Monday, August 05, 2013

Two-Toned Fabric Tote and some Tips...


Generally I make my own patterns when I sew, but lately I've whipped up some projects {241 Tote and Little Girl Purse} where I've used patterns created by other talented ladies. I have to admit it has been a pleasure to merely follow a pattern and not have to create it from scratch! A couple of weeks ago Ashley, from the blog "Make It & Love It," posted the pattern and tutorial for a Two-Tone Fabric Tote where she featured two variations made from the same cute pattern. I decided I had to have one, so last week I created one for myself...


This is a generous bag with lots of room to store all the things that seem to be necessities in my life! The finished tote measurements are 17 inches wide by about 15 inches tall.
 

Like Ashley, I used fabrics bought at Hobby Lobby. {Love the chevron and polka-dot combo!} The "burlap" ribbon was also purchase at Hobby Lobby, and I made the cute sunflower from my fabric flower pattern that I sell in my Etsy Shop


I also purchased an orange flower at Hobby Lobby that I'll interchange with the sunflower depending upon my mood.


I'm occasionally asked why my totes and purses look more "substantial" or "sturdy" than other home-sewn purses. I'll let you in on some secrets...


I always attach fusible fleece to the outside fabric of my totes. The chevron fabric was already a heavier weight fabric {duck cloth}, but I still chose to adhere the fusible fleece to the wrong side of the fabric to give it even more body. In addition, I attach a heavy weight fusible interfacing to the lining. These two additions ensure a sturdy, well-crafted bag...


And here's another really, really important tip... When I make a bag like this with boxed corners, I always add a foam board base to the bag for support. I simply cut a piece of foam board the measurements of the bottom of the bag...


Then I take a piece of the lining fabric and cover the foam board. I use duck tape to tack the fabric down on the backside of the foam board... {very professional}... {{not}}.


You'll probably never know that ol' duck tape is there...


I place the support into the bottom of my tote, making sure the corners of the support are tucked into the bottom corners of the tote...

  
By including that step, the tote holds it's shape when you start filling it with essentials. So nice.


The other little changes that I made to the pattern were just personal preference. I love pockets in a bag. Pure and simple, the more the better, so I added two into the lining of this tote. I also added a snap closure to the lining.


I adore this bag. I appreciate Ashley sharing her pattern. It takes a lot of time and effort to create new patterns and tutorials, and I appreciate the fact that this pattern is available to us all without cost!
 

My sewing machine has been in the "sewing-machine-hospital" for a few days now. She's supposed to be released sometime next week. I'm missing her.

13 comments:

Sandy said...

Suzanne, you and I think alike! I saw that post too and bought some fabric at Hobby Lobby for it, but have not made my bag yet. I will definitely use your tips and add some interfacing. I would love pockets in mine too... is that hard to do?

Chris said...

Oh My goodness Suzanne!! This bag is F A B U L O U S!!!!!!! I absolutely love the chevrons and polka dots together and the color combination is just great! My favorite flower is definitely the first one made from your tutorial. Really, this bag is just so CUTE!!!! Thanks for sharing!! :) You really have an eye for color!

Suzanne said...

Sandy, Adding pockets is really easy. Just figure out how large you'd like the pocket to be and add an inch on each side. Then sew the pieces of fabric right sides together using a 1/2 inch seam -- making sure to leave a 3 inch opening for turning the pocket right side out. Then sew the pocket onto the lining of the tote making sure place the 3 inch opening is at the bottom of the pocket so you sew over the hole as you attach it to the lining. Easy!

Lynn said...

This is a great bag! I love the fabric you used and the tips you shared about. Thank you:)

Connie said...

Cute bag, love the polka dots and chevron patterns together.

Dana White said...

Cute, cute, very cute!!

Would you consider a tutorial on adding the magnetic snap? I find this step intimidating. :)

Suzanne said...

Dana,
That's a great idea and it would be simple to do! Thanks, Suzanne

Linda Southworth said...

Thank you Suzanne and thank you Dana and a special thank you to Ashley for posting her wonderful bag. I think it needs a snap just for safety. I am going to make and use your tips for a sturdy finished look. I appreciate your ideas!

Jessica Young said...

Did you use interfacing or fusible fleece for the straps?

Suzanne said...

Jessica (above),
I used fleece... ;o)

Jessica Young said...

Thanks Suzanne! I'm in the process of making a tote for my child's teacher. First bag ever, so here it goes! I'm grateful for all of your tips :)

clairesmom said...

Do you have these for sale?

Chrissy said...

Suzanne, I have been looking for months to find a site like yours and have instantly fallen in love with it! You have shared "insider" tips that have made my sewing life so much easier and I can't wait to tackle this and a few other projects you have been so kind to share. I will admit that I am fairly new to sewing and everything I know so far has been self taught so your site is a godsend. I look forward to what's next!!