Step One: Create your design with an embroidery software. I have been using Stitch Era Universal because it was free (with a $20 tutorial at My Embroidery Mentor). I would like to try out the SewWhat Pro in the near future too. When I create the design I add a quick basting stitch first in order to securely tack down the ackward tote to the hoop in order to prevent it from moving while stitching the design since you can not hoop a market tote. You can purchse basting stitches or I downloaded it free from Sew Forum. ALWAY test stitches you download for free before you use them on an embroidery blank as you never know the quality!
Step Two: Hoop your stabilizer. I used a light weight tear-away stablizer. Insert your hoop on your machine.
Step Three: Remove the frame from the tote and turn it inside out. The feet on the bottom should now be the bottom of the tote if you are looking down into it. Make sure the velcro strapes are velcroed into place so that they don't accidently get caught in your design.
Looking into the tote.
Step Four: Insert the market tote on it's side with the top of your machine almost touching the bottom feet of the tote. I use the grid and place it on top of the tote to see the boundaries, line it up straight. The totes from Wholesale Boutique are nice because they have 3 velcro straps so I just lined up the center of the hoop grid with the middle strap. Also make sure the velcro straps are out of the path of your design so that you don't sew them together. You can not do a perimeter path on these because the whole tote will move due to the size and bulkiness of the tote.
Step Five: Hold the tote down with your hand, after you lined it up and start your basting stitch. I keep my hand on the tote at all times while sewing the basting stitch to ensure that it doesn't bunch or move as it is stitching. Once the basting stitch is down you are good to go! AK Designs Boutique sells basting stiches for all types of machines.
Step Six: Stitch the remaining design.
Step Seven: Remove the hoop from the machine. Leave the tote stitched to the hoop (makes it easier to remove the basting stitch). Using a seem ripper, rip the basting stitch about every 4th stitch. Tear away the stabilizer and hoop.
Step Eight: Turn the tote right side out and you are finished!
Market totes are so hip right now! I use mine almost every day just throwing things in there that I need to do that day, like library books, coupons, packages to mail, etc. I recently gave one to a friend for her daughter's birthday and she loved it! And so did her sister, who said she wanted one too!
I have to thank Anne from Anne Michelle Designs who graciously walked me step by step through this when I purchased some market totes from her. THANK YOU!
If you don't have an embroidery machine and would like a personalized market tote visit my website at http://www.sewyours.blogger.com/ to purchase one today!