I made a tote bag!

 - by Jean


Ever since getting my new sewing machine back in December, a tote bag is something I wanted to learn to sew. I use reusable totes all the time when I go grocery shopping. Some of the totes I’ve had are at least a few years old and I noticed that the seams are starting to tear and stitching coming undone.

I love totes, well bags in general. The ones I own and often sold at stores are usually plain and boring, not to mention thin and cheap in material. Even the nicer strong nylon bags I have that cost $10 each are still one ply and have ripped. I haul a lot of heavy items from Costco in them. Well, this is the perfect opportunity for me to create some colorful unique tote bags with pretty matching lining to take with me on shopping trips or general use!  😄

After reading through a lot of tutorials and watching countless youtube videos on making tote bags, I decided to tackle The Market Tote Tutorial.

The first tote bag I made, I followed the instructions exactly as written, all 36 steps. It literally took me all night and into the morning, probably a good 8 hours to make one bag! I’m not getting rich making and selling bags nor would it be a viable business, Ms Slow Poke. :blush:  Some steps had me scratching my head while others were just trickier than it seems.

I think part of the reason it took me so long to do was because I’ve never made one before and didn’t/couldn’t grasp the concept of how to make a tote bag with an inside lining. When you buy totes at stores, I’ve never really seen them with a lining, at least not the grocery totes. That may be so it’s easy and cheap to manufacture in large quantities and would make it easier to wash/wipe clean from grocery spills. I wanted a pretty lining and a more substantial quality bag….well, hand made quality. 😊

So here are the pics for my first tote bag:

My First Market Tote!

It’s a big size, can fit a binder and notebook with no problems!

It stands and hangs well. It’s large!

The fabric I used were mostly remnant pieces I picked up at Joann Fabrics or Hancock Fabrics, I love sifting through the remnant bin for good finds. The lining piece I bought on sale, I like the bright cheery color and dragonflies and thought it would compliment well. I am quite pleased with myself for finishing this and had the thought to put a label on it especially since I figured out how to print on fabric last week. Label, sewing, qr code, new url, it’s all coming together finally…

I ended up using Pellon Decor Bond I bought at Wal-Mart for the interfacing for this bag. The only difference between the decor bond and Craft Fuse is the double width and it’s folded over. I have a bolt of the Craft Fuse as well but I have to do more cutting since the tutorial called for 21″ x 19″ where as the Craft fuse was only 20″ width while the Decor Bond was 45″ wide folded over, I can cut both pieces at one time. The interfacing may have been a bit too much, everything stood up and it is well structured so it’s not floppy. I had a hard time turning the the bag inside out through the 5″ opening in the lining per instructions. The interfacing just made everything very thick and bulky but it’s not going to fall over, that’s for sure. Moving forward, I would like a longer handle and maybe some inside pockets. For my first tote bag, it came out well, I’m looking forward to making more and perfecting it!  😍

Jean

Leave a comment