Creative articles about sewing

Sew a safety tote bag with light.

Dark wintertimes are coming, and I think I need a safe bag on my bicycle. So I thought I’d sew a safety tote bag with light.

Sew a tote bag - safetybag - safebag -

I made it on the BERNINA 710 and overlock BERNINA L 460

Image of BERNINA L 460.


The BERNINA overlocker L 460 offers up to 1500 stitches per minute and ensures beautiful and flexible stitches. The BERNINA L 460 is the perfect overlocker/serger for the creative sewer of knitwear.

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Image of BERNINA 710.


The BERNINA 710 offers many features to make sewing easier. Inventions such as the semi-automatic threading system, the BERNINA Stitch Regulator (BSR), the BERNINA DualFeed, and the embroidery system, are proof of this superior quality.

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What do you need to make a safe tote bag with light?

  • Fabric 30 x 76 cm for the bag, 2 shoulder straps of 13 x 72 cm, an extra patch of 9 x 30 cm.
  • see-through plastic (package or tablecloth?) 21 x 30 cm
  • Light plastic zipper of 30 cm
  • Mettler Seracycle sewing thread (yes! recycled thread!) and Mettler Transfil (nylon thread).
  • Trixie Flash Light Ring size L-XL (yes, USB chargeable!).
  • Biastape to finish the shoulder straps
  • A rotary cutter, mat and ruler are useful.


Preparation of the parts for the safetybag:

Overlock the short sides of the biggest patch.

Fold the shoulder straps and zigzag over the open sides.

Sew the biastape over both long sides of the shoulderstraps with Binder attachment # 87 in combination with Open embroidery foot # 20.

Image of Open Embroidery Foot #20.

Open Embroidery Foot #20

Perfect for sewing decorative stitches ✓   Creation of attractive appliqué designs ✓  Allows lines and patterns to be followed precisely ✓   An open form for a clear view of the project ✓  For 5.5 mm and 9 mm machines ✓ 

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Image of Binder Attachment for Pre-Folded Bias Tape #87.

Binder Attachment for Pre-Folded Bias Tape #87

For perfect corners and beautiful curves ✓  Ideal tool for sewing neat edge finishes with pre-folded bias tape ✓ Ease of handling ✓ For 5.5 mm and 9 mm machines ✓ 

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biastape - sew biastape - Bernina biastape accessory

Overlock both long sides of the smallest rectangle.

Sew the zipper to the smallest rectangle on the longest side (right sides together). Fold open and topstitch with Edgestitch foot # 10.

Image of Edgestitch Foot #10.

Edgestitch Foot #10

Excellent for topstitching edges, hems and pleats ✓  Ideal for sewing on lace or ribbon ✓  For reinforcing edges ✓  The guide lets you sew perfect seams and hems running parallel to the edge ✓  For 5.5 mm and 9 mm machines ✓ 

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Pin the plastic to the other side.

Sew the plastic sheet, use Zigzag foot with non-stick sole # 52 if necessary. Fold over and topstitch on the fabric.

Image of Zigzag Foot with Non-Stick Sole #52.

Zigzag Foot with Non-Stick Sole #52

For all utility and decorative stitches ✓  Non-stick coating on the sole ensures it slides smoothly ✓  For plastic, vinyl, leather, etc. ✓  For 5.5 mm and 9 mm machines ✓ 

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Anti glijzool 52 Bernina

Sew decorative circles on the tote bag:

Iron stabilizer to the back (or embroidery stabilizer or even a newspaper sheet with temporary adhesive spray).

Draw circleparts with a plate and a heat erasable pen.

Sew fringes with Tailor tack foot # 7. If you have never used it before, be sure to try on a scrap first.

Image of Tailor Tack Foot #7.

Tailor Tack Foot #7

For sewing elegant embellishments and imitation hemstitch ✓  For fringes and 3D effects ✓  The hemstitch specialist ✓  For 5.5 mm and 9 mm machines ✓ 

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I chose for these settings: Stitch 10, stitchlength 0,5, stitchwidth 2.0

The machine makes loops over the vertical part in the middle:

Tailor tack foot 7 BERNINA - fringefoot - sew fringes

After finishing a line, move the fabric to the back to remove the loops from the presser foot. Cut the loops when finished.

I really enjoy this decorative effect.

tailor tack foot 7 BERNNA - sew fringes - fringefoot - decorative stitches


Finishing the safety totebag with light:

Fold the fabric over and iron the fold. Sew the zipper 2 cm above the fold, right sides together. Topstitch to finish.

decorative stitches - sew tote bag - safety bag - safebag

Sew the upper part of the plastic with Mettler Transfil sewing thread to the bag. I took these settings (including mirroring the application stitch).

Finishing the tote bag:

Close the side seams of the bag (right sides together), take a 1 cm seam allowance. Overlock (the BERNINA L460 can handle a light plastic zipper).

Sew the shoulder straps to the bag, with a 5 cm distance from the sideseam (right sides together).

Fold over and finish with a topstitch on the folded top part.

sew tote bag - BERNINA open embroidery foot - fringes

Insert the lightring in the bag.

‘Sew a safety tote bag with light’, I hope this blogposts inspires you to make one yourself.

sew a safebag - safetybag - tote bag - Bernina - fringefoot - tailor tack foot

Set the light ring to a quick or slow flash light or continuous light. And recharge the battery with the included USB cable when necessary.

Does this project make you happy too? I like it.

Keep safe!

Free sewing tutorial: safety tote bag with light

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