Hi guys! Welcome to day twelve of my Twelve Days of Handmade Gifts! Since it is the last day in this crafty handmade series, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite handmade gifts I have made for Christmas, my mini tote. Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I am totally head over heels for vintage tablecloths and frequently repurpose the shabby ones in all kinds of projects. This project only takes a little fabric, so you could even use a tea towel. My little bag is super easy to whip up and it can be completed in under an hour!
Here’s What You Need:
*Lining Fabric (1/4 yard will work)
*Scrap of fabric for the pocket
*Leather or Pleather ( two pieces that are 6×9, and two strips that are 1×3)
*Extra long belt, or a long strap from a purse or bag
*2 1″ D-Rings
*Ruler and a French curve or curved ruler
*Sewing Machine and coordinating thread
*A leather needle or heavy duty needle for your machine
The first thing you need to do is measure and cut the pieces for your bag. Cut the tablecloth and the lining fabric to be 10×13″. You will need two tablecloth pieces and two lining pieces that size. Next, cut your leather to be two 6×9″ pieces and two 1×3″ strips. Cut a pocket out of scraps to be 6×7″. Now lay your french curve or curved ruler on top of the bottom edge of one of your leather pieces. Draw a curve to make the curve in the bottom of the bag. Cut the leather on that line. Now you should have a curved bottom on one side of your leather piece. Fold the leather in half width wise, and trace the curve to the other side and cut. Now use that piece of leather with the curved sides tot he bottom as a template and trace it onto the bottom of your other piece of leather and your fabric pieces and cut out the curves for the bottom of the bag. Once everything is cut, you are ready to sew. Lay the leather pieces face up on the tablecloth pieces that are face up lining them up by the curve in the bottom. Top stitch all the way around the leather piece stitching it down the the fabric, repeat with other piece of leather and tablecloth piece. Now, take your tablecloth front and back and lay them right sides together. Pin the pieces from the top to where the leather starts, matching up where the leather meets and the curves are. Stitch around the sides and bottom with a 1/2″ allowance, leaving the top open. Now, make your patch pocket. Fold down your top of your pocket 1″ and stitch across. Then fold the side and bottom of the pocket seams by 1/2″ to the wrong side and press flat. Lay your pocket on top of the back piece of your lining evenly from the sides and the top and pin in place. Top stitch around the pocket leaving the top open. Now place front and back lining pieces right sides together and stitch around the sides and bottom with a half inch seam allowance. Clip curves and trim the bottom seam allowances of your bag pieces. Turn your outer bag right side out and place it inside the lining bag piece so that the right sides of the fabric and lining are face to face. Match up the seam allowances and pin all around the top. Now, stitch around the opening with a 1/2″ seam allowance leaving a few inches open for turning. I left about 3″ for turning. Now, pull your main fabric out through the hole you left in the top and pull out the lining. Push the lining back into the main bag. Press the top of the bag all the way around pressing under the seam allowance where the hole is. Next, top stitch all around the top of the bag with an 1/8″ seam allowance closing up the hole in the top in the process. Now the main part of your bag is finished. Next, take one of your leather strips and thread a d-ring through it, then fold it in half so the d-ring is at the top fold in the loop and the ends are touching with the leather wrong sides together. Lay the piece on top of the side seam in the top of your bag so the d ring sits about 1/4 to 1/2″ away from the top edge of the bag. Pin down the piece to the bag. Now, stitch across the top of the leather where the loop meets the bag, then stitch down and back around again making a square on top of the leather. When you get back around to the place you started stitching the leather angle your piece in the machine and stitch across diagonally from the top of the square to the other side bottom, then stitch back over the bottom and then stitch back up to the other side in a diagonal, back stitching at the end. Repeat with the other piece of leather on the other side. To finish off, clip your handle onto the d-rings. Or, if you do not have a strap with hardware, add a swivel clasp to both ends of your strap looping them to the bottom and then stitching across.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this bag! IT is the perfect size to hold your necessities, and it is lightweight to carry. This is the perfect kind of bag for gals who don’t want to lug around a heavy purse! Everyone in my family refer to my bags that I carry as Mary Poppins purses because I have my whole life in there with me. I carry a lot more than I really need. I love how easy it is to customize this bag, just by the fabrics and patterns you choose to use. I also love how most of it is upcycled! Goodwill is a great place to find purses with good long straps. You can always reuse the bag portion for something else later. I left this bag open, but you could easily add one of those magnetic claps to the inside. I hope you guys will give this one a go, it’s perfect for the gals you need gifts for, and it is so easy. You’ll love it! I hope you all have enjoyed my handmade gift series this year! I’ll be back tomorrow with some gift wrap ideas. Until then…