Nova Tote Sew Along : Making the Parts & Assembly

1 comment by Christine Lux

Whew!  The end of 2017 certainly got away from me over here. Something about holidays, travel, and you know ... life. But Santa loved it and enjoyed gifting this bag to a sweet friend of mine.

I did finish my Nova Tote quite a bit back and posted all these details on Instagram, but was slack about getting it added over here.  Ready?

Make the Parts: 

Once you have pieced the exterior pocket, you'll need to get it quilted along with the other parts of the bag. But first, let me say you should be sweet to your machine and give it a good clean out, some oil, and go ahead and wind some extra bobbins. 

I chose to spray baste my pieces to the Soft & Stable (S&S). I like to use 505 spray and will occasionally use Clover clips around the edges, but I prefer spray on smaller areas that I am quilting. Additionally, pins through S&S are a little difficult. 

I spray basted both the front and back to the S&S. 

You'll see that I left the space between the front and back exterior open - not a big deal as it will be covered by the bottom panel later.

I chose to quilt the exterior pocket with some concentric circle loopy things. 

For the back of the back, I marked a grid using a ruler and chalk and quilted straight lines with my walking foot. 

This was really easy to do. And I like the look of this. Note that really dense quilting will make your bag "shrink" so keep this in mind as you are choosing a style - you'd had to lose an inch or two in the width of your bag!

For the front side of the bag, I did some big chrysanthemum type flowers. I think they turned out really pretty :-) 

To make the inner pocket, sew the lining and the front together on the long edge. Then bring the top of the lining up to meet the top of the front and press the fold. We'll be binding the top edge later, so its fine that it is "open." 

Tuck the S&S piece in to the fold and baste and quilt. I did some of those large flowers again. 

Trim the pocket and the main bag panel to size after quilting. 

Next, let's make the straps. 

I cut my straps per the pattern and added some woven interfacing (SF-101) to the wrong side. I tucked in a length of S&S that was 1.25" wide by the same length of the strap inside one of the folds.

I like to use Clover clips to hold everything in place.

Then I sew 1/8" from the edge all the way around the strap and then come back and do a lap about 1/4" inside the first pass of stitching. 

Trim the completed straps to the appropriate length per the pattern. 

Bind the Pockets

For the binding, I cut one 2.25" x WOF strip and then cut that in half.  I folded each strip in half lengthwise. Attach the binding like you would a quilt -stitch to the front using a 1/4" seam and then finish on the back by hand or machine. 

I elected to use my Edge Stitch foot and finish by machine. After adding the binding on both pocket edges, I ran around all the edges of all the bag parts (pockets and main panel) with a line of stitching 1/8" from the edge just to keep everything nice and tidy. 

They look all pretty now and ready to go!

Assemble the Bag

Follow the directions in the pattern for the placement of the exterior pocket and the straps. 

I secured the straps at the top with some extra stitching. I have found that I am a little rough with my bag at times, so this is always a good idea for me. ;-) 

Attach the inside pocket next. I made this so that it was on the back side of the bag (still on the interior).

I placed the pocket 2.25" down from the top of the bag. I secured this with a line of stitches along the bottom. ** Be sure to more the pocket out of the way when you stitch down the contrast bottom panel next. **

Almost done!  Make the bottom contrast panel as per the directions. I used SF-101 on the wrong side here too. 

A tip for folding over an edge is to draw a line on the wrong side 2 x the width of the fold. So if you are folding under 1/2", draw a line 1" from the edge and fold to the line. 

Next, we're gonna finish this thing! 

I cut a 3" x WOF strip and bound the side seams after cutting out the bottom squares per the pattern. I used a 1/2" seam and then sewed right on the edge catching the other side to enclose the seam. (I did a few extra rows of stitching in the seam allowance to flatten all the layers down a little.) 

For the bottom corner seams, I didn't have quite enough left of my binding fabric, so I cut two 3" x 8" strips from the lining fabric leftovers to make the binding for these.

I folded the ends over and stitched it all down. 

I used a 2.25" x WOF strip for the binding on the top of the bag. I finished it to the inside of the bag by hand. 

Ok ... so that is pretty much it!  I did add a few lines of stitching (following the previous lines I stitched into the straps to add some dividers to the interior pocket. (To be up front, in hindsight, I would have made this pocket a little shorter as I didn't want to stitch through the bottom panel so my "divider" stitches don't go all the way to the bottom of this pocket. But this also doesn't necessarily bother me for how I planned to use this bag.)

Here are all the glamour shots ... 

Thanks for sewing along with me!  If you have any questions, send us an email at sewlux at gmail!

Happy Sewing!

1 comment

  • Diane McFarlin

    I simply love all the items you make and share with us. The color selection is always perfect, and I want to start now and make one too. However, that has not happened. :) All things in time. Thank you for sharing your talents…It is always a nice surprise to see what is next.
    Diane Mcfarlin
    Modesto, CA

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