Emily made this patchwork tote bag
Emily’s patchwork tote bag

Emily dabbled with bits of sewing when she was really little — driving the sewing machine madly around a piece of scrap cloth while her grandmother made sure she didn’t get her fingers under the needle, mostly!

But now she’s a teenager (gah ! when did that happen?) she’s starting to develop more of an interest in learning to sew, so she’ll able to make her own one-of-a-kind gear.

Last week she raided the sewing cupboard for remnants of fabric left over from other sewing projects, and put together this fabulous patchwork tote bag.

(Excuse the lousy photograph — I just grabbed a snap while fixing supper for the crowd.)

Pretty good, eh? She had a lot of fun picking out the different colours and types of fabric scraps and putting together the patchwork.

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A tote bag is a fabulous project for a beginner to learn to sew — all straight lines and not much to mess up — and a patchwork tote bag is even better because it will be completely unlike anyone else’s bag, a true statement of personal taste.

Ribbons and Trims: 100 Ideas for Personalizing Your Home - Random House
Ribbons and Trims: 100 Ideas for Personalizing Your Home

Emily and I were talking about making a plain fabric tote bag, too, and embellishing it — maybe with ribbon (or fabric-strip ribbon) roses, like we learned to make from Ribbons and Trims — that Annabel Lewis book I had the pleasure to review a few months back.

We don’t need no stinkin’ pattern!

But Super Eggplant has an excellent tutorial that will walk you through the steps of how to make a basic tote bag. It’s all rectangles. Even sewing a slick box bottom to the bag is easy, the way Eggplant shows it.

The design of the patchwork and other decorations, however, are up to your own imagination… and to whatever fabric remnants and notions you’ve got lying around the place, just begging to be sewn into a nice new bag!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Josh

    Hello it was an absolute pleasure to come across, and read your blog. You really have some interesting information that I will have to share with my wife. If your ever looking for fabrics Lauren & I would be more than willing to help. Just let us know. Have a great evening.

    Josh & Lauren

  2. domestika

    How lovely of you, Mary Emma — she’ll be so pleased!

  3. Mary Emma Allen

    I love Emily’s patchwork tote bag. I’m going to mention it on Quilting and Patchwork.

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