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« Easy oven chicken recipe. | Main | Summer, week one. »

My new favorite tote.

I, for one, cannot have too many totes.  Especially during the summer.  Endless uses:  pool bag, wet pool bag, library bag, knitting bag, sewing bag, so on and so on.  And oh, let's not forget to mention a rush-to-the-urgent-care bag.  The kind that swallows up favorite board books, a change of clothes, diaper needs, snacks, and medical records and yet still has room for a panicky momma's things.  The kind that gets you out the door fast but not looking nearly as bewildered and harried as you actually are because little man lost his footing on a two-feet-high plastic Little Tykes slide and somehow managed to hurt his arm even though he regularly negotiates seven-feet-high slides and runs with the big boys incident-free. 

More on that in a bit.  This is about the tote.

I cannot count how many reusable grocery bags I have sitting at-the-ready in the pantry.  They are like bunnies.  They multiply.  But they are neither particularly cute nor comfy.  Instead, I have long envisioned a certain tote shape.  The It Tote, if you will.  Something with a vintage-y vibe, not too big, not too small, and most importantly...something worthy of diving into my stash.  You know how it is.

I started searching freebie tutorials for "my vision" and had no luck.  I nearly gave up and decided I'd just draft it up--I know how to sew up a basic tote and what I had in mind was pretty basic with one specific detail.  But then I stumbled upon Ali Foster's patterns.  Her reversible tote design was just about perfect.  And so I bought it and stitched this up.

And in case you were wondering, the specific detail I sought was the continuous double circle handle straps.  A simple thing, yes, but you'd be surprised how few tote designs have it.  And I love it.

I also picked up a couple of other patterns.  Ali is running a great deal in her Etsy shop--3 patterns for under $10.  AND she gives you permission to sell creations from her patterns.  I still have hopes of reopening my Etsy shop or doing a farmer's market sale and would love to stock it with some fun purses and clutches.  As a side note, I have no affiliation to her shop.  I just love her designs and am a happy customer. 

For the fabrics, I repurposed some lovely nubby, linen-look cream colored fabric that was left over from a recent drapery project.  And for the reversible interior, I used a pretty print I've hoarded for quite some time--I wanted something summery but in black to match the dressform screenprint I added. 

This is supposed to be my sewing bag--to group ongoing projects or pattern ideas that need things for progression.  The idea is I'll just grab it when I'm headed out thrifting or to a fabric store in search of the right trim, fabric, or other notion.

A post will follow about the screenprint.  I finally tried out using my Cricut to cut out the stencil.  I haven't mentioned that Santa brought me a Cricut Expression, have I?  Well, that's because it seems a little excessive for this scrapper-who-once-was, but I hear Santa scored an amazing Black Friday sale on it, so Yay Santa. 

I have not used my Cricut to its fullest potential but I've finally decided it was time.  I'll post about the two software programs I used to design the dressform and even include the file in case anyone else is interested.

Back to Will.  He spent the weekend in a soft cast and was none too happy about it.  Hopefully it will come off today and he can go back to terrifying me on the big-boy side of the playground...he is not allowed near any innocent looking, plastic, baby slides!

Happy Monday.


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Reader Comments (3)

I LOVE this. With all my sewing, I need a bag with a dress form on it. So creative. Seriously.

Such a cute tote. I can never have enough tote either. :-)

June 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBLJ Graves Studio

That's a great bag!!!!

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJan

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