Simple Tote

When I was a teenager, in my big sewing times. I got good at making these cute tote bags. They were rather basic but had the potential to become rather complex, which is what I enjoyed about it. At first I struggled with the whole cutting the pattern, and remembering how all the steps went, but then It got to the point where I could easily make them at home. So, I did.

At that time in our lives, my grandma did craft faires a lot. She enjoyed crafting like I did, and it helped get extra money which never hurt either. Once she saw my bags, she wanted to try and sell them at her faires. So, I made a trial run of 5, maybe even 10 bags. SHE SOLD OUT! But as a teenager, I wasnt too much into that stuff. I wanted to go hang out at the mall, and just buy things. But as an adult, in a deep desire for something new in her career, the thought of making things and selling them at a craft faire for income sounds like so much fun! So, I’m trying to make some bags, and sharpen my skills, for now, maybe use them as gifts for people to try out (thus hopefully earning future customers). I’ll make other stuff, for sure. Towel Aprons, table runners, maybe one day even get into other crafts like painting, or making homemade extracts with my plants.

The beauty of this bag is that its easy to use it as a basic idea that you can then let your imagination run with. Add pockets, different handles, different type of material. Do what you want with it, and that’s why its so versatile. Start out with a square piece of fabric, with nice sides together (on the inside). Cut if you want smaller. I don’t really even use a pattern anymore, but if you are just learning you can always cut one from a paper bag, or butcher paper if you have access to it.

If you desire pockets on it, cut out the pocket. Again, can be really any size. Pin this to the bag, wherever you want the pocket to be. I normally enjoy doing one on the outside, and one on the inside, so you will be pinning it to the fabric and sewing it on BEFORE you sew the sides of the bag together.
Doing this first will make everything else go by smoothly. Just… trust me on this one guys.

Once you sew the pocket on, sew the sides of the outside of the bag and what will be the lining. Once both are sewn together, now its time to sew in the lining. To do this, the easiest way I found was to turn the outside of the bag inside out, with right sides together on the inside. Insert the lining with bad sides together on the inside. Once one is inside the other, hem the top of it. I recommend ironing it and then pinning it if possible. Once this is sewn, you now can sew on your handles!

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Leave your bag with the lining on the outside for now. Pin on your handles, and make sure they are even. You can either make your own, or buy the handles from like joannes. A tutorial for the handles will be later linked in this blog once I make them (life of a mother!) I sew the handles on in the shape of an X. Simple, and strong, and DONT FORGET TO BACKSTITCJH! Lock in your stitches people, I can not stress this enough. Lock them in, or they will easily come out later on in the wash, or even from regular use.

After that, VOILA! You have your shopping tote/purse/diaperbag !

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