I admit it. Whenever I pass a purse department, I have to look. Sometimes I just glance and more often than not, I have to go on in there and check out what's new. Purses, totes, carryalls -- I like them all! I'm pretty fussy about what features a purse should have, so I don't have a gigantic collection, but I do have a few. Ahem, OK, more than a few. One time I went over to my sister Sheila's house and my niece, Grace asked me, "Is that a new purse, Auntie Cathy?" And I told her that indeed it was, because I'm the Princess of Purses. The look she gave me was either awe or total disbelief.
So for a long time, I searched for the ideal tote bag pattern to sew. Nothing appealed to my discriminating eye until I found an online tutorial on how to make a bag. These were good, no-nonsense instructions that I had no problem following. I made the first one out of a remnant of fabric and it turned out to be sort of a weird shape. So I adjusted the measurements to my liking, added heavy interfacing and a bottom reinforcer for body, sturdier and longer handles, interior pockets and a button and loop closure. And there you have it! Cute and totally usable tote bags!
Sheila uses hers (not pictured) for her cross-stitch stuff and Suzanne says that hers is perfect for her knitting. I even made some smaller versions of these for Emily and Grace. (Sorry, I had some trouble adding some photos.)
I've been thinking about how to improve on these totes. How about a zip top? An inset where a cross-stitched piece could go? A smaller version that could be truly called a purse?
It will be back to the drawing board as I contemplate these changes. One thing I know is that I'll always be able to find fabrics I like for these. Mainly I just go to the quilting fabrics display. Quilting fabrics work well for these bags and there are so many beautiful choices.
I know that I'm not the only Princess of Purses, and I hope that the others will approve.