I made another tote!

Following my first tote I made, I jumped in making my second tote bag!  I followed the market tote tutorial exactly but decided to make some adjustments to better suit my liking.  For starters, I wanted a longer strap.  The 21″ strap was fine for holding but to sling over the shoulder, 6 more inches made it perfect and comfortable!  🤗

Another thing I decided to change was not putting interfacing on everything.  This time, I put the Craft Fuse on the two bottom pieces, along with the outer piece of fabric where the bottom pieces don’t cover, essentially making the interfacing only 1 ply thick on the bag.  I didn’t add interfacing to the handles on this second tote, I wanted a softer floppy handle verses one that stood up straight.  I think moving forward, I may do interfacing on just one piece of the fabric so it’s one layer instead of two in the original market tote tutorial.  I’ll have to test it out and see what I like more.

I did also cut my handles to a width of 2.5″ instead of the original 2″.  I find that with 2 layers of interfacing in the handle made it really hard to turn inside out.  It literally took me a half hour or more to flip it.  So this time I made the handles just a tad wider but without interfacing, it was much easier to turn with the wider width.  My straps were cut to 27″x2.5″ long. With the wider handles, I did fold over the middle of the handle length wise and sewed about 5″ to create a narrower handle, I like it!

Another tote adjustment I made was to shrink the bag down a tiny bit.  This was more so a decision to make a smaller bag.  Original size of the fabric was 21″x19″, I cut my fabric to 20″x18″ so it wasn’t that much smaller but it was a better size for carrying and for using the craft fuse since that width is 20″.

I didn’t put interfacing on the inside lining but I’m not sure how to feel about it yet.  Obviously it’s softer without the structure of the interfacing.  The lining still bunches up a bit like there’s excess fabric but not so much that it’s annoying.  I’m wondering if using a lighter weight interfacing would be more ideal.   I did sew some pockets to the inside lining for my cell phone, pen, and extra pocket for other goodies!  My stitching is less than desirable on the pocket since I put interfacing on that part along with a coordinating binding so it was really thick to sew and I went over it a few times to make sure it wasn’t going to pull apart.  I’ll do better next time.  😜

One last thing I changed was to leave the opening for turning at the top between one of the handles instead of leaving the opening in the bottom of the lining which later would have to be hand sewn shut. I’m still not that skilled at hand stitching so leaving the opening at the top, I was able to sew it closed with matching thread very close to the edge. I like it, much easier and looks better.

Here are some pics of my second tote bag:

Tote bag pinned inside out
Handles are floppy on this tote since there’s no interfacing inside.
I added pockets to this tote. I didn’t put interfacing on the lining so it’s soft.
The finished market tote, my version 🙂
Tote #1 and Tote #2, the front one is slightly smaller.

Despite the fact this was my second tote, it didn’t take me less time than the first one since I was making adjustments along the way. I really like the colors and patterns I chose for this tote bag. The outer fabric was another remnant find while I bought the 100% cotton lining at regular price. All in all, I’m very pleased with the adjustments I made, one step closer to sewing the perfect tote bag! I can’t wait to make another tote!  😊


I made a tote bag!

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!  😍