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:
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! 😊