So I have been sewing for about two years solid now, and I have 4 skirts, 1 shirt and an assortment of bags and plush animals to show for it. However, I don't always feel like making something from a pattern. I have found that totes are simple enough to make and don't take much time at all. It's also a great use of scrap fabric. I even made a little fabric bag (minus the handles) and used it as a gift bag. It served it served its purpose of housing a present, and the lucky recipient got a keepsake for herself.
This first tote is composed of oilcloth (chickens were found on ebay, faux bois and brocade were from etsy). I wanted to use this fabric, because I was making a grocery tote. The outside is completely wipeable, and the linen lining provides sturdy support. I found the pattern online here:
This specific tote has a circular bottom, and that proved to be a little challenging at first but still very doable. With the leftover material I was able to make a little purse for myself. (I couldn't let the cute chickens go to waste!) The best part was I just folded the fabric in half and then sewed the sides up. I didn't even have to make a bottom.
The second tote shown here was made of spare bits I had laying around. The outer fabric is a superfine brown corduroy, and the inside is a cotton print. First, I sandwiched the two fabrics together for each side and sewed them creating a durable duplex fabric of sorts. Then I pinned my two sides together and sewed everything but the top where the opening was. Next I did a few rows of stitches for added decoration. (For the gift bag, I just stopped here. It was so easy to make and meant a little more than the store bought alternative. Plus, you can tailor them to any size!) For the little handbag I added some handles, which were just two long strips of the corduroy fabric folded in half. I personally love the look of a stitch and again made rows of straights and zig-zags alternating for extra interest. Finally, I like to secure the handles for all of my bags with the "X" method. Again, I like the way it looks, and it adds more support.
Thanks for looking at my projects! Please feel free to share any of your own. I'd love to see them :)