Monday, June 11, 2012

A Precious Tote

sometime last month i decided that i needed a new tote to carry my embroidery and such in. i thought it would be nice to have a bag that i can take to FVMQG meetings and other appointments that will always have my current project and all of its necessary supplies in it.

i dug around in my stash and came across the echino that i was hoarding, that you saw me use for a couple of the pouches that i posted last week, and thought it would be perfect. i could make myself a tote, and participate in the My Precious QAL at the same time! i had a lot on my plate, as usual, so i thought i'd just whip up a super simple totebag, the kind that there are multitudes of tutorials out there for, usually swearing that they'll take half an hour or less.

as if!

in the beginning, i had faith. i dug through my bins of notions and found some black strapping, which is quicker to use than making straps out of fabric. i found a bright pink sheet that perfectly matched the pink on the echino, and i cut out two pieces of the lining and the outer fabric. i veto'd interfacing or stabilizer, because it was supposed to be a quick tote, something that i could easily toss into another bag, etc.

i sewed the two echino pieces together, boxed the corners, and that's pretty much when the plan began to unravel. i started to think that since i was using such awesome fabric, that i'd been saving for so long, i should at least put a pocket in the tote. might as well make it useful, right?

and in order to make the pocket useful, it should probably have a zipper in it. and i have about six million zippers, so that's cool.

except for the table, rubbermaid bins and shelves in front of my carefully organized zippers, blocking the way.

i set the tote aside for a few days and worked on other stuff, contemplating the effort of moving everything around in my studio, and wondering what had possessed me to store my zipper stash in such a ridiculous place. eventually i caved and went out and bought a damn zipper.

it was at then that i realized that i would want to finish the edges inside the pocket. i contemplated setting up my serger, but decided that it would be too much work, and i'd be better off lining the pocket. I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WAS THINKING EITHER. two minutes to set up the serger versus an hour to do the damn pocket? obviously the 60 minutes is shorter than 2 minutes, right?

so i was an idiot and lined the pocket. and since i was at it, i might as well make a long narrow pocket to hold pens, but of course i wouldn't compare the length of the pocket to the length of a standard pen, that would be too smart. so now i had a somewhat excessively long narrow pocket.

but whatever! i have precious fabric! i have strapping! i have pockets! i have lining! after i added the pockets, i sewed the rest of the tote together lickety split, and there ya go! i had a tote bag!

echino bag
i totally wish i'd done fabric straps now. oh well.

echino side

echino pockets

0me and the bags
and for perspective, me with multiple totes hung off my shoulder. i'll be blogging that other tote soon too.

and then it took me a month to take pictures, and i totally missed the May linkup for the My Precious QAL. whoopsidaisie. on a positive note, now it's done in plenty of time for the June link up, right?!

i'm linking this up to {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations and Manic Monday at SewHappyGeek, and tomorrow i'll link it up to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story.

Sew Happy Geek Fresh Poppy Design


Cathy said...


it is a lovely tote! maybe you can find some really long pens?

Jenn said...

You can still add fabric to your handles. Just cut a strip the width of the strapping and then fold under the raw edges a 1/4" and top stitch on. I did that on a class tote and I was really pleased with the results. I needed the strength of the strapping but the fabric made it 'pretty'!

Cherie said...

How your post made me laugh...the half hour turned few days bag! Love that Echino fabric! =D

Digital Misfit said...

Very cute bag! I am all too familiar with the "I could not be bothered to excavate my supply, so I will buy a new one" issue. At least you have organized rubbermaid totes and such. I have a craft explosion.
I still want that skirt you are wearing in that pic.
btw - solve the super long pen pocket issue by pinning a cute 1" button onto the bag, sealing off the extra length at the bottom!

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