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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fun Tote Bag Project


I've wanted one of these bags with the old linen calendars on it since I saw some at last year's Junk Bonanza. As I am only an amateur sewer, I was unable to make my own bag, so I started with this great canvas bag from Target.
These are not sold in their usual bag department. They are found as re-usable shopping bags and they have

A Target Logo on one side, (seen here from the inside of the bag) The logo does not matter as we will be covering it up. They are $5.

I like these bags because they are very large, and they have 2 strips down the front that we can use to insert our fabric into without doing too much deconstruction to the bag.

Many different things can be used to dress these bags up. Old Burlap coffee sacks, Old Linen calendars, feed sacks, flour sacks, vintage fabric, you name it.

With a seam ripper or sharp pointed scizzors, you'll need to carefully rip the INSIDE seems only all the way down as shown in the illustration above.

cut your fabric wider than the opening and longer than the opening, Tuck the fabric into the openings on each side, pin and re-sew following the old seam line. I suggest doing one side and then flattening out your fabric, then pinning and sewing the other side.

Then I folded the fabric over the top, between the 2 handles, folded the raw edge under and sewed it down, you can see the seam on the inside and outside of the bag. It gives it a finished look from the outside. As you can see I didn't bother sewing down my raw edges on the inside, I'm not a perfectionist if I'm just making something for myself.
At the bottom, I simply turned the fabric under a titch and sewed it down. I didn't even try to hide the seam, as the bottom edge of the bag will hide that part.

Now for bling. Use your imagination, attach vintage jewelry or door hardware, old locker tags or whatever you can think of. I used a couple of hinges I had.
I simply inserted some folding brads through the hinge holes at the top and bottom, and folded them down on the inside. For added strength I placed a dab of E6000 glue on the folded down part inside the bag so they won't pull out easily. If you have access to a riveter that would work as well, but it is not needed.


On this one, to hide the Target Logo from the inside I simply pinned in a pre-made pocket that I had hanging around. You could remove one from an existing bag, or simply leave it off. It's your choice.

Thats it, if you can sew a strait line you can do this project.
this bag is big enough for my lap top, files and lots of extra stuff if needed.
I will be carrying it at this year's Bonanza and filling it with all my treasures.

Cindy wrote in with some good tips, my comments are in ().
Some suggestions for future bags...you don't NEED to rip up the one side of the strap, you could fold under edges on long sides of the calendar and topstitch right onto the bag. OR lay the calendar on top of the strap and sew trim over the raw edges and strap...

Also I would have suggested attaching the hinges before you sew down the strap so that your brad ends are between the bag and the strap and don't catch on anything you put in the bag.
(this is a good suggestion, but I could not do it on my bag as the hinges lay over the seam I needed to sew, and my sewing machine does not sew through metal :). The glue that I use, seals the hinges and prevents snagging. But next time I may do as Cindy suggests and see if I can sew around the bling)
Thanks Cindy for your help.

12 comments:

Vee said...

You creative gal! That's just how I would want to build a bag, too. Very clever and I'm going to be looking for a bag...I may even have one already.

red.neck chic said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!!

;-D robelyn

soggybottomflats said...

Ok Margo...you DON'T SEW? Silly girl, you need to sell me this bag! I love it to pieces and may need to talk you into making me one. Great job girl, Elaine

Tamarah said...

Margo what a FABULOUS idea....Your projects NEVER cease to amaze me AND I'm ENVIOUS of your ability to pack so much into your day....WHERE do you get the energy....???

Cheers for now,
Tamarah :o)

cindy said...

Margo,
GREAT IDEA! to take a ready made bag and embellish it. Some suggestions for future bags...you don't NEED to rip up the one side of the strap, you could fold under edges on long sides of the calendar and topstitch right onto the bag. OR lay the calendar on top of the strap and sew trim over the raw edges and strap.
Or send the bags to me and I will be happy to make them for you.
(goodness knows 3 1/2 years of college to not finish a degree in fashion design should be good for SOMETHING!)
Also I would have suggested attaching the hinges before you sew down the strap so that your brad ends are between the bag and the strap and don't catch on anything you put in the bag.
LOVE how you used a pocket you already had lying around for the inside. I cut pockets off stuff all the time to use in scrapbooks and glue onto wood plaques to put silk flowers in (or insert a tiny vase into the pocket and put in real flowers too) I thought I was the only one crazy enough to save pockets.
I invite you to view my blog at:
www.chippedtoperfection.blogspot.com

The Whistle Stop said...

So cute Margo! I will miss seeing you at the Bonanza this year. Have fun and take lots of pictures to share with those of us who can't go. Have a safe trip!
Laurie

Gresham Barn Sale said...

I know you can pack that full of lots of good smalls and still look fashionable! Yeah!

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

This is exactly the thing I need to copy - was messing around w/my own bags but you're BRILLIANT(as usual)!
Thanks for all you share!

LSum1258 said...

I absolutely love this bag. There are so many possibilities. Just may make one for myself. Found an old Ghiradelli Chocolate piece of canvas--this should look great. Thanks again. LuAnn

Michelle said...

What a beautiful bag. Instead of buying one you were able to create one with your favorite touches. Who needs to sew?

Miss Mustard Seed said...

The addition of the hinges really makes this bag for me. Great work!

Also, I have the very same zinc cups pictured in your header. Love 'em!

Connie P. said...

I love the bag. As a new sewer(is that a word?), I think you have done a bang-up job! Don't you just love seam rippers? Once you get the hang of those--nothing is safe! I deconstruct clothing all the time and turn things into new things. You did great!

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