the 25-minute tote December 7, 2011

After three weeks on the east coast visiting family, I got to sew today for the first time since mid-November! Oh, I missed sewing so much, it’s good to be back. Since time is always of the essence around here, I wanted to make a nice instant-gratification project, and also cross something off my holiday gift list. After a quick and lovely trip to Cool Cottons for two yards of bright-colored webbing, I was revisiting the Purl Bee’s 20-minute tote tutorial and cutting some fabric to make little presents for Pearl and Everett!

Everett's tote

I made a few tweaks to the Purl Bee’s version (exact details in a minute). Since these are for little kids, ages 1 and 3.5, I sized the bag down a bit. I also lined mine and added box corners, just because I like those things in bags. The first one I made is for Everett – owls, lined with cheerful yellow gingham, and with one of my way-back tags sewn in.

Everett's tote

Here are my changes, in case anyone else wants to try a kid version too: I sized all the dimensions of the bag down, using two 11″ x 12″ pieces of fabric (one set in outer fabric and one in lining – you can basically make two bags out of 2 contrasting third-yard cuts of fabric), and two 18″ lengths of webbing for handles (one yard total per bag). I followed their directions for the most part, but streamlined a bit since no raw edges would show, and added box corners 1″ in from the bottom corners of both lining and outer bag layers before sewing them together. I sewed the tag into the lining, then sewed the bag and lining together around the perimeter with a small zig-zag stitch. Done!

Everett's tote

The finished bag is the perfect size for bringing a few kids’ books and toys along for a playdate or car ride. It’s not super strong, just two layers of quilting cottons (I wouldn’t lug groceries or free weights in it or anything) but it’s perfect for a child to carry around. Using interfacing or home dec fabric would make this a much sturdier grown-up-style bag. You could also add a patch pocket, a little zip bag on a ribbon, or a button closure…

Everett's tote

Here’s what I’m going to use for Pearl’s version – buttons on the outside, dots on the inside. Love that bright blue webbing! For my sources – I got the webbing at Cool Cottons today, the button print is from Bobbin’s Nest this spring, the dots are Katie Jump Rope from Purl Soho (2007 or so), the owls are a Japanese import (also 2007-ish), and the gingham was a yard sale find.

Swatches for Pearl's tote

Speaking of fabric, this is what else I got at Cool Cottons! So, so happy they still had a nice selection of Lotta Jansdotter left. I got enough gray to make a skirt, one yard of the yellow, and half-yards of the two smaller prints on white and the orange.

My haul from Cool Cottons

This weekend is shaping up to be awesome and busy. I’m really excited for the Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Sale – hope to see you over there one of the two days, I will be doing the rest of my holiday shopping! Portland Modern Quilt Guild will be hosting an all-day sew on Saturday (free to members, $10 non-members), yay! And my friend + fellow PMQG member Heather will be teaching a super cool glass etching class (1pm, $10) at the Portland Bazaar on Sunday!

my Portland Modern Quilt Guild name badge <3

One more bit of news on the PMQG front: I’m so honored to follow the amazing Christina as our guild president for 2012! Heather, Petra, Nancy, Ale and I will be the new officers and I am so excited to be on the board with them. Hope to see you at our December 15 meeting at PNCA – it’s a holiday potluck with lots of treats!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *