Thursday, June 23, 2011

Birthday Totes


True to form I waited until the last minute to crank out a birthday present. What to get for the girl you have been shopping for forever? Thankfully my friend Krista said that she was planning on using mostly tote bags this summer. She has a really cool vintage library tote that I should try to get a picture of...but long story short I decided to make her a few totes to fill out her collection. After digging through my fabric collection and deciding there was nothing there that was going to work for my vision, I jumped in my car and headed to one of my favorite fabric shops. At the store I found some drapery remnants that would be perfect. I made three totes for her (each with a cotton lining and pocket) in the span of 24 hours.

 The first tote is a plain fabric with an embroidered flower girl from a pattern from doe-c-doe on flickr that has been hanging out in my favorites forever. The birthday girl is going to school for horticulture so I really wanted to do something like this. Originally I was just going to stop with this tote- but of course I didn't.
 The second tote is similar size to the first and it has the loveliest little flower pattern. It reminds me of something that you would maybe take to a country market in France. I was tempted to keep this one for myself! (I might have enough fabric to make another one...) And I did not stop there...
 The last tote bag is longer and a bit narrower than the other two. I wanted to include a different shape for hauling around different kinds of stuff. Plus it has a blue stripe pattern- Miss Krista owns more blue-stripe-pattern clothing than anyone I know. It is her signature and she pulls it off well. My hope is that this is subtle enough to work with a lot of her existing pieces.
 So there you have it. A new summer wardrobe of totes. I had a lot of fun making them and once I got into the groove they whipped up pretty fast. If you are interested in making your own totes I would suggest googling it! That's what I did and after looking at a couple different tutorials I found a method that worked well for me. It was important that they had linings so that I could include pockets (especially on the blue stripe tote since it is so deep I put the pocket close to the top) and so I could embroider on one layer and have some protection for the stitching. This might be exactly the project I have been looking for to use some of those other vintage patterns that have been lurking in my flickr favorites.


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