Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sewing: Oliver + S Mother-Daughter Totes

I sewed up a couple of multi-fabric tote bags for my identical twin nieces' upcoming birthday celebration. The pattern I used is another FREE pattern from the fabulous Oliver + S. For the first niece, I used different fabrics in her favorite color pink with a plain pink inside lining:

And purples and blues for the second niece, with the most adorable owls inside to make up for the plainer designs outside:

Process notes:

These totes took me longer than expected to make -- not including the time it took to choose and buy the fabrics, then wash/dry and iron them. In addition to cutting out several pieces from many different fabrics (for each tote: 5 different fabrics plus interfacing), I also needed to prep the fabrics with the fusible interfacing before I could start sewing. The interfacing I bought required steam-ironing using a dampened press cloth or ironing cloth. All in all, the cutting took over three hours, pressing the interfacing took about two, then sewing each tote took two to three hours. My least favorite part was the measuring and cutting, and many of the pieces ended up with slightly-off measurements, ending up as parallelograms or trapezoids instead of perfect rectangles. Unfortunately, although they didn't ruin the totes, those slight mis-measurements showed up in the finished product when some of the stripes didn't match up exactly. :-( It's possible to straighten them out while sewing each stripe on by measuring and trimming as you sew, then also trimming the lining to match the new measurements of the outside bag. I didn't do a very diligent job of that on my first tote. Oh well.

Also, I wish I'd known ahead of time that I needed to cut the interfacing 1/8" smaller all around which would have saved me the time it took to trim down each piece of interfacing while I was ironing them on. So be warned.

These tote bags are definitely not perfect, but if you don't look too closely they're cute and they'll do the job they're made for, which is toting your stuff around. All of that interfacing makes for very sturdy straps, pocket, and outside bag. My favorite is the purple and blue with the owls inside. :-)

xo, Gladys


  1. These look awesome! You are getting so good:)

    1. why thank you!!! sometimes i feel bad for the folks who got gifted some of my earlier stuff ... practice does me better! :-))


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