Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tote Bag City

More photos from the Tote Bag Spree I've been on the past month. At the end I have answers to the questions you asked last time.

This blue and white one went home with my mom:

She is conservative and always wants everything in blue "so it will go with everything". But a bag should be fun and perky and the red really livens it up. Both fabrics are Kaffe Fasset. (Rhymes with "safe asset").

I gave this funky red Kaffe Fasset fabric and the red plastic handles to my sister for Christmas. Now I am finished with my Christmas gifts of '05.

Per her request, I put tabs in the center. She is in charge of sewing on a magnetic closure, snap, or doing a vintage button and buttonhole.

And now in better lighting, this one was "commissioned" by my friend Carla.

She picked out the fabrics. And did one heck of a job.

Another one for me, for my "blue and purple" days. (Like, every day.) Again, Kaffe Fasset fabric, with vintage (feedsack?) green and white print lining.

And a big one. I made this for the purpose of carrying stuff to swim lessons, but I have already used it to go to knitting guild, and was pleasantly suprised how much yarn and projects it will hold! I based the pattern for this one on an old canvas bag I have, similar to the LL Bean ones. It has a longer wider strap, and the bottom is black duckcloth, sewn right over the quilted fabric, so it is super-sturdy.

Here are the questions I received to my post last month, hope I didn't miss any.

Did you use a pre-quilted fabric or did you do all the layering and quilting yourself?

I did the layering and quilting myself. I used unwashed cotton on the top, cotton batting in the middle, and canvas or duckcloth on the bottom. Quilted it, washed it in hot water and dried it on high. That gives you the vintage, crinkly texture.

I can handle the tote part, just not the zipper.

I put a zipper in the first one I made--the red one from the March 25th post. Here is how I did it. I measured the inside opening and made a rectangle with a zipper down the center the size of the opening. That would be--two rectangular strips of fabric that I sandwiched, sewed around, and inside-outed so that all the edges were finished, sewed a zipper in between them, and planned it so that the finished measurement of all that would be the measurement of the opening. Then I hand sewed it in, about an inch below the top of the bag. And then, after a week of using the bag, I took the zipper back out! I just didn't like how it made the opening smaller and harder to fit things into, and generally made it more fiddley to use.

Did you use a pattern or just wing it?

I measured an old Target plastic tote that I really like. A 15" by 30" rectangle will give you a finished bag of approximately 10" by 12" with a gusset of 4".

A couple of friends are working on convincing me to open an Etsy shop. If the totebagfever continues into June when the kids are in summer preschool at the same time for a week, then I might get it together to sell a couple bags here on the ole blog.


Blogger Katy said...

I love them! And the Kaffe Fassett fabrics are gorgeous. You are inspiring me to get going on a few totes that I have planned. (No quilting on mine, though--I'm not up for that yet!)

8:33 AM  
Blogger Trope said...

Thanks for the rhyming tip on Fassett! I'm a reader, not a talker, but I've been rhyming his first name with "coffee" in my mind for months now. Etsy sounds like a good plan... I'm feeling spendy this week, and a bag sounds like just the thing!

9:00 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

These are just what I needed to see today. I hate making bags and have to make one today or this weekend for a teacher's gift. Yours are very inspiring, beautiful fabrics.

9:01 AM  
Blogger karen said...

I definitely would purchase one off your blog. I loved them at the guild!

1:56 PM  
Blogger Tres said...

Wow, nice!

I think Al really scored bigtime with the plastic handles.

Mom's is a pretty shade of blue ;)

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my my meeeee, those totes are ever so beautiful, love them lots. Mind if I copy a couple? The fabrics are fabulous, can't stop looking.

Did you stabilize the handles in any way? Like interfacing etc?

A funny tote I made for my cousin out of material she had left over from the curtains I had shortened for her. I crazy quilted one side on base fabric then lined the entire bag. When I was done it was soooo very she had a work of art....!!!!

Oh, and you are very welcome...grinz.

3:15 PM  
Blogger lisette said...

pick me pick me!! i'll but one, espcially if there's red, purple, pink organge and green involved :)

they look great!

and you never look fat :)

11:09 PM  
Blogger lisette said...

of course i meant to say i'll buy one not but one - another homer moment!!

11:10 PM  

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