To recover from my rayon dress experience, I made a tote bag. Easy, quick and perfectly practical–the best kind of sewing project.
I realized I needed a giant tote bag when my husband and I went to Lake Belton. I didn’t have a tote large enough to hold 2 towels (make that 3 because the dog needs her own!), a water bottle, my phone, wallet, etc, etc. (I didn’t want to carry my purse and another bag). I really needed a giant bag to put everything in one place.
So, I whipped up this tote using materials I had in house (except I decided I had to have web handles that I picked up at my local Hancock’s). I based the size off of two towels folded and stacked, plus a little more room for all my extras.
The exterior fabric is a heavyweight home decor type fabric that was given to me. I applied fusible interfacing to give it a little more body. The interior fabric is a quilting cotton.
The straps are attached about 2″ below the bag opening and across the bottom of the bag. I used a full 3 yards of the webbing material for the straps, bringing the two ends together on the bottom of the bag.
I was debating whether to sew them in place all the way around when my husband noticed that by leaving the straps loose, I could fit a yoga mat under the straps.
I’ve never needed to carry a yoga mat, but I like the option! It seemed like a practical design feature as well as an excuse to be lazy and leave the handles as they were.
Honestly, I attached the handles last, as an after thought. I originally planned to make fabric handles and only attach them at the top of the bag. But I decided a contrasting color as well as the strength of webbing would be better suited to the size of this tote, so I added them on last. If I make another such tote bag (or if you, dear reader, should like to make one), I would attach the straps to the outer fabric before sewing up the bag. It would be so much easier to ensure the straps were properly centered on a flat piece of fabric.
I took my tote down to the pool for a photo sesh, and I loaded it up with all the goodies one might take to the pool, lake or beach: two towels, yoga mat, water bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses, ipad, phone, keys, camera, and room for snacks.
The bag easily accommodated all I needed (plus the yoga mat that I didn’t need!)
An interior pocket would be a nice addition, now that I think about it, to keep my smaller items from getting lost in the bottom of the bag. But I’m really happy with my new bag, and I can’t wait for the next trip to the pool or lake. I’m ready now.
Where do you go to cool down on a hot summer day?