Monday, August 22, 2011

A Tote for me!

We are well beyond the diaper bag phase, but I still like to have a tote with me when we are walking around the city. My purses are either too small or uncomfortable to carry for very long, so I starting dreaming up a new tote.
I wanted something simple and fun, but most importantly I wanted a tote that was *mine*! I needed a bag that I could use when I'm out with the family, and also a bag that I could toss my stuff into as I head out to meet my running partner.
After a little bit of window shopping at my favorite (overpriced) stores and some careful investigation of the totes on display at the local quilt shops, I came up with this:
It's a simple tote, 12" tall, 15" wide and 5" deep. I used a laminate for the interior, the bottom of the bag, and the exterior pocket (all fabric is Echino). It was tough to decide how to use the laminate: to protect the bag exterior from dirt and the elements, or to protect the interior for my sweaty running clothes. Protection from sweaty clothes ultimately won out, and I was able to cut carefully so that I had enough laminate for the exterior bag bottom as well!
The exterior pocket is 7.5" tall by 11" wide, divided into 2 compartments.
Inside the bag I added a zippered pocket and a tab closure with a magnetic snap.
The straps are just shy of 30" long. I made the straps by covering some 1" webbing with Echino. I was hoping to have enough laminate for the straps, which wasn't the case. I think the fabric straps will still hold up well, though.
 I added my label to one side of the tote.
I toyed with the idea of using a binding to finish off the top edge of this tote. I think it would have made the bag look more polished, but I worried about how to neatly finish the bag straps. It's much easier to cleanly tuck the straps into the top seam and add some topstitching for durability!
I've used this bag for a trip downtown on the bus and several running "dates" now. It seems to fit my needs really well!

20 comments:

Melissa @ Love Affair With My Brother said...

It is gorgeous!

gill said...

I love this bag!!!

Anna said...

wow nikki! it's awesome and looks super durable too. :)

The Paisley Abbey said...

Awesome bag and the fabric are super fum!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I love this bag, do I see one in the future for me?
Mom

Kirsten N said...

This is gorgeous - the fabrics oyu have used are so cool!!!

noga quilts said...

This is by far the best tote bag I ever seen! And the most beautiful too!

Elizabeth D. said...

Wow!! I love this bag, great job!!

CityHouseStudio said...

This is SO fantastic! I just love it!
What a beautiful project!

Live a Colorful Life said...

This is awesome! Did you make up the pattern as you went along? I would really like to make this bag!

Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts said...

It is fabulous! I really love everything about this. So happy to have found your blog. I am a new follower. :)

Connie said...

Beautiful bag and I like the addition of laminate!

Jessica said...

Love those fabrics! You did an awesome job :)

Cathy said...

What a great bag!!!

Lisamarie said...

Do you do any custom work? I am looking for a diaper bag and this tote seems perfect! I LOVE to keep up with your blog, but I don't sew...let me know if you would be willing to discuss a custom diaper bag.

Lisamarie
lisamarienielsen@gmail.com

susan said...

Your tote is beautifully made, and beautiful!

The Quilt Ladies said...

WOW, wonderful, I love the fabric colors you picked.

Andrea said...

the bag is gorgeous! I want one!!

Megan said...

AWESOME BAG! I love it! :) Thanks for linking up to {Sew} Modern Monday and have a great weekend!

Archie the wonder dog said...

It's so professionally made - love it!