Summer Tote Bag
I was able to quickly finish the summer tote bag on Saturday. I love this bag! The colors make me happy, it is really roomy and should be sturdy. The fabric is the outdoor Sunbrella type canvas for the exterior and the interior is sunprinted white poplin. Both are sturdy and since I did not want a super stiff bag, I decided not to use interfacing. I want to be able to fold up the bag and put it in a suitcase or other bag for traveling.
The final dimensions of the bag are approximately 25" wide by 18" high, not including straps. You can see how large the bag is when modeled:
As mentioned in the 30 Minutes Per Day post, this is a self-drafted pattern inspired by a Simplicity pattern. I am very pleased with how the pattern turned out! It is easy to construct, too, since the bag does not have to be sewn together at the top and turned to the right side. The binding could even be the wide purchased quilt binding, just reinforced through the handles.
When you last saw the bag, both the bag and lining had been pleated together at the top and waiting for binding. I originally was going to bind the edges in white, but once I started to pin it on, I didn't like it. Furthermore, the white straps eventually would show dirt more quickly, so I cut and pieced what was left of the stripe to make the binding. I love a good bias cut stripe anyway, so this solution was perfect. The binding is 1" wide and I interfaced and stiffened just the strap portion.
The top edge with the pleats is bound first:
As a side note, I found this thread in my collection for all the top stitching that perfect matched the colors of the fabric:
Back to the binding, after the top pleated edges are bound, the curved edges are bound and straps are formed. The straps are just a continuation of the binding at the sides; one long pieces does both the binding and straps and is joined at a side seam. The binding starts at a side seam, binds the curved edge, becomes a strap, binds the other curved edge, becomes the other strap, binds the last half of a curved edge and is joined.
Here's the interior zippered pocket I said I'd show you:
You can see that I've already placed my knitting in the bag. I was able to fit my purse and water bottle in it last night at church, making it easy to transport everything I need for ensemble practice, choir practice and the service.
I've saved the pattern and will be making another one of these in the fall for a winter version as I'm always taking projects where ever I go.
Parting Shot: First Plants. No, they're not weeds, they're pumpkins! My son's garden is just starting to come up. Now we have to wait on the rest of the things he planted: the cucumbers and watermelons. We bought the tomatoes as plants, so no waiting there! Four kinds of produce is plenty for the eight year old to take care of by himself.