I live and craft in England (or perhaps “live to craft...”?). I love colour and I love pretty things.
I must have been a magpie or a butterfly in a previous life, such is my attraction to colourful and shiny stuff (aka, pretty, shiny things).
This blog is my attempt to make sense, and keep track, of what I make.
confessions of a fabric obsessive
Tag Archives: Mini-tote
I know, I know, but it’s got to be Wednesday somewhere in the world.
I wanted to be able to blog that this hexagon adventure has been turned into something…
..but it hasn’t.
And I wanted to blog that this (blurry) pile of black and bright pink has turned into a cloak…
…but it hasn’t.
And I wanted to tell you that this pile of luscious fruity coloured cotton has started its transformation into quiltalong quilt blocks…
…but (you guessed) it hasn’t.
Now I could beat myself up about this week’s work-in-progress failure, but I’m not going to.
Sometimes life gets in the way of my plans, and sometimes thinking gets in the way of my sewing time, and sometimes boring stuff gets in the way of fun stuff. This is how life is, and in the absence of a multi-million pound bank balance enabling me to have minions to take care of the ugly and boring bits of my life, this is how my life is always going to be.
It’s not going to stop me wanting to do the fun stuff and it’s not going to stop me looking at the things I have achieved.
Banging on about how I didn’t get anything on my to-do list done is not always the best attitude to take. So I’m going to focus on some of the things I have finished in the last few months and be pleased about them (and maybe show off a little bit as well, but don’t tell anybody will you?)
My Daughter’s Quilt
The Rainbow ZigZag Quilt for my new niece
the mini-totes for the female members of my family
and this upcycling project just for me
More WIPs here
Now that all my presents have been given out, I can show you some of the stuff that I have been working on.
An apron for my Mum, specially requested in fabric that I thought I only had in little bits, I was glad to find a large piece at the bottom of the pile.
Some braces (suspenders) for my Dad, made from the back of the legs of the jeans that my son has grown out of (and washed thoroughly, in case anyone is thinking “euw”). I only had to buy clips.
I had a bit of a problem finding a tutorial for these, they all seemed to be for children not adults and elasticated, not plain fabric. Also, I’m allergic to buttonholes.
I looked at this pattern from Simplicity (and I do mean just looking at the picture not the actual pattern, if I’d had the pattern, I’d have been laughing!) and this explanation from E-How and then worked it out on my own, but I did cut out two sets of denim pieces just in case. I also looked at this tutorial from Simple Simon, this tutorial from Running with Scissors and this tutorial from Me Sew Crazy as well. They are all for children, but a kid’s tutorial was better than none at all. It’s going to be a long time before I recover from making these, but eventually I will make some more and then I’ll take photos for a tutorial. Probably.
A lined mini tote for each of the women in my family.
The Russian doll one in front is for my sister-in-law who lived in Russia for a little while before marrying my brother (I saw the cotton-linen-mix fabric on eBay and had to get it). Three of them have the same outer fabric, two have the same linings, all are gorgeous (even if I do say so myself) and I’m feeling very proud of myself right now (can you tell?). Also, my SIL went “Aaaah! Matryoshka! I love this bag!”
(And one for me too)
Lined mini totes with proper squared off bottoms, big enough to take a book and a snack. My first attempt at totes with a gusset (although I’ve made them in my head so many times). They worked out pretty well, don’t you think?
The tutorial from Teresa Down Under helped a lot, especially the straps and the bottom corners (you can see that I didn’t use patchwork or put in a ruffle). I’ve seen a lot of tote tutorials, and I’ve put off making them for ages, but in the end it only took two hours to make all four of them (and I swear that half of that time was spent ironing/pressing the fabric) .
All of them are made the same way, with drop in linings (basically, make two identical bags, turn one of them the right way out, then drop the inside-out one inside the other one , top stitch around the top, catching the handles as you sew and Bob’s your Uncle!)
There are a load of mini tote tutorials on You Tube as well…
…pages and pages of them. Sometimes it’s easier to watch someone else do it.
Go on, have a try yourself, a mini tote doesn’t take much fabric, and I managed to make all 4 and only had to pull out some of the stitching on the first one, the others went together fine and know I know how to sew mini totes!
Proud Claire Bear