I needed a sturdy, easy-access bag for my trip. But I also wanted it to be different and cute. So I decided to make one! I took a tote I bought at Walmart a few months ago on clearance. I liked the stripes, but it needed something to jazz it up.
If you want to make one, here’s what you do:
3 Designs of Fabric
Needle and Thread
Liquid Stitch (optional – but recommended)
So I got out my fabric stash and laid out different fabrics with the bag until I had a good combination. I liked the black and white with a little dash of red. I basically used what I had. I had a lot of black material with white polka dots, so that is what I used for the bottom layers of the flower. I cut out a really long piece of fabric — 5 inches in width by 110 inches in length. Then I sewed each of the corners of the fabric 1/2 inch from the edges, so it won’t fray too much. After I sewed a big basting stitch all the way down the center.
I took the thread from the center stitch and pulled on it so that it gathered the material. This took a few minutes, since the material was so long. I pulled the thread all the way down to the edges and ruffled the material up uniformly so it made a really long ruffle.
Once my ruffled material was ready, I laid the black and white polka dotted material on top of one side of my tote in a big circle. I wanted the edges of the flower to go up over the top of the bag. I had such a long piece of material, that I was able to make the flower very ruffly — which is what I wanted. I was able to layer the black and which material about 5 times around the bag, with the biggest circle on the bottom and then coming in toward the center with each turn of the material. I pinned the material in place. Then I did the same thing with the Amy Butler red material, only I made it just long enough to go around the center of the bag once — 5 inches in width by 36 inches in length — and then ruffled up to 9 inches in length.
Then I used my sewing machine to secure the flower onto the bag. But if you don’t have a machine, or your bag won’t fit inside the machine, you can use liquid stitch to secure the flower to your bag. Use books to weigh down the flower and make the liquid stitch really hold the material. Leave the books on top of the material overnight for best results.
To make the flower embellishment, I took two pieces of material. A black and white floral and a red and white circle design. The red and white circle material I cut to a width of 5 inches by 35 inches in length. And the black and white floral I cut to 5 inches in width and 20 inches in length. I also sewed around the edges of these fabric pieces so the edges wouldn’t fray too much.
I took the inside material — the red and white circle design and wrapped it around itself until it looked like the inside of a flower. Then I took the black and white floral and wrapped that around the outside of the red and white circle flower I just made — wrapping it looser than I did with the red circle material. You can experiment and see what looks best for you.
Once I had it looking the way I wanted it to, I pinned the two pieces of flower together. Then I turned it upside down and sewed the bottom of the flower using a needle and thread. I made sure it was very secure. Once the flower was secure, I used my needle and thread to attach the flower to the center of the big ruffled circle on the tote. After you are done sewing the flower onto the tote, use some liquid stitch underneath the flower for a really secure hold.
And you are done — now you have a really unique bag to carry around town! I’ve loved having it as I’ve explored Boston and New York!
I even took it with me to meet my bloggy friend Kenlie from All The Weigh yesterday! She is so delightful and wonderful in real life too!!