This past Tuesday morning I felt the urge to go out and do a little bargain hunting. I loaded the kiddos in the mini van and we headed out to do a little shopping. I love hitting the cheap retail stores like Ross and Tuesday Morning. And since it was Tuesday morning, that's where we headed.
I've been really inspired by all the totes and purses that I've seen in blog world so when I saw some cute watermelon kitchen towels, I snatched them up and decided to get crafty. The fabric is almost canvas like and seems to be really sturdy so I thought they'd be great as a tote bag.
Its hard to tell from this picture but the finished tote is about 20x20 inches. I wanted it to be big enough to carry beach towels, snacks, sunscreen and whatever else we need for summer time excursions. I'm so happy with how my first bag ever turned out. I think I'm hooked and need to make some more!
I'm sure no one will want to copy these instructions because I was just making this up as I went. But in case you are interested, here's what I did.
Basically I unpicked the hem on the 2 towels so I could gain a little more fabric to work with. Then I ironed them, stacked them on my cutting board and sliced into them. I cut two big squares that were roughly 20x18 inches. Then, forgetting that I had stacked my fabric, I goofed and cut four strips for handles instead of two. Oh well.
I put the two large pieces together (right sides together) and sewed around the sides and bottom. Then I folded the bottom corners with the bottom and side seams together and sewed diagonally. I didn't think the handles were going to be quite long enough so I started doing crazy stuff. I placed the handles about where I wanted them and then used a plate as a guide to cut out a little more in the armhole opening. Once I had that curve cut, I started realizing that I couldn't just do a simple rolled hem anymore. (or could I? I needed to clip the curves. ) Anywho, I got out some muslin and played with it to figure out how to make some facing for the curved area. And then I didn't want to have the raw edge of the facing showing so I got some matching ribbon and sewed it down over my zigzaged raw edge. I like how it looks, but was a little unsure about what I was doing there for awhile. Then I finished the top edges of the tote with a simple rolled hem. Last of all, I finished the handles with a rolled hem on both sides and anchored them down with a secure X within a box. Can you see that?
Now, I realize that this is a very juvenile attempt at bag making compared to all the beautiful totes, bags and purses I've seen on others blogs. But its my first try and I'm quite proud of it.
And that's about it. I call it the Summertime Mother Load Tote.