Monday, March 15, 2010

The One-Hour (or less) Tote

Dear Amy,
The iron situation is finally resolved…I wish. I made a special trip to the store this morning and came home with a new iron (and several other things for the boys…darn those 50% off toys! Don’t worry…I’m saving them for birthdays and other special occasions…our budget is still intact.). Only the new iron is so narrow that it won’t stand upright because the heat-proof pad on my ironing board is kind of lumpy. Hmm. As we all know, I’m somewhat prone to catastrophic iron falls as it is. Having an iron around that is subject to fall all by itself in addition to the aided falls it may take? Well, that won’t do. So, the aforementioned new iron is going back. Sigh.
Anyway, a quick trip next door to borrow my neighbor’s iron resulted in great accomplishments during nap time today. I thought I’d share my fave. I got the idea for this tote bag from the book “Simple Sewing” by Lotta Jansdotter. Love her and love the book. I’m not going to give a step-by-step tutorial here because you need to buy the book, but the pattern is super basic, super easy and a breeze to alter.
I’ve been longing for a tote to carry my cross stitch around the house and to keep it all together. I know what you’re thinking…”Cross stitch? That’s so ‘80s.” Well, it is. Unless, of course, you have the book “Stitch Graffiti” by Heather Holland-Daly and you’re making an awesome starry night wall hanging for the boys’ room with glow-in-the-dark embroidery thread.I know, you’re in awe and you wish you lived closer. I know. :)
Anyway, the hoop for my project is quite large and I didn’t have a project bag big enough. Enter the one-hour tote bag. I simply measured the diameter of my hoop and added an extra couple of inches for seam allowances and some give. I also made the handles extra long so that it will go over my shoulder.
tote with hoop
Here’s the good part: The base fabric (the circles) is an old sheet I had lying around. I had already cut it up and used part of it to make a laundry bag. Here’s some of it going toward my new tote. I still have about 1/2 the sheet left. That rocks!
tote sheet
The brown fabric is something I had around as well. When our local quilting shop recently closed, I stocked up on fabric of all shapes and sizes at rock-bottom prices. Hate that we lost our quilting shop…love that the sheer volume of fabric I own makes me swoon.
The tote requires only four pieces of fabric—two handles, a base piece and the reinforced bottom piece. It takes all of 15 minutes or so to iron your fabric and cut your out your pieces.
tote pieces
After about 30 minutes of assembly and sewing, it’s done! My finished tote is about 18.5 inches wide and 17.5 inches tall, not including the handles. It’s big enough to fit my hoop, pattern book, thread and needles. YEAH!
Love the tote. Love that it fits my needs. Love that I used (and recycled) fabric I had on hand. Love that I was able to whip it up in less than an hour during naptime . Great project!
What do you think?
Love, Kate


Amy said...

Awesome! I love the bag and the idea that you used an old sheet. I wish I hadn't just cut up all my old sheets to use as cleaning rags. I would rather use them for sewing!

David, Hillary, Ethan, Jefferson, and Samuel said...

I CANNOT believe I didn't know about this blog before now! This post totally inspired me to buy some discount upholstery fabric yesterday to make my own placemats...a project I've contemplated for some time. Keep up the great posts!

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