I’d mentioned in a previous post about dice bags that I did want to make a tote bag. I looked at several tutorials online for tote bags, and now I can not remember for the life of me which one I actually used. In all actuality, I probably used a combination of tutorials to come up with my final product, but I am pretty sure that I mostly used this one by Skip to my Lou.
I went to my JoAnn’s and picked out some home decor fabric that was grey and yellow. I kind of crush on this color combination and was happy to find some coordinating fabrics that were this duo.
I tried to stick with the tutorial mostly, but found that when it came to finishing the top stitching on the top of the bag, that I really wanted to try using my twin needle, so I made sure to dig out my instruction manual for my machine and thread it properly. Since I wasn’t actually using a second spool of thread, I wound a second bobbin and placed it on the secondary spool holder instead, and it turned out ok.
When I made this, it was more of an exercise of making something useful as well as practicing skill building techniques, but I didn’t really think about the final dimension of the product and how that would affect it’s usefulness. Once my final product was finished, I realized that it was probably a bit smaller than I would have liked it to turn out, but it is still a fine size for a smaller trip to the farmer’s market or getting normal sized books at the library.
There are definitely things I would do differently though.
- I would make the bag size just at tad bigger. Not much, just a little, and that’s just a personal preference thing.
- I would have added some interfacing to the straps to make them a little more sturdy, and quite possibly to the bag’s outer fabric to do the same.
- I would have chosen to use a plain cotton for the lining just for softness. Again, that’s just a personal preference thing but every time I stick my hand in there I wish it were so.
- Work on tension. The machine I have is pretty much at it’s life’s end, but I really wish I would have figured this out. I never feel like I really got the hang of it on my machine.
I did use a heavy-duty grey thread made by Clarks and Coats to try to give it a little more sturdiness against the hoped usage. I have to admit, I really don’t use this tote that much. I want to, I just don’t. I think had I done the four listed things above, I might use it more often, but that may just be a convoluted if/then statement.
A word on my fabric and supplies purchasing: as if you didn’t already notice a pattern here, everything I purchased when I first started sewing was from JoAnn’s. Don’t worry, you’ll eventually see me grow out of this limited view of fabric but back then, it’s all I really knew. I do still go there for an occasional purchase of batting, interfacing, or stabilizer. While I am there I may pick up some Kona cotton, but the store nearest me has a very limited selection of it.
I also do pick up the occasional calico print or their Quilter’s Showcase when it’s on sale (like this week), but I try not to allow too much of the lower quality fabrics into my stash. That isn’t to say never, just hardly ever. Here is a couple recent photos of my weakness for low prices and cute prints as proof!
I really do adore some of the prints, but the quality just doesn’t seem to hold up well to washing. I am making quilts now that may see some extended use and would hate for them to fall apart. Maybe I am just overly rough and hard on things, even though I do try to take care of them. A total of nine half yard cuts for $12.17 after tax. (A solid orange bought for binding got left out of the pink stack picture.) Sometimes you just can’t resist that!