May 5, 2012

Yellow & Gray Tote Bag

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Hello everyone! Today was such a fantastic sewing day! It is gorgeous weather, the windows are open and I listened to The Shins radio on Pandora while sewing all morning. It was so relaxing. 

I made a tote bag that I am IN LOVE with! For a while I have been carrying this nylon messenger bag as my purse (that I didn't make) and I liked it because I didn't care if it got dirty or thrown around and I usually have too much emotional attachment to things I make to feel good throwing them around. Well, I keep getting asked if I made the messenger bag from people who know I make bags and I have to (embarrassingly) tell them "no". And then I get the whole lecture of "Why don't you carry a bag you made?! It's free advertising!". SO today my goal was to make myself the "perfect" bag for myself that I could carry everywhere - and I think I did!

It's a large yellow and gray tote with lots of pockets and is insanely roomy on the inside. I'll go over some of my favorite features :)

I've never done the straps going all the way down the front like this before but I really love how it looks! Especially with the coordinating color. I added a pocket to the outside which I interfaced with fusible fleece so it's nice and padded incase I put my phone in there.

I made the purse so it tapers from smaller at the bottom and wider at the top so it opens up REALLY wide. On the side panels of the bag I used the dark gray on the outside and then the yellow and gray pattern on the panels of the lining. I thought it looked so cool! On one side of the lining I put a large zipper pocket and then a padded cell phone pocket. I opted for a magnetic snap closure because I hate fiddling with a zipper to get inside my purse.
Also, I had an old re-usable grocery bag that had one of those plastic pieces in the bottom for stability so I took it from that bag and put it in here so the bag can stand up on it's own.

On the other side of the lining I put another miscellaneous pocket with a hanging D-Ring to hook my keys to (I have my car keys on a clip)

For the side panels (since they taper wider at the top also) I added magnetic snaps to the sides so I can either have the bag smaller or wider. This makes it easier to carry if I don't have a lot of stuff with me.

Lots and lots of room for all of my stuff   :)

I wish I could put a tutorial up for this but I feel like I almost was in a trance when I was making it. It definitely took a while and I wasn't using any tutorial or inspiration photos - I was just grabbing stuff and going. I almost feel like if someone asked me how I made it I would say "I have no idea" haha

Hope you guys like it! It's a fun project to just grab some fabric and start thinking about your perfect dream purse and start sewing without thinking too much about it - only thinking about elements you want and forcing yourself to figure out how to piece everything together.


  1. I really like the tote! Perfect for summer i think. The colors coordinate really well and its so roomy!!

  2. Your tote is gorgeous! Great job!

  3. Oh I wish you would make a tutorial - it is a gorgeous bag - so lovely. I am a new sewer and I have been making the braided belt tote bag to practice. I just finished the third one. I have just making them in different colors to go with different outfits. It's been helping me so much! If you ever get the inspiration - PLEASE make this one a tutorial!! Thanks so much, Tracy

  4. Tracy, thank you so much for your kind words!! That is amazing that you've been practicing making the braided belt bags! I'd love to see some photos of your bags if you get a chance!

    I've gotten a great response from this bag so I think I may have to buckle down and make a tutorial for it! :) It may take a little bit of time to get the tutorial together since there are so many bits and pieces but keep checking back! Best of luck!