Making Totes


David and I have been making totes lately. That’s right, David is sewing now, too! We were at New Seasons and saw a batch of simple, unlined totes for sale made from Ikea fabric and David asked me to teach him how to make them.

For his first two totes, he decided to recycle an old Pottery Barn curtain panel from our fabric stash. I walked him through cutting for size and inseam, and a few other basics like threading the bobbin, back-stitching, squaring the bottom and making french seams to keep the inside neat-looking and strong. Actually, David kind of knew how to sew long before me, because I remember him making large curtains for one of our first apartments back in the mid 1990s. However, this was a machine he hadn’t used before. He was a fast learner, and doesn’t get hung up and fussy about details like I do.

After making the bags, he then screen-printed one with an image of a bird. Didn’t it turn out great? I’m so proud!

And not to be completely outdone by my talented husband, here is a tote that I finished as well. I kind of made it up as I went along, which was not a good thing, in this case, because I think I would have made a couple different choices had I thought it through from the beginning. The outside is Ikea fabric (from the frederika collection) and the inside is Essex white linen cotton blend from Sew Mama Sew.

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14 thoughts on “Making Totes

  1. Wow! I’m so impressed! Both of those are great. I love that Ikea fabric – I didn’t see it at my Ikea the last time I was there. It may be time for a trip back!

  2. aw these are so cute! good job guys, and awesome that hubby is sewing 🙂

  3. Love the bags…remember your marble bags and arrow holders?

  4. What a great post and I love that screen print! Great job. I bet the bags you saw at New Season’s are my Aunt’s bags- My Cloth Bag. She scored a spot in their stores right after Christmas and has been selling up a storm since then.

  5. i love them both. amazing. i am going to show h-kun the picture of david’s bag. maybe he’ll get interested, too!

  6. Impressive bags! Love the Ikea fabric. Never seen it before!

  7. You have a wonderful husband, I am impressed. I like the bird very much, it makes the bag so special. Is it a robin? 😉
    I see that other people also have trouble finding Ikea fabric in their shop and not only me. I saw that fabric exhibited but there wasn’t any in the fabric department.

  8. Those tote bags are great! You and your hubby both did a great sewing job! 🙂 I like the bird that he printed on the tote bag he made as well.

    Who knows! You may have started a trend and we’ll soon be hearing about more husbands taking up the hobby of sewing. 😉

    Happy Sewing! 😀

  9. Emily, I am not sure if you would like to play along but I invite you anyway:

  10. these are so cute! i love them both–and that ikea fabric is great! I haven’t seen it at the one here, unfortunately!

  11. I LOVE the bag with the bird on it – I’d buy that, seriously I’ve been looking for a simple tote that I love, that’s it! Let me know if you start to sell as I’d be your first customer.

  12. The bag with the bird is fantastic!

  13. Another vote for the bag with the bird. Love it!

  14. Pingback: The Extra Large Really BIG Bag « Paperseed

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