How to sew boxed corners

Ever wonder how to make a bag three dimensional? Learn how to sew boxed corners in this blog.

Corners are tricky. Whether you are painting them, moving furniture around them, trying to see around them, or sewing them- corners always need some extra attention.

There are several ways to sew corners. In this blog I’ll show you the method that I like to use when sewing my bags. I use this method because I reliably get the same size corner on both sides of the bag.

To begin, sew two pieces of fabric, right sides together, with a quarter inch seam allowance. Sew down one side until you are a quarter inch from the bottom, turn your fabric 90 degrees, and continue to sew along the next side. (You can use whatever seam allowance you want, just make sure you keep it the same on both sides of your corner.)

CornersStep1
Sew along the edges of your fabric.

The next step is to determine how deep you need your corners to be. If you want a two inch deep corner, you’ll need a one inch square: Use half of the desired depth to draw a square on the corner of your fabric*.

CornersStep2
Measure half of the desired corner depth.

Cut out the square.

CornersStep3
Cut the corner, open the hole, and line up the side and bottom seams.

Now, pinch the corner of your cut out square to open it. Roll your fabric, so that the seam from the side of the bag lines up with the seam on the bottom. Your fabric should be in a straight line, with the seam in the middle of the fabric edge, perpendicular to that edge. I push my seam allowance to one side. Pin in place.

CornersStep4
Sew along the edge (red line) to close the corner.

Sew along the straight edge to close your corner. I use the same quarter inch seam allowance. Flip your fabric right side out. And there you have it! A three dimensional piece of fabric, with aligned seams!

*The fine print: Cutting a corner at an EXACT depth requires some more careful measurements. In the example above, the hole that was cut for the corner was two inches deep, but then I sewed it another quarter inch away from the edge. Technically, the resulting corner is about 2.25 inches deep. To get EXACTLY two inches deep, cut your corner hole slightly less than one inch, roll your fabric and pin as above. Place a ruler parallel to the edge of the hole and move it away from the hole until the fabric measures two inches from top to bottom. Draw a line on that spot and sew on top of this line. Now your finished corner should be two inches deep.

 

How to sew tote bag handles

Ever wonder how to sew fabric handles for a tote bag? Read this blog for step by step instructions.

Today I will show you how to make a tote bag handle that is one inch wide and 22 inches long.

Cut a strip of fabric 4 inches by 22 inches.

Fold the fabric in half the long way, wrong sides together. Iron along the fold to make a straight line at the center of the fabric. Open the fold.

HandlesStep1
Fold the fabric in half along the long edge.

Fold one long edge of the fabric down to the center line, wrong sides together. Iron the crease. Fold the second long edge up to the center line and iron.

HandlesStep2
Fold the top and bottom edges to the center line.

Fold the top down again along the center line. You should now have a one inch wide strip of fabric.

HandlesStep3
Fold in half one more time to close the handle.

Pin the handle together, including the short edges. Sew along the edge, starting at the short end, along the long, open side, and up the other short end. I found that the key to keeping my fabric together while sewing was to pin the short edges in place. Otherwise, my fabric starts to unfold as I’m sewing the long edge, and it’s a mess by the time I get to the other end.

HandlesStep4
Pin and sew around the open edges to finish the handle.

There you have it! A clean, sturdy handle for a tote bag!