What do you do when a friend calls you up and asks you to make her a tote bag for a friend? You pick out some awesome chevron fabric, a hot pink lining, some interfacing and get started!
No really, I was nervous about making this tote bag. I make clothes! I can sew clothes and skirts, make curtains and roman shades, pillows and bedskirts. Those do not intimidate me like this tote bag did! I'm not going to lie. I was so nervous that I even made a "practice" bag (see the paisley bag below). Have you ever worked with Peltex interfacing before? It was new to me so I wanted to be sure it would work before I went ahead and said yes to my friend Elizabeth. So I scooped up some super cute and girly paisely fabric at Hobby Lobby, some hot pink lining, the interfacing and a zipper.
The test bag came out super cute! It even had a coordinating pocket on the inside and although it took about 2 hours to make, I think I will have this bag for awhile. (Good thing because when my husband, Patrick, saw it he rolled his eyes slightly and said, "Oh good. Because you "neeeeeed" another bag, right?" No, a girl never needs more bags, Patrick, she wants more bags! :) And I had to make this one because I was practicing making a bag for Elizabeth. See how this works?
I love the inside! It has a deep pocket and squared off corners so it can stand on it's own when it's not in use. But this one will always be in use, right? I might give it to Catherine to store all her stuffed animals, art supplies and design notebooks that she takes from my desk. (Can anyone else not have their own stuff anymore? I'm constantly buying new notebooks! It makes me laugh!)
There was one mistake in this bag - the zipper. Man, was I frustrated! I sewed a little too close to the zipper teeth so the lining was in the way when I tried to open the zipper. After almost throwing the whole project in the trash (okay I wouldn't have really done that - I would have used the chevron to make a skirt or something) I decided to lay the bag down, cut off the top (zipper) and finish it off with bias tape. Then I attached my straps and it was done!
So even when you are scared of trying a new sewing project, try it for yourself first using some scrap fabric (or go ahead and buy the fabric that you really want in case it just happens to work the first time)!