Reversed Striped Tote Bag

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!

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MATERIALS

  • 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
  • Hammer
  • Sewing machine (not pictured)
  • Iron (not pictured)

striped_tote_materials

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1:

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.

Step 2:

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.

striped_tote_step1a

striped_tote_step1b

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Step 3:

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.

striped_tote_step3a

Sew along the pinned line.

striped_tote_step3b

Trim off the excess corner, leaving about 1/4″ of fabric.

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Step 4:

Turn the exterior piece right sides facing out. Iron to smooth out the fabric.

Keep the interior piece right sides facing in.

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Step 5:

Insert the interior fabric inside the exterior fabric, lining up the side seams.

striped_tote_step5a

striped_tote_step5b

Step 6:

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.

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Step 7:

Sew along the inside edge, around the mouth of the bag.

striped_tote_step7a

striped_tote_step7b

Step 8:

Once your finished sewing, you can flatten the hem with your iron.

Step 9:

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.

striped_tote_step9a

striped_tote_step9b

Step 10:

On one side of the bag, measure in 5″ from each side and 2″ from the top, and mark with a pencil.

Step 11:

Using the leather tool, punch a hole through the bag at these marks.

striped_tote_step11

Step 12:

Insert the rivet back from the inside of the bag…through the fabric and the strap.

striped_tote_step12a

Place the rivet front on top of the rivet back.

striped_tote_step12b

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.

striped_tote_step12c

Step 13:

Repeat step 12 to the other side of the bag to finish it off!

striped_tote_step13

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.

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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!”

pillows

Star & Stripes Pillows

Call me old-fashioned, but one item on my bucket list is to have an American flag. Not just HAVE one, but have one to put outside in front of my house. And it can’t just be a run of the mill flag. No nylon and it can not be just printed ink. It will be a cotton flag. There is something about that heavy cotton material that makes it seem more authentic.

I’ve wanted to do a Fourth of July DIY that reminisced that old cotton flag look…and I think I found it! One of the sponsors from last summer’s Alt Design Summit, Michael Miller Fabrics, gave us all some fat quarter samples. I have held onto my lively blue samples for the right project. I had just enough solid blue fabric to use for the front of my reoccurring pillow case DIY. So I better not screw it up! I also had some leftover cotton twill from my Alphabet Joy pillow from last years 25 Days of Crafts. Together (with some red fabric) I had the makings of some great holiday decor.

I hope you all have a very Happy Independence Day!

Materials

  • 16″ x 16″ piece of blue cotton twill
  • 3 pieces of 16″ x 4″ red cotton twill
  • 2 pieces of 16″ x 4″ cream cotton twill
  • 4 pieces of 16″ x 10.5″ cream cotton twill
  • 9″ x 9″ cream cotton twill for the star
  • Cream thread
  • Scissors
  • 2 – 16″ x 16″ pillow inserts
  • Star Template
  • Sewing machine (not pictured)
  • Pencil (not pictured)

materials

Time

A few hours depending on your sewing skills. I cut my pieces out one night and sewed the next.

Instructions – Striped Pillow Front

Step 1:

With the right sides facing, place a red piece and cream piece together, and sew together a 1/2″ seam along the long edge.

step 1

Open up the sewn pieces on the table (right side up) and align the long un-sewn edges of a red and cream piece together. Pin those two together and sew a 1/2″ seam.

step 2

Repeat the step above by sewing alternating red than white pieces until all the pieces are sewn together, ending with a red piece on the top and bottom. With your 1/2″ seams, the inside pieces should end up being 3″ in height once they are sewn together. The top and bottom piece should be 3 1/2″ from edge to seam.

Step 2:

Flip the striped piece over, and iron the seams out flat.

step 3

Step 3:

Bring it back to your sewing machine, and sew a finishing stitch along the left and right side of each seam 1/4″ from the seam. Be mindful of your distance from the seam to the stitch, not from the stitch to the cut edge. You might find it helpful to sew with the wrong side facing up, this way you can control the hem from rolling.

Iron out the piece when you are complete.

step 4

Instructions – Star Pillow Front

Step 1:

Cut out the star by downloading and printing the Star Template. The template has two pages, one for the cream part of the star, and one for the blue part of the star.

For the cream part, simply trace and cut one cream piece.

For the blue part, cut out the center part (the solid lines.)

Step 2:

Place your blue fabric on the table and fold the bottom right corner up to meet the left top corner. This will create a triangle. Repeat that step with the bottom left to the top right.

Mark the center point with a pencil.

Blue mark center

Step 3:

Center the blue template over the pencil mark. You might find it easier if you attach it with some tape to hold it in place.

Next trace the edges of the cut part, including the lines that go into the points of the star.

Remove the tape, and cut out the lines you drew. You’ll be left with a weird star-like hole in the middle of your fabric.

blue_front_cutting_star

Step 4:

Using the paper template as a guide, fold back each of the edges to begin opening up your star. Iron them out as you go, and pin them to hold them in place.

star_fold_pin

Step 5:

With the wrong side of the blue fabric facing up, take your cream star and align it over the top of the folded back star. This will become the backing for the star. Pin it in place.

align_star

Step 6:

Flip it over right side up and sew a finishing stitch approx 1/4″ from the folded edges.

star_sewn

Instructions – Pillow Backs

Step 1:

For the back of the pillow, take the 16″ x 10.5″ pieces and fold over one long edge 1/4” and then approx 3/8″ again on itself. Iron the folded edge flat and use a couple pins to hold the fold down. Repeat to the other piece.

back_fold_iron

Step 2:

Sew each of the pinned pieces right down the center of the fold, about 1/4” from the edge.

back_2piece

Step 3:

To assemble the pillow, place the front side of the pillow (right side up) on the table. Take one back piece (wrong side up) and align to the left edge of the front piece with the hem in the middle.

back_overlap1

Take the second back piece and align to the right edge of the front piece (wrong side up). Your pieces will overlap in the center.

back_overlap2

Pin together and sew a 1/2″ hem around all four sides.

back_pin

Once all edges have been sewn, trim the strings and turn right side out. Insert the pillow into the case and you are ready to use!

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It’s the perfect addition to your red, white, and blue decor. Happy Fourth of July!!!

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