totes emosh

tote bag and my lovely vintage sewing machine

I don’t know about you makers out there but one of the reasons I got into making was to get those items that eluded me on the high street, be it clothes, house items, accessories or gifts.

getting the colours sorted

When I first moved to London at 17 and was desperate to follow the trends, I was only earning £25 per week. That left little for luxuries, let alone the latest ‘must have’ fashion item so I made most of my own clothes.  I was always getting kicked out of Miss Selfridges fitting rooms for sitting on the floor drawing what I had just tried on so I could rush home and recreate it myself.

attaching the handles

Invariably there were tweaks to suit my tastes, my shape or my skills but I was rarely without a pretty up to the minute wardrobe.  If it wasn’t clothes I was making, I would be knitting or sewing christmas gifts for my family and friends.  My grandparents LOVED my efforts more than anyone.  I suppose they saw them as personal and thoughtful gifts. They were certainly personal and selfishly, I thoroughly enjoyed making them.

fastening the handle below the top edge makes finishing off easier

I haven’t had any free time to make lately but one thing that has been on my mind to create is the ultimate handy tote bag. It seems ever elusive so I decided, after a quick stint in the garden this morning, to make a pattern and then make the tote bag this afternoon.

I have a mighty collection of bags at home, some are brilliant and really hit the mark but some are just not quite right.  Not one single tote I have gets it right for me.

junction detail and securing handles

I am very pleased with my efforts and the pattern is perfect for A4 folders and document whether you put them in as portrait or landscape.  It has depth so will take quite a lot as well as shopping and anything else that you would care to put in it.

lined and with and inside pocket

There are lots of totes out there but the lack of pockets, detail and colour were my issued.  I wanted something that had the detail, features and colour without being expensive!

All the materials are remnants, repurposed or vintage bits that I have come by (right down to the threads used) so it couldn’t have been less expensive to make and I love it.

the finished product

What’s more it is so easy to make!!


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