Project Bobbin Work Embroidered Tote

By Diane Kron

Skill Level: Intermediate  

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With the Baby Lock Ellisimo's upgrade, using decorative threads for embroidery has never been easier. With new built-in designs and the ability to place the designs in a precise location, your embroidery creativity will spiral upward with more options than ever before in this embroidered bag. Download printable instructions.


  • Baby Lock fusible interfacing
  • ½ Yard blue cotton velveteen
  • 1Yard black cotton velveteen
  • 1 Yard of black lining fabric
  • I Set of D shaped purse handles
  • 1 purchased rose pin (optional)
  • Madeira Decora 6 thread Color 1596 used in the bobbin
  • Steam-a-Seam Web
  • Madeira Polyester thread to match the bobbin thread
  • Chaco marking pen


  • Baby Lock® Ellisimo
  • Sewing and Embroidery Upgrade Kit


  1. From the blue fabric cut three sections that measure 12″ x 12″square for the front of the tote. These will be adjusted to 8½” x 8½” squares once the embroidery is complete.

    1. One of these sections will be used as a test piece. If more than one test is required, cut out additional sections.

  2. From the black fabric cut three sections that measure 12″ x 12″square for the front of the tote. These will be adjusted to 8½” x 8½” squares once the embroidery is complete.

    These squares will be adjusted later to 8½″ x 8½″ square after the embroidery has been completed.

  3. After the front section has been assembled, cut out the back section the same size as the front piece.

  4. Cut out two 4″ x 4½″ rectangles for the handle attachments.

  5. From the lining fabric cut out two pieces the same size as the back section.

  6. From interfacing, cut two 16″ x 16″ squares.

  7. Using a Chaco marking pen, cross mark the center on the backside on each of the squares.

  8. With the machine on and the embroidery unit attached, follow the next set of directions to embroider the four squares.

    1. Using the grey bobbin case, loosen the tension screw ½ turn and place in the machine.

    2. Wind the bobbin by hand with the Madeira Decora 6 thread. Follow the manufactures’ directions for placing the bobbin in the bobbin case.

    3. Set the upper tension to 8.

    4. Hoop one of the 12″ square sections in the 200mm x 200mm hoop. No stabilizer will be used for this project.

    5. To select the embroidery design, click on the Embroidery field and then select the 6th category. Scroll down select one of the last 14 designs in this field.

    6. When choosing these designs, the machine will automatically set the speed at 350 spm and will turn off the automatic thread cutter. No editing can be made.

    7. Click on the camera function to center the design over the cross marks on the hooped square.

    8. Advance the machine forward one stitch. Turn the hand wheel to lower and raise the needle. Gently pull the threads through to the top of the fabric.

    9. Set the stitch setting back to one stitch on the machine.

    10. Do a test embroidery and check for any tension adjustments. Make any adjustments at this time.

    11. Embroider the design.

    12. Repeat for the four sections.

  9. Trim the embroidered squares to 8½″ x 8½″. Sew the squares together in pairs with one black and one blue. Sew the pairs together to make one front sections.

  10. Fuse the interfacing to the front and back sections.

  11. On each of the bottom sections notch out a 1″ square in each of the bottom corners.

  12. Using a ¼″ seam allowance and with right sides together, sew the front to the back section along the side and bottom edges.

  13. To create the bottom corners, fold the tote side seams to match the center seam on the bottom and stitch.

  14. To make handle attachments, fold under ½″ on short edges of each 4″ x 4½″rectangle. Insert strips of fusible web under the folded edges and fuse in place.

  15. Slip the purse handles through the attachments and baste with wrong sides together.

  16. With raw edges even, center handle attachments to the tote’s upper edges and baste in place.

  17. Sew the lining fabric together in the same manner as the tote leaving a 6″opening for turning.

  18. Slip the tote inside the lining so right sides are together and top edges are even. The handles will be sandwiched between the lining and the tote. Sew the upper edges together.

  19. Pull the tote bag through the opening on the lining and press the seam. Top stitch along the top edge of the tote to secure. Slip stitch the opening closed.

  20. (Optional) To finish off the bag, pin a silk flower to the center of the tote.

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