Making upcycled bags and totes is one of my absolute favorite things to do! I usually make bags with upcycled shabby tablecloths. Over the past year I have played around with patchwork projects from vintage scrap fabrics. I thought it would be fun to make a fun patchwork tote for summer! I have bunches of vintage fabric scraps from vintage feed sacks, old linens and sheets, and even old smocks and aprons. This project does take quite a bit of time due to making the patchwork, but it is totally worth it for the end result! And it is fun, fun, fun!
Here’s What You Need:
*Vintage scrap fabrics
*Self Healing Mat and Rotary Cutter
*1/2 yard of lining fabric
*Grommets and Grommet Setter
*Leather or Pleather for strap
Here’s The Pattern:(sorry it’s not so pretty)
The first thing you need to do is make your patchwork fabric pieces for the front and back outside of your tote. Start by cutting 2″ fabric squares with your rotary cutter, ruler, and self healing mat. You will need approximately 85 squares.
Now you need to sew your squares into horizontal oriented strips. Lay the right sides together and stitch down the side of two squares. Then stitch a third square to the second and so on. You will need two strip of eight squares, six strips of seven squares, and four strips of six squares.
Now you need to stitch your strips together. The bottom strip will be a seven square strip. Stager the eight square strip to the bottom strip and stitch lengthwise. Then stagger a seven square strip to the other side of the eight square strip and stitch. Then stitch another seven square strip and then the two six square strips, staggering each of them a little from the previous strip. This will be one side of your main fabric. Repeat for the back side. Once you have your two patchwork pieces sewn, you need to iron open the seam allowances.
Now, turn your patchwork main piece right side out and slip it into the lining fabric so that the right sides of the main and lining fabric are touching. Stitch along the top opening leaving a few inches open for turning.
Next you need to add your grommets. Lay the grommet onto the side seam of your bag about a half inch from the top. Mark the hole in the grommet onto the bag. Cut the hole out for the grommet. Place your grommet front and back onto the hole. Then hammer and set the grommet with the setting tools. Repeat with the other side.
Now you need to make your strap. Cut a piece of leather to be the length you want by about 1.5″. Slide your swivel clasp onto the end. Overlap the end by at least a half an inch. Mark where you want your rivets. I used two small rivets. You could use any different size you like. Punch holes in the leather with your awl where you marked. Insert and assemble your rivets and hammer them closed. To finish off your bag clip your strap to your bag where your grommets are.
I have to say, this bag took me several hours to make from start to finish, but I am so in love with it! I think the thing I love so much about patchwork is that you can incorporate all kinds of your favorite scrap fabrics! I am a total fabric nerd, and just adore the beautiful and fun prints in vintage fabrics! They are the best! This bag just makes me happy! Of course you can use any kinds of fabric scraps you have on hand. Or upcycle some of your old shirts instead of sending them to Goodwill. I hope you all have been inspired to make your own summer tote! You’ll love it too! I’ll be back next week with another summer DIY. Until then…