Are you tired of making totes yet? Well, maybe not, I don’t know if you can ever really get bored of making them….they are so easy, quick and satisfying and you can NEVER have enough….
But this post is about how you can step it up a notch and bring your favorite tote to the next level. What do I mean? Take a look:
Nope….it’s not store bought. This is what it looks like when you step up your sewing and dare to use fabrics other than cotton.
So how do you do it? First things first – get over your fear of using heavy fabric. Working with thick fabric has its benefits…you get a nice, sturdy bag without having to cut and iron interfacing. Woo hoo!
Next decide on what type of fabric you want to use. Upholstery fabric works great for something like this. So does a faux leather. I used both in this bag.
Next choose a pattern/tutorial to use. I made this one up out of my head, but if you are looking for something simple try out my Simple Tote. Eliminate any interfacing the pattern/tute call for. You also need to decide what you are going to do for handles. If working with a vinyl or faux leather, you will want to avoid making straps that require lots of layering. You can purchase leather handles for under $20, or make your own like I did.
I cut 2 strips of fabric 35″ long and 1.5″ wide, folded in half and sewed it leaving the last 2″ on either end open to make the tabs I used to sew the straps on the bag.
Be sure to use a heavy gauge needle to handle the thick fabric. Put it all together and take your time!
Take the time to do up the interior the way you like it. This bag looks high-end from the outside, it deserves the same on the inside! I choose to put a zippered pocket and 2 flat pockets.
I used upholstery fabric for the strip running down the middle as well as the interior. The main fabric was some faux leather.
If you’re a pro at cotton totes, you really owe it to yourself to give this a try! And if you aren’t a fan of totes, why not try using heavier fabrics on things you do like to make. Think key chains, make up bags, wallets. Go ahead, open the door to a whole new world. Challenge yourself! You’ll be happy you did.