Thursday, January 25, 2024

Copy That - Inspiration from Coachtopia Part III

Hi everyone,

Today, I'm posting my part III of my “Copy That” inspired by Coachtopia Cloud Tote.  First, let me say it has been so much fun making these tote bags.  There is so much you can do with a simple pattern.  You can elevate the look using fabric or by adding design elements to make it stand out.  And then sometimes it can be about making it more functional for your personal use.

Warning - This post is long.  I want to provide details on how I made the second and third tote. So here goes.

Tote #2 - Faux Fur with non-stretch knit "looking" wrong side.  The lining is a polyester taffeta that I purchased at Joann's Fabrics.  It is tightly woven and feels like a waterproof textile.  Very sturdy and perfect for the lining.

I purchased the faux fur from the Textile Warehouse in Chicago (West 21st near Damen Avenue).  It is a fun, funky animal print in hot pink and black.  Upon examining the back of the fabric, I thought it might need an additional layer of support.  So I used a double sided fusible web to adhere a cotton broadcloth to the wrong side of it.  This process added durability to the tote.

After I cut out the tote, I fused the web to the wrong side of the fabric following the manufacturer's instructions.  Below are a few photos that I managed to take during the process.


I wanted my tote bag to have some pockets.  Using the lining fabric, I cut two pieces of fabric, the same size, to make a doubled layered pocket strip.  After sewing the pocket strip to the bag lining, I then sewed four more vertical lines to make two large pockets and two small ones to hold pencils and pens.  For the smaller pockets, I also sewed a horizontal line across them to prevent the pencils/pens from falling too far into the slot.   


Once the broadcloth was secured to the back and the pockets/label were sewn on, I was ready to put the tote together.  

First, I sewed the body of the bag and lining together using a 3/8" seam allowance.  At the top of each side of the tote bag and lining, start sewing 3/8" from the top.  At the bottom curve of both, I sewed a second row of stitches to help prevent break through.  

I also sewed the straps together.  Next, I pressed both and turned the bag to the right side leaving the lining with the wrong side on the outside.  Then I slipped the lining inside the bag matching the straps and the front and back curve of the upper body.  Next, I pinned the two together; then sewed along the straps and upper part of the bag together.

The last step made it easy to add the bias tape to all of the raw edges of the tote bag.  To make my bias tape, follow the instructions in this link.  I cut my tape about 1.5" wide.  For the bias tape, I used a remnant of black silky polyester lining.  It was easier to work with than the taffeta.  The taffeta has almost  no stretch or give on the bias.   So once I had made the strip of bias tape, I folded it in half and pressed it.  Next, I sewed it to the wrong side of the bag along all raw edges keeping them even and slightly stretching the bias tape along the curve areas of the bag.  At each end I left about 1" (loose bias tape) as the ends needed to be sewn together to complete the circle.  There will be three separate sections along the opening and the straps of the bag that require this finishing.  Completing the circle of the bias tape edge was a little tricky; I ended up slightly overlapping them tucking the raw edge of the outer tape under to finish with a folded edge (if that makes sense).  Before rolling the bias tape folded edge to cover the raw edge, I trimmed away about half of the seam allowance to help make it easier. The folded edge of the bias tape should at least cover the seam line. 

Once that is done, Press using a pressing cloth.  Make sure not to flatten the pile of the faux fur.  That's it for this version.


Tote #3.  I used a slightly different method of constructing this tote.  First, the fabric I used is a quilted nylon with a fleece like backing also from the Textile Warehouse.  I added a broadcloth to the wrong side for this version.  Same process as the faux fur version.  The lining was also a taffeta that I purchased at Joann’s. 

I used the same construction process to make the pockets and to sew the lining and bag together.  But instead of sewing the wrong sides together to add a bias tape.  I followed the instructions given by Made Here is the link.  It was pretty easy.  I finished it with top stitching along all edges. 

I hope this was helpful.  Happy Sewing!




  1. It is nice to see all the construction details. Thanks!

  2. Thank you so much for your posts about your bags. They turned out really nice and inspired me to make one as a birthday present for a friend. I used very stable lining fabric for the outside and a cotton bedsheet plus two layers of fluffy interfacing for the inside. Then quilted some clouds through all the layers, French seamed the bottom part of the bag and used biased binding on the straps. All your notes on the construction really helped!
    Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland,

    1. Nice. It is a pleasure to share. Thank you for sharing your project.

  3. You've also inspired me - thanks for your details. I just purchased a quilted fabric (outwear type) that is finished on both sides, so I guess I won't need a lining. Instead I'll do binding like you did on version 2. Did you find it hard to make that neat? Did you need a walking foot?

    1. Thank you. The binding is not hard to do. Just take your time. And I did not use a walking foot. A regular satin stitch foot will do. Thanks again.



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