Improv Tote

Filed Under Sewing 

Yep, another project for the Sewing Summit. It’s lame how much of that is going on in my house right now. You would think I was excited or something.

Lots of the other ladies are making bags (and other beautiful things) for hauling all their stuff around the summit. I had to jump on that bandwagon after I realized I had nothing to do with a whole yard of¬†upholstery fabric from IKEA. I bought it so I would have a bit for a class for making zippered pouches, but what to do with the rest after I cut out the 2 7×8 inch pieces recommended by the instructor…

Warning, side story coming — My mother painted a nativity set for a church Christmas Bazaar one year, and wanted to make a “stable” to go with it. After watching her struggle with the wood for a while, my father (a big planner and perfectionist) asked if he could help. She agreed on the condition that he do it her way and then proceeded to tell him to cut pieces “about this big by this big” and demonstrating with her hands. He rolled his eyes, but did it anyway. I understand that the entire nativity came out beautifully and was sold to one of the bazaar volunteers before it could even go up for auction.

Well, that’s how I sew. I just eyeball how big I want the bag or book, or whatever and start cutting. Most of the time it comes out, but not always. This time, the whole bag came together so beautifully that I kept wondering when everything was going to go wrong. The only problem I had was that the first set of straps I cut were too short, so I had to re-cut them. As it turns out that was for the best, as the first set were mostly white, and I didn’t really like the look of them.

So I guess we’ll see just how functional this little tote will be. Should be good enough for a bit of hand sewing, some moo cards, my phone and whatever I pick up along the way don’tcha think? I hope so, cuz I’m not taking my purse.

And damn if I dont have ideas for about 15 other bags to make from the (copious) leftovers of this fabric. Maybe I’ll get a little camera pouch sewed up before I leave in eight days. You know, because I don’t already have enough to do.


4 Responses to “Improv Tote”

  1. krista on September 29th, 2011 4:20 pm

    I love it! what a great use for that fabric. It looks very crisp and well-made! Do you ever regret not taking measurements as you go, so you can recreate the bag later?

  2. Jeannette on September 29th, 2011 4:23 pm

    Krista, I sort of measure as I go because I do use my rotary cutter to cut stuff with straight lines. I’m also kind of distractible, so don’t usually make things more than once (hence all the single knitted socks floating around our place). But, yeah, sometimes I think, dang, I shoulda make a tutorial out of that, now I have to figure out how I did it.

  3. Jennifer on October 5th, 2011 6:58 am

    That is so awesome!! Is the bag lined? I have made unlined bags, but the lining seems to boggle my mind. I too sew by looking at it and guess-timate! Sometimes it even works (I’m no where near to your level though). I really need to get back to the curtains I was working on…not start another project!

  4. Jeannette on October 10th, 2011 3:54 pm

    Jennifer, yes, it’s lined. I can show you sometime how easy the lining is. It’s basically an inside out bag. I know you can do it, but I won’t encourage you to start new projects with other’s still waiting for completion… unless you want me to. :)

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