I Sew For Fun: Easy Tote Bag

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I Sew For Fun: Easy Tote Bag

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Stitch a book bag or tote bag that reflects your little sewing partner’s interests. Nancy’s easy step-by step instructions, and patterns, are included in her new book, I Sew For Fun. Follow Nancy’s new team sewing approach and just have fun!

I Sew For Fun Book Cover

Gather Supplies

Note From Team Nancy

      Give your little partner just a few fabric choices and allow them to choose two favorite fabrics.

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Optional: Add an Appliqué

Your little partner will use this charmingly classic bag to carry books to music class, dance shoes to dance class, or games to grandma’s house.

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Create the Straps

Note From Team Nancy

Our Tote Bag features 1-inch Create-A-Strap for easy-to-make straps.

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Attach Straps

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Stitch Outer Sides and Lower Seam

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Stitch Bag Lining Sides and Lower Seam—Leave an Opening for Turning

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Slide Outer Bag into Bag Lining, Right Sides Together, and Stitch Top Edge

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Turn Bag Right Side Out

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 Topstitch Upper Edge and Lower Opening

bd3115 26New! I Sew For Fun Book with DVD available from Nancy’s Notions—includes 20 sewing projects for you to sew with your little partner. (Item# BD3117 $19.99)

Nancy Zieman's I Sew For Fun Book and DVDI Sew For Fun Book by Nancy Zieman Page 8I Sew For Fun Book by Nancy Zieman

Enjoy creative moments with the youth in your life while sharing your love for sewing.

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Watch I Sew For Fun on Sewing With Nancy online at NancyZieman.com.

NZ I Sew For Fun Screenshot

Visit isewforfun.com for a complete listing of I Sew For Fun Products by Nancy Zieman.

I Sew For Fun Products by Nancy Zieman

I Sew For Fun Retractable Seam Ripper

For a chance to win anI Sew For Fun Retractable Seam Ripperfrom Clover, please leave a comment below sharing which I Sew For Fun project you’d like to sew with the youth in your life.

Happy Sewing,

Team Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC.

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC

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  • Leslie
    February 3, 2018

    For my special we will make the tote bag first for all the cars and trucks that he must take everywhere we go. The we will make an apron for our cooking days together. All made from cars and trucks fabrics.

  • Thunder
    February 3, 2018

    I would love to make a quillow with my #1 granddaughter.
    Thanks for the chance.

  • DeWitt Donna M
    February 3, 2018

    I will be making this tote bag with my Great Granddaughters and Grandson. We will have so much fun working on these special projects. They love to sew. Thank You

  • Gloria
    February 3, 2018

    Probably the sleeping bag for stuffed animals or dolls. Looks like fun with some really cute fabrics, Don’t know if I could stop at just a FEW choices!

  • Cindy K
    February 3, 2018

    The headband, the apron, the animal sleeping bag, the quilts, and several more projects would all appeal to my granddaughter. She is 4 years old and just recently finished (with grandmas help) a quilt for her new sister. Oh sew many fun projects in this book!

  • Max
    February 3, 2018

    What a wonderful way to spend time with children. Everyone learning from each other.

  • Wendy
    February 3, 2018

    There are so many projects to choose from, but anything doll or toy related would have to be first on our list of projects to do together!

  • Janell
    February 3, 2018

    All the projects look like they would be really fun to make. I have 7 grand kids from 1-10. Five are boys, but they love working with the sewing machine too. I think I would start with the owl pillow. They are really into owls.

  • Mary
    February 3, 2018

    Oldest granddaughter is nearly 7 but lives in another state. I will be watching her for 2 weeks in May and would love to introduce her to sewing on the machine while I am there.

  • Wanda Phillips
    February 3, 2018

    I have a niece who has so many dolls and the sleeping bag for stuffed animals would be perfect for some of her smaller dolls.

  • Karen
    February 3, 2018

    The I Spy quilt would be my first choice.

  • Katherine Oler
    February 3, 2018

    I think the sleeping bag would be the one. My grand daughters all have stuffed animals who would love a sleepover with their favorite girl!

  • Twyla Johnson
    February 3, 2018

    The simple tote bags are very doable for 5 Granddaughters to make. Thanks for your tutorial.

  • Teresa Alva
    February 3, 2018

    If we had to choose one, my granddaughter and I would love to make the skirt and matching doll skirt. So many adorable projects!

