I’m off to the 2015 Winter Alt Design Summit in Salt Lake City today! This will be my second Alt Summit as a blogger, and I’m really excited to go and get re-energized to take my blog to the next level. Plus I’m super pumped to meet up with the bloggers I met last year. We have been having this virtual relationship over the past year, and it’s definitely time to see each other face-to-face!
When you attend Alt, you definitely need a good bag to carry around your various accessories. Such accessories as your business cards, notebook and iPad. :) Last year I made an Vintage Blanket Tote to use at the conference, and this year I decided it was a good idea to repeat the tradition.
For the tote, I decided to use this striped twill fabric I bought at Britex Fabrics on a trip to San Fransisco over a year ago. It was about time I used this fabric…for it was collecting dust waiting for me to make up my mind on how to best use it. I found my inspiration last summer when I saw a striped tote bag at Anthropologie, and knew how I was going to craft my perfect tote bag for this years conference.
Overall the bag was pretty easy to assemble. The one exception was making sure the stripes matched up, and calculating the size appropriately to make sure that they worked with the seams. With a little patience, it all worked out and I’m super excited to sport my tote at Alt this week!
- Exterior fabric – 1 1/2 yard
- Interior fabric -1 1/2 yard
- Head pins
- Matching thread
- Fabric scissors
- Two leather bag straps
- Leather hole punch tool
- 8 – 1/4″ gold rivets (front and back pieces)
- Rivet setting tool
- Sewing machine (not pictured)
- Iron (not pictured)
Cut your fabric into the following pieces:
- Exterior: 18″ wide x 41.5″ tall
- Interior: 18″ wide x 41.5″ tall
I used a 3.5″ wide striped fabric for the outside of this tote. I folded the fabric in half (to match the stripes on front and back) and then measured from the bottom to top. This way the cut allows for the top and bottom of the finished tote to be blue stripes.
For the inside I am using a ticking stripe fabric with the stripes going the opposite way.
For the exterior, fold the fabric so the right sides are facing each other. With the open end at the top, sew a 1/4″ seam along both the left and right sides.
Repeat this step with the interior fabric.
Note: You will do Step 3 to both the exterior and interior fabrics.
Create a box bottom, pull the front and back pieces away from each other and line up the side seam with the bottom fold. The corner will be at a 90 degree angle.
Press with a hot iron.
Since the stripes on my fabric are 3.5″ wide, I marked with pins where the corner angle is 3.5″ wide.
Sew along the pinned line.
Trim off the excess corner, leaving about 1/4″ of fabric.
Turn the exterior piece right sides facing out. Iron to smooth out the fabric.
Keep the interior piece right sides facing in.
Insert the interior fabric inside the exterior fabric, lining up the side seams.
To make the top hem, fold inside the exterior fabric 1/4″ and then 1″ over the interior. If there is too much interior fabric, you can trim off a little off the top. Secure the hem with pins, and iron out flat.
Sew along the inside edge, around the mouth of the bag.
Once your finished sewing, you can flatten the hem with your iron.
Take your leather straps and measure 1/2″ and 1 1/4″ from each end. Mark with a pencil and punch a hole at each end.
On one side of the bag, measure in 5″ from each side and 2″ from the top, and mark with a pencil.
Using the leather tool, punch a hole through the bag at these marks.
Insert the rivet back from the inside of the bag…through the fabric and the strap.
Place the rivet front on top of the rivet back.
Use your hammer and rivet tool to set the rivets.
If you haven’t used a rivet tool before, it’s pretty easy. :) Place the rivet setter against the back rivet (flat side facing up.) Then take the rivet anvil (curved side down) and place it on top of the front rivet (shown below.) Now take your hammer and hammer down on top of the anvil to push the two sides of the rivet together.
Repeat step 12 to the other side of the bag to finish it off!
As a finishing touch, I sewed on a custom “Krafty Kath” leather tag from CocosHeaven’s Etsy Shop just below the top of the bag, in between the straps.
I love how it turned out! It’s just the right mix of bold and nautical. Now I’m ready to show off at Alt!
Come find me (and my bag) and say “hello!”