Friday, August 28, 2015

August Pinterest Project!

It was time for a little sewing when I chose my Pinterest project for August.  Ever since I pinned this tutorial, I knew that I wanted to create one of these cute tote bags. The tutorial is generously offered by The Inspired Wren and you can find the instructions here.  Here's a photo of the bag on The Inspired Wren's blog.
The bag pictured in the tutorial.  Not mine.

Selecting fabrics for the bag meant a visit to Joann.  Oh darn.  Ha ha.  I'm actually a frequent shopper at Joann, and never, ever consider going there a chore.  It's a veritable wonderland of crafty stuff.  The store that's nearest to me is a smaller Joann, but there's a giant one that's a little bit of a drive.  When you go there, the amount of fabrics can get your head spinning if you're not careful.

OK, back to the project.  So I selected my fabrics.  I liked the one for the main body of the bag so much, but found that other than black, it would be difficult to match or coordinate a third fabric.  The lining/trim and handles would all be the same black patterned fabric.
THIS one is my tote bag.
I also had to get some fusible interfacing.  I chose a heavier weight one when the pattern called for a medium weight.  The woman at the fabric told me that she had recently sewn a makeup bag and had used a heavy weight interfacing and wasn't happy with it.  She told me this story a couple of times as she cut the fabric and I didn't realize that she was trying to tell me to get a medium weight.  I wish that she had just come out and said that, but I think that she was trying not to be too bossy.  She was right, though and I'll know that for next time.

Above is another view of the tote bag.  This is the shape it actually is - very rectangular, about 9-1/2" wide and 12" tall, and 2" deep.  I can see how I can easily change the dimensions of the pattern pieces to make a larger bag.  This one, however, is the perfect size to carry a few books back to the library.

One thing I re-learned by sewing this bag is how to make a French seam.  I had to do a refresher course since the last time I sewed a French seam might have been back in high school sewing class.  Do they even have those anymore?  Anyway, that was long, long ago.  I went to trusty Youtube and found this tutorial (although there are quite a few of them).

One thing I added to the tote bag was a shaper/strengthener piece at the bottom of the bag.  I cut a piece of foam core board the same size of the bottom of the bag and then covered it with fabric.  I used the main fabric for contrast, but you can also use the lining fabric.
Use some double sided tape to adhere this piece to the bottom of the bag. 

I would highly recommend this project!  It can be done in a day, or probably an afternoon if you're a quick sewer, have all of your supplies organized and don't get distracted by stuff in your craft room or something going on out of the window.  Would I make another one of these?  Yes, definitely!  I'd say this project was a success!

Thank you for visiting today.  If you're not a follower of my blog, please consider becoming one.  Also, thanks for all of the nice comments!  Please visit often!


  1. What a super looking tote you created! I like the fabric you went with and thank you for providing the link. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Robin in Virginia

  2. Hello Cathy! What a cute bag you created! I love the fabrics you chose and the liner is a great addition to make it stronger! Have a lovely weekend! Christine x

  3. What a great little bag...I love it! I'm very tempted to try it, but I'm sure that the fabrics I have in my stash just won't I'll HAVE to have a trip to JoAnn's!!! :)

  4. Hi Cathy..... I just love love your beautiful Bag...that is so colorful and so are one very talented lady.

    I am a new follower of your Blog and I love looking at your Blog. I admire you for doing all kinds of Crafts.

    I have a Blog and here is the link to my blog:

    I would love for you to become a follower of my Blog.

    Happy Stitching
    Linda K, Railroad

  5. Oh my, what a beautiful tote! I love the fabric choice, it's so neat, so is your work! I always enjoy reading your blogposts:)

  6. What a gorgeous bag! I'm not great with a machine but have signed up for a class in September so hopefully will improve. I would love to make something like this - thanks for the link.