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Archive for January, 2010

Everything Tote from Weekend Sewing.

Please don’t feel that I’m ignoring you.  And, it’s not that I’ve stopped sewing.  In fact, over the holidays I did oodles and oodles of sewing (and some of the oodles of sewing involved oodles of poodles).  However, I’m behind in my picture taking, and I’m behind in sitting down to write my thoughts about these projects, and what I’ve learned from them.

I also wasn’t able to post much during the holidays, as many of my projects were holiday presents, and I didn’t want the recipients to get a sneak peek.  This was definitely a homemade/sewing holiday presents year.

I’ve also become a HUGE devotee of my local libraries.  I have been a library fiend, checking out any and all books I can on sewing and related crafts. Some of these books – real duds and real outdated.  Some – amazing, fun, insightful, and some make you smile just from reading them.  As I work through projects in those books, I’ll put them on my blog as well (no need to show favoritism to just one book, when there are so many good ones out there – and really at all skill levels (even within the books).  For a teaser at what I’ve been working on, check out my flickr group, and you can see some basic photos I’ve posted.  I promise – blogging on most of the projects to come.

Now, back to the present – the Everything Tote from Weekend Sewing.  Can I just say how much I love this bag.  It is not complicated to make, and I can finish it easily in one evening.  So far, I have made over 10 of these bags.  The first bag was with some fruit patterned decorator fabric that my friend Amy gave me, and lined with a cute “calorie counting” fabric.  The other bag was made with a floral patterned decorator fabric given to me by my friend Susan, and lined with a coordinating floral patterned decorator fabric.  I find I like the weight the decorator fabric adds to the bag, and makes me feel like they are sturdier, and can hold a ton of stuff.

 For the first bag, I pretty much followed the book directions, with 2 exceptions that are “errors” in the book.  You need at least 1 yard each of fabric for the exterior and interior.    I only folded the handles once, to achieve the wide handles as in the book picture.  If you follow the book’s directions, you’ll end up with skinny handles, which I didn’t like.

Everything Tote - Floral front

Everything Tote floral back

Everything Tote - inside

For the 2nd bag, I added a pocket to each side, with one pocket being set in deeper in the bag.  I love a bag with extra pockets.

Everything Tote - rose fabric

The directions call for the handles and binding to be cut on the bias, but I found that you would need a lot more then a yard of fabric to be able to get this in one strip, so I cheated, and didn’t cut on the bias.  So far, it hasn’t been a problem for any of my begs.  I’ve washed both bags, and they’ve both done well in the wash.  I also made these bags out of denim and canvas.  I’ve washed the denim one, and it did great.  I haven’t washed the canvas ones yet.   

Here are just a few other versions I’ve made:

 

Everything Tote - floral paisley fabricEverything tote - floral paisley interior

Everything tote - floral paisley interior

Everyting Tote - striped canvas

Everthing Tote - crab canvas

Everything Tote - ladybug

After using regular cotton fabric for the labybug bag, it’s apparent to me that the decorator fabric seems to be much more sturdy for this type of bag, since the cotton fabric just feels so much thinner.

 I look forward to making more of these bags, as it really seems to be a good, all purpose, tote.  I also like that when it is empty (or not to full), it collapses, so that you can carry it around without feeling like you are lugging a huge bag.  I think it could also be rolled up and tucked into luggage, making it a great extra bag for traveling.

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