Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Quick tote bag

Not every project needs to be detailed and elaborate. Sometimes, doing a really quick and easy project is satisfying and fun. This was one of them.

I found this British-themed fabric at Hancock's last week and knew a friend of mine would like it. Since she's a fan of yard sales and always carries a tote bag to haul her finds, I decided to make her a sturdy tote bag for her.

The fabric was a simple quilting cotton, which really isn't substantial enough for a tote bag. But wait! I reinforced the fabric with an iron-on vinyl coating by Therm O Web. This makes the surface of the fabric water resistant, and also adds needed stiffness. I added straps made of polyester webbing, and a contrast fabric from my stash.

The finished bag:

See? Nothing special. The size of the bag was dictated by the width of the fabric. Everything was eyeballed. I stitched down the one side seam, stitched the bottom seam, and stitched across the corners to form the bottom.

The one thing I did add was a small zippered pocket on the inside. Rather than stitch it to the outside, which would mean stitches showing from the outside, I just stitched it into the top edge, so it hangs free on the inside.

All told, it probably took me about an hour to finish the bag. I'm hoping to give it to my friend next week.


  1. Yay Welmoed! I made a spur of the moment shoulder bag for my 4 year old granddaughter to match the Easter dress I had made her! Is that iron on vinyl easy to work with? I have some but have not tried it yet!

  2. Like this. Where do you purchase the therm o web?

  3. The Therm-O-Web is very easy to work with. You peel off the protective paper, and stick it to the fabric (it's a very low-tack adhesive -- like a post-it note), then cover it with the paper you just peeled off, and press with a medium iron. You can sew right through it, but it does make things harder to turn right-side-out, so keep it in mind. I bought mine from JoAnns; it's usually somewhere in the Notions section, pre-packaged in (I think) 3-yard rolls.


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