Today I’m featuring another print I created for the Spring Collection, I wanted a painterly mod floral to be a part of it. I’ve dubbed this pattern Painted Peonies and it was a lot of fun to create. I used multiple processes, it began with a rough sketch of a peony (several actually), they were combined to form a basic repeat then each print was colorized to form the petal outline.
To create the four colorways, I digitally painted each pattern petal by petal and stroke by stroke with brushes so each of the four prints is subtly different.
In fabric form it’s an edgy floral and I love it mixed with the Splatter pattern I introduced yesterday.
I used the bright blue Marine colorway to create a washable lined tote bag and this truly is the simplest bag to make!
I searched high and low across the internet for a simple tote bag tutorial, I came across a bunch of them and watched some videos but all of them involved a lot of steps and my brain started to get fuzzy reading about how to make them.
I wanted to make something SUPER simple so I came up with my own method. I like my bags a little wider and more shallow, I hate fishing around in the bottom of a deep bag for items so this design is what I wanted, plus it’s comfortable to carry in your hand or slung across your shoulder.
It’s very easy, if you can sew a straight line, you can make this simple tote bag! I’ve made three so far, they only take about 30 minutes once you’ve made the fabric cuts. One yard of 54” fabric yields one lined washable bag (I used the Marine Painted Peonies in linen/cotton), here’s the diagram of the pieces to cut and sew.
Step One: Cut your pieces as indicated above then sew the straps first. I turn the fabric inside out so the pattern faces itself, stitch along the side, then use a safety pin to weave the fabric through so it’s right side out.
This is optional, but you can sew the edges of the strap to ensure it lays flat at all times. If you skip this step, just press it flat with an iron after you wash the tote and when it comes out of the dryer.
Step Two: Fold over the largest piece so that the A side meets the C side with the pattern facing itself (inside out) and sew together.
Step Three: Now sew the fabric together along the B and D sides, but not in the middle. Allow for 8” in the middle where you’ll attach the straps. Fold right side out so the fabric pattern is facing you, then fold over sides B and D so that the inside of the bag has the same patterned fabric as the outside. Pin the straps to each of the B and D sides in the middle as shown, they should be 26” long but you’ll tuck 1” in on each side to make the full length of the strap 24” for comfortable carrying.
Step Four: Sew a straight stitch close to the edge to secure the straps and close the 8” opening on both the B and D sides of the tote bag.
Step Five: Fold over the B side to the D side now that the straps are attached and sew the A and C sides together, making sure the back side of the straps are facing up (since you’ll be reversing it so the right side of the straps face out properly when the bag is complete.) You’re almost complete tote bag should look something like this:
Step Six: You’re almost done, now just form the square base of the tote. Do this by measuring 3 ½” from the corner and forming a triangle. I enlisted my little boy to help hold the measuring tape in place to demonstrate! Sew straight across to form the square bottom (that triangle will go inside the base of the tote.)
You’re done! Turn it inside out to reveal your tote bag! (Pocket instructions below).
Here in Sonoma County, California they passed an ordinance outlawing plastic bags at the grocery store and requiring you to use your own bags at the market or buy a paper bag for 10 cents each. It’s a tax I hate to pay so I bring my own bags to the market these days, so why not have the cutest bag for groceries? I’ll be keeping two of these in the car for my trips to the market several times a week.
If you want to add the the optional pocket for smaller items, here’s how. Fold the piece inside out from the diagram above so the pattern faces itself, and stitch it together on three sides to form a square, then flip that inside out. It’s best to press it flat with an iron to distinguish the square shape of the pocket. Use a plain or fancy stitch on your sewing machine to attach the pocket on three sides to the outside of your tote bag.
Lined and washable, the simplest tote bag ever!
Tomorrow I’ll be sharing another new print and another DIY project, come on back to see it.