Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mom's Birthday Tote

It's my Mom's birthday (two days ago), so I made her a tote.

The patterned fabric was interfaced with the stiffest fusible stuff that I could find at Fabricland (back in the days when all I wanted to make were purses).

The construction was the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants style where I made it up as I went along. My dad does the same thing when building decks or renovating bathrooms, so I come by it honestly.

The inside facing was an afterthought once I realized how I was going to attached the straps. I used LiEr's bag tutorial series as a reference.

I embroidered the label based on by blog banner, embellishing with a little bead. My mom is an artist who is really talented at this type of embroidery among here many other makery endeavours (I also come by this honestly). 

I only have one handed down embroidery hoop that is super large and also misplaced, so I improvised. 

It worked fine, but if I'm going to continue with this type of label, I should really find an actual loop. I'm sure the second hand store has a bin full. 

If I were to make another one of these, I would change the placement of the straps. I have them 2.5" from the outside edges, but I would move them in .5" to .75". 

Mom isn't really a "pink" person, but I couldn't find anything in turquoise that I liked. This raspberry is about the shade of lipstick she wears so I compromised.

As I was heading to the cutting table at the store, I passed by the lining section and found the most perfect match of taupe for the lining. I was informed by the woman working at the table that it even had some waterproof properties—even better for a bag lining.

I installed a zippered pocket on the inside as well with a zip I had in my stash. Installing this was definitely a sketchy moment as I didn't have any reference except a long-ago memory of sewing welt pockets on some pants a number of years ago and some tutorials I've looked at recently for bound button holes. Actually, now that I think of it, the tutorial I did a while back for an exposed zipper is similar in concept to this as well. 

Party's at 4:00!


  1. The bird motif is just the cutest thing. Definitely find a way to include this in future projects - it is a great way to personalise your beautiful work. Excellent work on the tote - your Mum will love it ... J

  2. That is super cute! I have been thinking about zipper pockets--saw a tute on "Sew Mama Sew" that I might try out...

  3. p.s. I also love your hand embroidery!

  4. Hi Kyle, Thanks for the reference to Sew Mama Sew. I used to follow that one and forgot about it!