Little Spring Floral Tote Bag

Spring Floral Tote Bag

I apologize for my lengthy absence from this blog.  I never intended to be away for so long, but due to a physically demanding part-time job with often grueling hours, and an all-out search for a full-time job that won’t kill me, I’ve lacked the time, energy, and motivation to sew.  I decided over the weekend that sewing might make me feel a little better, and since I had come across this great tutorial from Cicada Daydreams, I thought I’d dust off the sewing machine and give it a try.  I’m so glad I did! Not only did I make myself a great little tote bag, but now I also feel like I can begin to take on other sewing projects again without being overwhelmed.

I call this tote bag “little” because it’s not your typical shopping-size bag.  It finished to approximately 11-1/2″ x 9″ x 3″, which is still large enough to hold some reading materials and a few other essentials.  One thing I really like about this design is the accent fabric on the bottom, which also serves to make the bag sturdier.  I made my bag as directed in the tutorial, except that I fused lightweight interfacing to my lining because my floral fabric was very soft, and I used a different construction technique* for the strap.

Even if you’re not interested in sewing a tote bag, do go take a look at Cicada Daydreams.  It’s a lovely blog.

*Strap construction – I cut two 4″ x 13″ strips, pressed the long raw edges to the center, then folded in half and pressed again to enclose the raw edges. I then top-stitched the long edges. This resulted in sturdy 1″-wide straps.

Spring Floral Tote Bag

Classic Tote

Classic Tote 

Classic Tote

I usually greet the New Year with enthusiasm. No resolutions, just excitement over a fresh span of time stretching out in front of me, waiting for new projects and ideas.  But so far, I’ve had a bit of a motivation problem in 2009, with little energy to execute the ideas that I do have.  The solution, I know, is to start with something simple that stands half a chance of being completed instead of being put away after only a few stitches, never to see the light of day again.

This Classic Tote from Sew, Mama, Sew! was exactly what I needed. It’s a simple, unlined shopping tote that’s sturdy enough to hold up to some rough treatment at the supermarket.  My favorite feature is the use of French seams, which not only hide the raw edges of the fabric, but add some strength to the bag as well.  I made two of these in one short evening, with minor changes to the instructions.  I left off the pocket and made the bag slightly smaller because I wanted to cut both totes from a very limited amount of fabric.  I also made the handles shorter, because I’m short and more often than not, my shopping bags end up dragging the ground.

Now that I’m back in the creative saddle, I’ll be working on an easy bag with an exterior pocket, which I hope to show you in a couple of days.

5 Easy Handbag Tutorials on the Internet

Bag Tutorials

I frequently come across great handbag tutorials during my late nights on the internet, so I thought I’d share five of them with you tonight.  I haven’t made any of these yet, but they’re absolutely on my list:

Un-Paper Bag from the purl bee – A fun variation of a shopping bag, with synthetic leather handles (which you can purchase from purl bee).

Little Library Tote from i have to say – A quick and easy flat tote made from a single large dishtowel.  Very cute!

Jeans Bag from Designs by JuJu – Roomy handbag  with optional machine embroidery, made from your discarded jeans.

Hobo Bag from J Caroline Creative – A stylish version of the popular hobo bag, with an interior pocket and magnetic snap.

‘Rather Cheeky’ Wristlet Clutch Purse from U-handblog – A sexier take on the classic wristlet, with a pretty bracelet handle.

So go make some bags, and let us know where we can see photos of your creations!

Easy Reversible Bag

Easy Reversible Bag

Sorry about being gone for so long — I’ve been developing a couple of blogs and they’ve consumed all my free time for the past 7 or 8 days.  Although they’re still in development, I can now take the occasional crafting break, and so I was able to make this bag. I know, I’ve been using polka dots a lot lately, but I think I’m over that now.

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