A lovely (blogless) reader sent me this photo of her oversized beach tote.  I adore the fabric and love the grommets which add a nautical flair to the bag.  I admire Blair because she just received a sewing machine for her birthday in May and she is diving in to projects.  I think that is the best way to learn!  (She’s also going to tackle a T-Shirt quilt!) 

She mentioned that her measurements did not match mine and I was thinking that it might be due to using a 45″ wide fabric.  I only briefly discuss this in my tutorial, so I’m going to explain how to cut fabric to make my tote when using a 45″ wide fabric.

A bit of sewing 101, but most fabrics are made to a 44″ – 45″ width. When the fabric is purchased it is folded in half so that the selvedges meet.  If you open it up it should measure 44″ from selvedge to selvedge.  Most home dec fabrics are 54″ wide.  If you make my oversized beach tote using a 54″ wide fabric, you need 3/4 yard, or 27″.

Some home dec fabrics are 44″ wide.  If you use such a fabric you will need 1.5 yards of fabric and you will need to fold it in the manner described below:

1.  Lay the fabric out with the fold on the bottom and the selvedges along the top.

2. Open the fabric.

3.  Fold the fabric.

4.  Rotate the fabric.

5.  Cut.

This bag was a custom order for my neighbor!