Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The square base water bottle carrier tote - A tutorial

Water Bottle Tote Tutorial

I'm still getting the kids ready for school.
We bought new water bottles yesterday.
They need new water bottle totes.
I designed this tote to be very easy and fast to sew.
I'm not keen on sewing in circles, too fiddly when you have 5 to sew.
This design is pretty basic and you can vary it in lots of ways.


This carrier is designed for an 800ml water bottle. With maximum circumference of 10 inches.
If your water bottle is a different size you will need to adjust the cutting measurements.
Measure around your water container adding an inch for seam allowance and a little ease.
Measure the height and add 2.5 inches to allow for the base pleat and seams.
so you would cut your fabric by those measurements and adjust your wadding similarly.

  • woven fabric - I used quilters cotton. 1/4 meter or a fat quarter will do
  • iron on pellon - not necessary but adds a bit of insulation.
  • thread, machine, scissors, rotary cutter, rulers - the sewing equipment
  • 2 x 11 inch squares of fabrics - one the outer and one the lining
  • 1 piece of pellon 10 inches by 8 inches
  • 1 webbing strap 90cm long

All the pieces -
two 11 inch squares of fabric,
iron on pellon 10 inches by 8 inches
and 90cm of webbing.

Iron the pellon onto your wrong side of the outer fabric.
Position the wadding a half inch away from the sides and top.
Leaving the bottom with no wadding. This is so the bottle will stand up.
I found if I put the wadding all the way to the base the bottle would fall over.

Pin mark the top of the outer.
start with the center pin. Then pin a 1/4 in from the sides.
Next pin half way between the center pin and the outer pins.
This marks the position to put the handle.

Pin the handles into place.
As in the photo above.

Baste the handles in.
This will help them to stay in place when you do the next step.

Place the lining on top of the outer and stitch across the top,
catching the handles in the seam.

The handles should now be sewn in the seam.

Fold your tote, matching the long sides
stitch along the raw edge.

Make a pleat into the base of the outer fabric tube.
You do this by matching the centers and pushing in the sides,
as in the photo above
Pin it well.

Straight stitch with a 1/4 inch seam.
Finish the seam with a zig-zag stitch.

Push the bag out through the base of the lining.
Turn in the raw edges of the lining base and topstitch them together.
(I know this isn't very neat ..but who's going to turn your water bottle tote inside out to look ;))
Now push your lining into the outer bag and put in your water bottle!
(You can top stitch around the top if you want ..I didn't bother..I'm making five)

This is what your pleated base looks like.
Pretty neat!

  • Patchwork the outer.
  • Topstitch around the top
  • Add embellishments such a ric rac and lace.
  • Applique a child's name onto them
  • Leave the pellon out
  • make the handle out of matching fabric

If you notice any errors please let me know so I can edit!

You are welcome to make these for selling.


thornberry said...

Wow! How does a mother of SIX manage to be so prolific with her sewing and her tutorials? Well done Tracy!

ozjane said...

I think mad quilter deserves a new name.
"wonder woman quilts"

I love the new? header which probably tells you I have been slipping behind in reading my feeds in the name of throwing out and more throwing out.

I think I might make one as a hostess gift (if I can do it ahead of time.) Next time I have to take a bottle somewhere. Especially if it is local and does not need to much effort to keep it cold.

Tine said...

What a great tutorial. Thank you so much!

mirage said...

I love them. I will have to add them to my list. Well done Tracy send some of your organised mum dust my please ;-)

Michele's Quilting Journey said...

Absolutely darling. And with all of those little ones...amazing, as well! Also, if you wanted to, you can also make the shaping pleats on the inside with a simple turn out, again. They're slightly less bumpy that way, like with a shopping bag. Love your fabric for the kids. Bet you get lots of requests for birthday gifts!

Melissa said...

I finally got around to making your water bottle tote tonight. I wanted to share my results with you.