Sunday, January 26, 2014

Totes Mcgotes

Happy Sunday Funday, all!

This week there is no clever "Before" picture. In all honesty, I'm having quite the lazy Sunday and didn't want to spend time showering, getting dressed, putting on my pretty face... it was just all too much for today. So I turned my attention to the piles and piles of scrap fabric I got a bit ago from a lady cleaning out her craft room.

I couldn't help but be drawn to a rainbow fabric. She gave me a ton of it, and I had no other thoughts as to what to do with it other than to test out a few ideas. What girl couldn't use another tote?

I cut a large rectangular piece of fabric, and two strips about 3 inches wide for the straps.
I paid attention to the straps first. I folded them in half first, and ironed that down. Then I opened it up and took the left half and folded it in half again, and repeated the motion on the right side, essentially making my own bias tape. I made sure to iron down all my folds. There was a quite a lot of ironing in this project. I wasn't excited about that part.
I then folded it on top of itself and sewed it down to create two straps. I only sewed down the one side, but in my professional opinion (ha ha), those of you that choose to follow these steps should probably sew down both sides. It would definitely look better.
Next, I folded down the top of the bag and ironed it down. I then folded it down again and ironed it down again (see a pattern yet?). I tucked the straps under the fold and sewed it down.
Next, I folded the strap back up and sewed it down again. I should have ironed this down first too, but in all honesty I was over the ironing thing. I had already had the iron on longer at this point than it has ever been on before.
Next, I kept the right sides of the bag on the outside and sewed down the sides. That's right - right sides out! *GASP* I'm sure all you real sewists are freaking out right now and yelling "That's not the way you do it!". But... hold that thought friends - I have a plan. (And since this is finished now, I can actually say with confidence that my plan panned out and worked. It's not something I can say very often.)
Only then did I turn the bag inside out. I ironed out the seam to be flat and then sewed down the sides again. I made sure to sew down the inside of the edges of the seam (that was now on the inside of the bag).
This resulted on a French seam, so the outside of the bag was nice and clean and the inside seam had no raw or rough edges. Boom.
I was quite amazed that this turned out how I pictured in my mind. And now that I have it, I'm actually quite excited about my bag and how good it looks. I also adore the rainbow pattern - it is nice and bright, something that is well needed in this world of white that is January in New York.
I now have a great tote to carry around books, folders, groceries, whatever I feel the need to carry. And, because this has no lining or inter-facing, it is not stiff or bulky so I can roll it up and use the straps to secure it.
I plan on making a lot more. It was a quick and easy project to get my scrap fabric out of my craft room and turn it into something useful. Maybe I'll put fabric in it...
Enjoy your Sunday, friends. I have found myself a new book series and have been wrapped up in it all weekend, so that and a glass of wine is my near future. I encourage you all to do the same!