Monday, February 20, 2012

Reversible Tote (with no denim involved)

Okay, the plan is that this is going to be the better-thought-out tote, the one with a proper tutorial, the one that does NOT use any denim or turning of handles.  That is the first part of the plan.

The second part of the plan is to complete this first tote before lunch.  It's 10:25 right now.  What do you think?  Doable?  Okay, let's see:

I started with this tutorial from Skip To My Lou.  Looks easy enough.

This is the material that I am using.

10:50 -- I have tried to draw the lines a couple of times but with little luck.  I can get the first line, but then haven't been able to draw a nice square from there.  I went to make tea, found a sweater because I'm freezing, let the dog out for a pee, and then finally found a measuring device that might help (I had to google it, but it's called a layout square and it is used in woodworking).  Back upstairs to give it another try.

(found this snowblowing, ha ha ha)

11:16 - all the pieces have been cut, relatively squarely.  Or rectangle-y, as in the case of the straps.

11:45 - Pressed the strap material, and both of the straps are now sewn together.

11:56 - The square fabric pieces are sewn around three sides, right sides together.  Same for the liner fabric.  Corners are stitched diagonally to give a nice bottom appearance.  I put the liner inside of the outer fabric.

12:27 - I pinned the liner, outer fabric, and straps together with the strap pieces on the inside, between the liner and outer fabric.  It looks wrong when you first see it, but it is correct.  I stitched it all together, leaving a space of about 2-1/2 inches to turn the tote around.

12:35 - I made several attempts at turning the tote the right side out, stretching the opening and tearing out some of my stitches.  I was trying to be careful but it was harder than it looked like it was going to be (isn't everything when it comes to me and sewing?).

12:40 - I top stitched the tote all the way around the top, taking care to tuck in the area that I had left open for the turning.

Uh yeah, a little crooked.  (maybe Ann of On Sutton Place could give me some lessons)

12:43 - Tote complete.  Pressed and everything.  Let the celebrations begin.

It would be obvious to a true seamstress that I struggled in a few areas, but I am thrilled with this little tote.  In case you want to try it and you're also a newbie, here's what I learned:

I would choose a heavier liner fabric.  I used a very sheer material, and you can see my underneath stitches through it.  Looks a little messy.

For the opening that you need to leave in order to turn the fabric, make sure that it is closer to the 3 inches in length, and avoid doing this at the side seams.  Also, I learned on the second try to make sure that you aren't close to the straps either.

Be careful pulling the fabric through when you turn the tote.  I pulled out some of my stitches, and then it showed a bit even after I did the top stitching.

Someone claimed the bag as his own and he was a little testy when I tried to take it away.  Yikes.  Better make him his own.

I'm partying here:
Thriving on Thursday (Domesblissity)
It's a Party (A Creative Princess)
Super Sweet Thursday Par-tay (Fabulously Flawed)
Blog Stalking (The Crafty Blog Stalker)
Taking Timeout Thursday (Mom on Timeout)
Delightfully Inspiring (Delightful Order)
Things I've Done Thursday (Bear Rabbit Bear)
Freestyle Friday (Happy Hour Projects)
Shine on Fridays (One Artsy Mama)
Frugalicious Fridays (Finding Fabulous Blog)
Frugal Friday (Shabby Nest)
Flaunt It Friday (Chic on a Shoestring)
Feature Yourself Friday (Fingerprints on the Fridge)


Stephanie said...

Awesome job! I've been meaning to try out a tote style bag but haven't found a fabric I love yet. I was actually thinking the other day that I wanted to try one of those drawstring style bags too (you know the kind you wear on your back?? Nike has them, a sports style bag) - I want a really cute girly one because I get tired of lugging my big ol' diaper bag around! :-)

Pam @Threading My Way said...

You've done a terrific job, Terry!!! The tote looks great!!! You might like to try making the turning opening in the bottom of the lining for your next tote. I think it may be easier to turn and when you close the gap, you can just topstitch as it doesn't show. This link is how I do it for a kid's tote without boxed corners...
Again... well done!!! You should be very pleased!

Unknown said...

You did great Terry!! I am in LOVE with your measuring tool. It looks very ...... sturdy. lol This didn't take you very long. I really like your outer fabric. It will go with everything. YAY for sewing success!!

Adrianne Surian said...

Great job, and I love the fabric! Also, that is one scary cat right there. Looks like you will have to make still another tote for everyone to be happy. ;)

Macey said...

I've been meaning to make a tote with all my fabric scraps...but I'm skeered. Especially if I have to use that triangle thingy. I don't think I even own one?

Terri @ A Creative Princess said...

Look at you go, you little seamstress with all that fancy material! I love it!

Jeanna said...

Your tote looks awesome! The more you make the easier and better they will get. As always your photography looks amazing!


Melanie @ bear rabbit bear said...

Your tote looks so awesome!! Happy to have you at Things I've Done Thursday!!

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