Saturday, December 18, 2010


Project 8: Tote Bag

I have been dying to post about my latest handmade adventure, but since I am making everything I give as gifts this year I didn't want to spoil the surprise. However, the first handmade tote I created for the festive season was gifted today for my Step Mother's birthday so I can let you have a look now that she has opened it up.

As an aside, I wanted to commit to a handmade Christmas for lots of reasons (I have the time, the fabric stash and the commitment to handmade) but one thing it is NOT, is cheap! I will have spent more money this year than in many others despite not venturing to the stores for my gifts because of buying patterns, trims, threads, equipment (a rotary cutter, ruler and mat blew my budget straight away). Anyway that is not the point. I want all of my loved ones to have something unique, heartfelt and personal and we all know that is the allure of handmade and I fully support it as a philosophy and industry.

So, a reversible tote bag. I bought a wonderfully inspiring book called One Yard Wonders to get me going. There are so many useful projects and many that even I could do with my limited sewing experience. Plus, the presentation of the book and the accessible instructions (and patterns provided) made this a perfect project for me. The pattern was for a basic tote bag that could be rolled up and stashed for easy storage but I took a little creative license with it and made it reversible with no little tab to roll it up. Let's just say it is my interpretation in the spirit of the design!

What I love about projects like this is the opportunity to use beautiful, bold, colourful, fun fabrics, threads and trims. I want the contrasts and choices of the fabrics to make an impact and this tote was a perfect way for me to showcase these gorgeous choices from Amy Butler (I used her Arabesque and Memento designs from the Love collection).

Not to spoil the surprise for my near and/or dear but I guess the secret is kind of out! Tote bags it is, with each one using a carefully and lovingly chosen selection of fabrics and other little details. Some of you might even get a little extra handmade goodness if I can work out how to do anything other than a tote!! Back to the sewing machine....


  1. Thanks Mind!I wish I had taken photos of yours, it was my best yet!


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