Style Boxed Tote. Please tag us at #BrotherSews and #StitchingSewcial to show us photos of your new Boro Mending Stye inspired bags on social media on Facebook
. Happy Sewing!!