These cute mini totes make perfect gift bags for small gifts, treats or gift cards for St. Patrick's Day. Whip these up quickly on your embroidery machine with a pattern from Designs by JuJu. A link to the pattern is at the end of this post.
If you are interested in other machine embroidery projects, our Machine Embroidery Videos page has a lot of ideas.
Watch this video tutorial or keep reading for to see how to make these St. Patrick's Day Mini Totes.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Embroidery Machine and hoop
- Design from Designs by JuJu (look for link below)
- Mini Tote bags (see below for a link to purchase)
- Tear away or cut away stabilizer
- Spray Adhesive
- Turning Stick
- Seam Ripper
The "Sweet St. Patrick's Day Applique" embroidery design from Designs by juju to make these cute mini tote bags. The embroidery design pack comes with 8 designs. Each design has four sizes included: 4x4, 5x7, 6x10 and 8x8. The designs come in formats for all types of machines. Check for the correct format for your machine before purchasing. The designs also come with color charts.
For these mini bags, I embroidered the 4x4 inch version of the designs.
I have used many patterns from Designs by juju and have always found they stitch out nicely. Designs by juju also has sales so watch for a sale to get a great deal on this set.
STEP 1: REMOVE MINI TOTE BAG SIDE SEAM
Using your seam ripper, remove the side seam from the mini tote bag. This seam must be removed in order to embroider on the bag. The machine will then have enough room to move around and embroider. The seam will be sewn back again at the end of the project.
To remove the seam, I used my handy automatic seam ripper called the Easy Ripper. This seam ripper can really remove seams quickly! It takes a little getting used to, but I really like it. Watch the video to see it in action. If you are interested in this seam ripper, look for the link at the end of this post.
STEP 2: HOOP STABILIZER
Hoop either tear away or cut away stabilizer in your hoop. I have a stabilizer quick tip video which helps you get the most out of your stabilizer.
STEP 3: FLOAT MINI BAG
This mini bag is too small to fit in the hoop with a 4x4 inch design. But, even though it's small, you can still embroider on the bag by floating it. Floating a bag or other item is done by using spray adhesive to hold the bag onto the hooped stabilizer.
To float the bag, we need to find the center. Fold the bag in half and crease it nicely so that you can see the crease on both sides. Open the bag up and then get an idea where you will be hooping it.
Our mini bag is close to the hoop size. So, aligned the top edge of the bag with the top of the hoop. Use the center marks of the hoop and align them with the crease in the bag to center it. Now you know where to place the bag after applying the spray adhesive.
Next, apply the spray adhesive to the back of the bag and then float the bag in the hoop by putting it back where you aligned it before. Smooth it out and make sure it's sticking well.
It only needs to stick long enough to stitch the first sets of stitches on the bag. Then it will be attached to the stabilizer through the stitches.
STEP 4: EMBROIDER APPLIQUE DESIGN
Next load the design into your embroidery machine and set it to sew the design. For applique designs there are a few steps. The steps are indicated in the color chart which is included with the design pack.
For the applique steps, I used white thread for the placement stitch and tack down or cutting stitch. The design will have different colors listed, but you can ignore the color suggestions in this section. The designer must change colors in order to have the machine stop for each step, so they just select colors. When the design gets to satin stitches, you will want to select specific thread colors since this is the finishing stitch.
To applique embroider, the basic steps are:
- Stitch the placement stitch. This stitch shows you where to place your fabric.
- Cut fabric larger than the size of the placement stitch.
- Lay fabric onto your project. The fabric should extend past the placement stitch all the way around. You can use spray adhesive on the back of the fabric to help hold it down until it's sewn.
- Stitch the tack down or cutting stitch.
- Remove the hoop from the machine carefully.
- With duckbill or other small curved scissors, trim closely around the tack down or cutting stitch.
- Replace hoop in machine.
- Continue with next steps. This could be to stitch another placement stitch or to stitch some satin stitches. Refer to your pattern for the specific steps.
We have another video on machine applique embroidery, if you need more information on how to do fabric applique in a machine embroidery design.
For the design in this sample, the design stitched each of the applique sections first for the rainbow, hat and clouds. Once all of the applique steps were finished, it continued on to the satin stitches. The satin stitches are a close zig-zag stitch that finishes around the edges. A satin stitch is shown in the photo below.
Since you are stitching on a small bag. Be careful that the back of the bag does not get caught in the stitching. I used a stick to hold back the bag when the machine was getting close to the fabric.
WARNING: Do not put your fingers in there to hold the bag back! You do not want to have your fingers caught by the needle. These machines move very quickly and you don't always know where it's going next.
After all of the satin stitches are stitched, the embroidery is finished.
STEP 5: SEW SIDE SEAM
Our first step was to remove the side seam from the bag. So, our final step is to sew this seam again. Turn the bag so the right sides are together and pin the side seam.
Sew with a straight stitch down the side of the bag. With these mini bags, you will probably see the holes where the stitches were removed, so follow that as a guide. Otherwise, just stitch a 1/4" seam allowance.
The raw edges of these bags fray easily, so in order to keep them from fraying, sew a zig-zag stitch over the edge of the bag along the seam you just sewed. For this stitch, have one side of the zig-zag hit on the fabric, the other side of the stitch goes off the edge of the bag.
You could also sew an overlock stitch instead of the zig-zag if your machine has one.
Turn the bag right side out and the bag is complete! Fill the bags with treats or small gifts for St. Patrick's Day. These bags can be fun to make for other holidays too. Designs by juju has lots of different designs to choose from.
I filled my bags with a large box of Sweedish Fish. Any larger box of candy would work! The other bag I filled with colored pencils, a deck of cards and a bubble wand. Be creative! I found nice small gifts and treats at my local dollar store.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to make this project and make some for yourself. We have some links below for the patterns and supplies for making this project.
You may also be interested in the following projects.
HOW TO MACHINE EMBROIDER ON AN APRON
Machine Embroidered Spring Towels
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