Monday, April 18, 2011

a simple tote by request

My sister wanted a new tote.  Her requirements were simple: navy with khaki-colored straps and just large enough to fit a notebook.  Pretty simple . . . a little too simple in my opinion.

I had a hard time finding just the right shade of blue.  I was shopping in the home decor section at JoAnn's for some navy fabric, but what I really wanted was duck cloth.  I just couldn't think of what it was called nor did I know where in JoAnn's to find it.  So I had to settle on royal blue because it was the only solid blue available in home decor.  Believe me, I found so many other worthy fabrics that were neither solid nor blue for her tote, but this was a special request and I wanted to try to stick to it.

The khaki-colored straps I managed to find pretty easily.  I just used webbing.

I'm just not sure how she will like the rest of it.  I wanted an outside pocket, but I thought I would use a matching solid color since she wanted something very simple and she obviously had something in mind.  I hope these stripes don't complicate the design too much.  They might make the tote feel a little too young for her taste, but I just can't help myself.  You can buy any old solid colored tote in any old store, but I would bet a couple of hard-earned dollars that you won't find a replica of this one in stores!  Wait, maybe that's for a reason?

There is one thing I would change in this design.  There is no break between the pocket stripes and the bottom stripes.  I think I should have placed some ribbon around the bag on the seam line between the blue and the bottom stripes to give the eyes a break between the pocket and the bottom of the bag.  Its also possible that I am the only one in the world who overthinks details like this, but somehow I doubt it.

Here is the back.  Very simple.  And probably a little more of what she was looking for.  She can always wear it backwards.

And to finish the bag, I rolled the blue around the inside edge to create a bias tape look without the bias tape.  I like this method for its simple construction, but variations in the width of the roll are very noticable so I have to be very careful.  I also added a pocket inside because what's a tote without pockets?

I lined this bag with both a lightweight interfacing and quilt batting as I usually do.  This makes the bag feel like it can stand up to just about anything.  This is no flighty springtime tote.

The finished dimensions on this tote are about 10 inches long by 4 inches wide by 12 inches tall.  So at least I got the "just big enough to fit a notebook" part right.

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