  • Mary Snyder
    February 3, 2018

    I would love to teach our granddaughters to sew, but do not have that pleasure. Maybe one day. I have “i Sew For Fun” just in case.

  • Karen payton
    February 3, 2018

    My daughter and I would love to make the music tote bag for her piano books

  • scarter
    February 3, 2018

    What a great idea of a retractable seam ripper! I am always afraid that my grand daughter will poke herself with the seam ripper(which we all use), when we are sewing together, just to be together and have some time for fun and learning.

  • Sandra
    February 3, 2018

    Love all the sewing gadgets and this seam ripper is such a brilliant idea especially for safety. Making tote bags would definitely be something I would like to make.

  • Noreen
    February 3, 2018

    I like the Sleeping Bag – fun to make and then fun to play with.

  • Chris House
    February 3, 2018

    Brings back memories of learning at laps of my great aunts at their treadle machine in the 1960’s who owned dress shop on Sunset Blvd in CA. Teaching sewing to youngsters can be rewarding for both teacher and student. As sewing/crafting adult, I am ever grateful for the 100’s of hours of instruction Nancy gave to the sewing world.

  • Lynda A
    February 3, 2018

    I love making aprons for and with all ages. I would teach my special young friend to sew an apron with her favorite coordinating fabrics.

  • Berenice
    February 3, 2018

    Every year at my daughters’ service organization’s annual convention, I teach young ladies how to make the very same tote bag that is shown above. We do not do the applique due to time constraints, but there is nothing like the look on those faces when they realize that indeed they too can sew! And it is a project they can use everyday and make more in just a few minutes.

  • Niomi
    February 3, 2018

    Will start them out with the two-piece quilt pattern. Must get them to enjoy quilting. Then the apron and on and on.

  • Bonnye
    February 3, 2018

    So many cute I’d eas. I liked the tote bags, aprons, skirt, and simple quilts. That should keep my granddaughter and I busy.

  • mary m young
    February 3, 2018

    I bought the book for my twin granddaughter for Christmas. I thought it was a perfect starter incentive.

  • Kathy Myers
    February 3, 2018

    I love these ideas. I’ve been helping two 6 year old twins learn to sew. Love the apron idea!

  • Faith King
    February 3, 2018

    I taught my daughter-in-law and young granddaughter to sew aprons at the same time. They pretty much had the same level of proficiency but granddaughter displayed so much confidence. she loved it while daughter-in-law chose to find other pursuits. Grand daughter went on to make lots of Quillows!h

  • Gail Beam
    February 3, 2018

    I think the pillowcase, the tote, and the art caddy would be my first picks, but Nancy presents so many fun projects in this book that it would be hard to choose. I think letting my grandchildren each pick one that they would like would be fun. Thanks for the chance to win another great notion .

  • Eileen horan
    February 3, 2018

    I think my daughter would like to make the pillowcase. And I would love her (and me) to have the retractable seam ripper. What a grand idea!

  • Joan Deaver
    February 3, 2018

    I would like to sew an I spy doll quilt with my granddaughter. I think that would be so much fun. We might need that seam ripper.

  • Peggy Winifred
    February 3, 2018

    I think the pillowcase would be a starter, with my granddaughter making one for herself and one for her younger brother.

  • Jane
    February 3, 2018

    I introduced my 9 year old grand-daughter to
    “Mr. Ripper”, my close friend, when she was making a pillowcase. Would be great to give her a ripper of her own to add to her stitching supplies.

  • Peggy V
    February 3, 2018

    I would sew the musical tote with my granddaughter, she plays piano and the tote would be perfect for her music.

  • Mary Kay Schwarz
    February 3, 2018

    I would sew the musical note bag with my grandkids as they take piano lessons. It would be good to hold there music.

  • Judy
    February 3, 2018

    Iwould love to teach my granddaughter to sew, when she has the time. She would be very interested in the tote for a number of reasons….like for her brother for his legos, and younger sister for her Barbie dolls. She has lots of uses.

  • Tina
    February 3, 2018

    I would love to sew the tote bag with my daughter. My daughter takes piano and would love it.

  • Barbara Graves
    February 3, 2018

    I would love to make the girls skirt with matching doll skirt with my granddaughter. She received an American girl doll for Christmas and would love some additional clothes for her—and if they happen to match her OWN clothes, that would be even sweeter!

  • Gail
    February 3, 2018

    We’d make a quilt for a baby doll.

  • Gail
    February 3, 2018

    We’d make a little quilt for her baby doll.

  • Clovis
    February 3, 2018

    I would go for the bag. You can never have too many bags.

  • Bridget
    February 3, 2018

    I’d like to make the art caddy with my little friend. It would be great for travel!

  • Shirley Clark
    February 3, 2018

    There are so many good projects shown! My little granddaughter, Shelby, would love the music note tote bag. She plays the piano, and it would be perfect for her. I enjoy sewing with her so much. She’s only 10, but she’s learned so fast.

  • Yvonne Laffoon
    February 4, 2018

    I would love to make the music tote bag for myself, as well as for a child! That fabric would make a wonderful cushion cover for the piano stool, too!

  • judy
    February 4, 2018

    I think the older two great granddaughters would like to do the skirt as they are about clothes at 8 yrs old. The third one would maybe do that too until she sees the owl pillow. She is 5 and all about owls. I’m sure there are many things they’d like to do, although they are pretty good at asking grandma or great auntie to make them things.

  • Mo L
    February 4, 2018

    Tote bag with shorter dimensions, he’s 2 1/2 and a long bag with long straps would be harder to carry,
    We also would pick car/truck or paw patrol fabric.
    We might make 2, one for vehicles and one for his little paw patrol dogs.

  • Jenny Moore
    February 4, 2018

    I would love to make this book bag with my Granddaughter. There are so many great ideas, that it was hard to pick just one.

  • Bev
    February 4, 2018

    Wow, it’s hard to decide on just one. I would love to make them all but would start with the sleeping bag for their dolls. I have 5 year old twin granddaughters. Santa brought them several Wellie Wisher dolls for Christmas and they need a place to sleep! He also brought them sewing machines and are eager to learn to sew.

  • jo Wray
    February 4, 2018

    This is such a great idea to help young sewers learn and for grandmother’s or other adults to share their love of sewing. What a great thing for Nancy to have given this example and guide line.

  • nancyb
    February 5, 2018

    I would make a quillow so that granddaughter can snuggle whilst watching her movie.

  • nancyB
    February 5, 2018

    I would make the superhero cape with fleece fabric to make a car poncho for my granddaughter.

  • Karen
    February 5, 2018

    We would make the Art Caddy since it can be used to organize their sewing supplies also.

  • Erin M
    February 5, 2018

    Thank you so much for keeping Nancy’s love of sewing alive for all of us! I appreciate all that you are doing, and think often of Nancy, her shows, and her projects. This is a wonderful new endeavor.

  • L Watson
    February 5, 2018

    The musical tote bag would be a great project, fun to make and useful!

  • Pam
    February 6, 2018

    sleeping bag for stuffed animal as she loves her stuffed animals.

  • Lynn D in NC
    February 9, 2018

    I would let my granddaughters choose, but I’d bet they would choose to make the owl pillow first.

  • Wendy
    February 9, 2018

    The owl pillow and tote bag are both so cute!

  • Katie F
    February 9, 2018

    The darling owl pillow!

  • Barb Miller
    February 9, 2018

    I am already talking to my granddaughter about her first project.

  • Gunilla
    February 12, 2018

    I’ll start with the Stuffed Animal Sleeping Bags because any child will love that one. If I were to choose I would continue with the Owl Pillow (if they don’t pick that pattern, I’ll make one myself for my granchildren’s place in my house). Seems to be a great book!

  • Sarah
    February 12, 2018

    The two-piece block quilt is what I would choose to make .

  • Linda Stockdale
    February 13, 2018

    I’m going for the tote bag. She loves to carry around bags with her toys and stuff. It’s so cute and handy besides.

    February 13, 2018


  • E. Watson
    February 17, 2018

    I would make the drawstring backpack or the two-piece block quilt, or both!!! 🙂

  • Doreen Linehan
    February 20, 2018

    I’d start with the sleeping bag for the doll & then the skirt for the doll. My grand-daughter loves her American Girl dolls.

  • Nancy Schafer
    February 23, 2018

    I miss Nancy so much. Words can’t describe how much I miss her knowledge and skills. I know this is probably not the place to post this, but I just miss her so.

    My shop is dedicated to her: “My shop is dedicated to the loving memory of Nancy Zieman – the true Mother of Sewing.”

    Nancy S.

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