Tote Bag from Tutorial and Stashed Material

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First let me preface this post with this statement:

Sewing, crochet, and knitting can be expensive hobbies but they don’t have to be. With a little imagination and re-purposing you can make beautiful gifts and garments. You don’t have to spend your savings to enjoy your hobby. Bog land is jam-packed full of free patterns and tutorials for making whatever you can imagine. You can “harvest” many materials from your own closet or your local thrift store. I use re-purposed materials in a lot of what I make. Don’t let the lack of money keep you from being creative.

Jamie's Tote

This past Christmas was rough financially. If it weren’t for free tutorials and using what was already in my stash, Christmas would have been very lean. I will be posting some of what I made in the next few weeks. I will tell you where I got the information and what I used. I hope you enjoy this thread. If so leave a comment, please.

I wanted to make a bag for my youngest daughter. She loves bags of all kinds. She has a bazillion of them but is always looking for more. She never gets rid of any unless she thinks you might like it then she will give you the bag right off her shoulder .  That’s just the way she is. She still has one I gave her back when she was in high school nearly ten years ago. I would be willing to bet she doesn’t even know how many she has.

I chose to make the “Summer Madras Tote” by noodlehead. Anna is such a creative person and her blog post are an easy read. I went back into the archives and read every one. (I read blogs like they are good books. I can’t put them down until I have read every word.)

One of the reasons I chose to follow this tutorial was all the pictures of what others did with it. It’s a blank canvas or an empty wall and you get to decide what it will become. Your fabric stash is your paint box and you are the artist.

Anne makes the instructions very easy to follow. She gives plenty of clear pictures of all the steps. I was never left hanging wondering what to do next.

I’ve only made one other bag and I didn’t really like how it turned out. The instructions were not clear and I had a hard time figuring out how to put it together.

I will be buying patterns from “noodlehead” every chance I get because I know what she produces will be good. The “Road Trip Case” will be purchased this weekend to make one for my step-granddaughter’s birthday.

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The tutorial call for ½ yd cuts of outer fabric, lining, and canvas (as an interfacing).

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I used the lovely tulip print for the outer (doesn’t that just say spring?), an apple green check for the lining, and heavy interfacing for the interfacing. I also used apple green bias tape, a red and apple green plaid (Tutti Fruitti), and a red fabric left over from my kitchen curtains. I have had the tulip print in my stash for over ten years and the green check was picked up from a thrift store. I had everything on hand so I didn’t have to buy anything.

Everything was great except for the lining fabric. It was the worst fabric ever. It looked great until I washed it. I think 90% of it was sizing. I should have gone with something else but the color was too perfect. Pulling everything right side out through the lining seam wasn’t going to work and I was afraid the unfinished seams would fry over time. To prevent this I sealed the seams with “Stitch Witchery” and joined the outside and the lining wrong sides together at the top and finished it with bias tape. Worked great. I added the same bias tape to the straps so everything tied together.

I still have at least 5 yds of that check left. I see a lot of checked muslins in my future. OK, not everything you get at the thrift store is great. I get more good stuff than bad so I think I’ll keep going. Can’t resist the prospect of finding treasure.HONEYMADEIT - 20140126_174655Jamie really loved her gift.