I have received so many encouraging comments about the scrappy block I made a few days ago! Thank you all for the kind words. This is not a new idea by any means, nor is it my invention but this cute little tote is all mine for the moment and will be loaded up in my shop this weekend. (Is it hard for you to post your handmade items after you’ve worked so long on them?) So, without further delay here is my completed scrappy tote:
I will show you more how-to details in a minute, but wanted to show you a few other views. The stitched exterior are all pieces from my scrap bin. In order to get that stiff and standing up look, I used a block of canvas and a block of quilted fabric on top of that for the bae. Felt would be a good replacement too.The interior has a small magnetic closure, plenty of pockets and a leather strap recycled from an old bag. The interior lining is a Kona cotton in celery green. I also had leftover leather strap to put in a key clip.
My finished tote is 14″ x 11″. I think when I make my next one, I’ll go a bit bigger to see how it looks. Now onto the how-to’s! My initial search started on Pinterest. Look HERE for some more ideas. After getting the general idea but needing more visuals, I found a top-notch tutorial by Elizabeth Hartman over at Oh, Fransson! Her work is beautiful so all my thanks go to Elizabeth for her great pictures and descriptions.
I started with a large middle block and used a 3 stitch on my Juki. The width between lines were spaced about 3/8″. My lines were straight on this tote, but I have seen many do fancy quilt-like designs or make some rows closer than others. So now that I’m done I’ll start adding more fabric:
You see how I lined it right sides together? Stitch them together with a 1/4″ seam and open. As I opened each piece I also pressed it before I began to stitch. See all my wrinkled canvas. Yeah, it doesn’t matter. It will disappear shortly!
Now all you have to do is sew your new block and then repeat the process until you’re pattern piece is covered. You can add all lengths and widths you want, but I laid out my fabric and played around with it before I actually started sewing. You may want to do that too.
Once I finished both blocks, I trimmed them to cut away leftover fabric and to make sure they were both still equal measured. I gave both blocks a good steam press then stitched bottom only together. By now I feel the tote’s bulk, so instead of ironing the seam I went ahead and stitched it down on both sides. It really helps to flatten the bottom and secure it.
I finished the bag up by stitching the sides and boxing the corners (around 1 1/2″). I basted the straps in then completed the lining and pockets. Done! This bag is seriously sturdy and durable. I would strongly recommend that if you want to make one of these totes, you invest in A LOT of thread!! Many, many bobbins pre-wound would help too.
This tote stole a lot of my time and thread, but I’ll be making more! I really like how it looks and am curious as to how it would look with a more slouchy structure. What do you think?