Friday, May 20, 2011

Farmer's Market Totes

We've  been just a tad excited for the Farmer's Market starting up around here.Well, I've been excited for sure. I keep pumping it up to the kids, trying to get them excited about the idea of stands full of local vegetables, eggs, flowers, honey and crafts.... my daughter is of course excited about the crafts...(she is her mama's girl)

I thought making them some little tote-bags for our shopping trips would be just the thing. To do so, I made some variations on a pattern by Amanda Soule in her book "The Handmade Home". If you don't have that book on the shelf, or in your sewing room, or on your night stand, or spread out over your kitchen table... well, you really should; it's full of great ideas.

I thought I'd share some of the steps I went through to make the tote bags I did because I really did vary it quite a bit, and made up my own pattern, without wanting to step on her toes or deter anyone from checking out her expertise (which far exceeds my own).

To Make One Bag:

I started with this fabulous thrifted material which is a discontinued print from Ikea, (sorry). I cut two 30 X 25 inch rectangles and folded it in half width-wise (right sides together) so I had two rectangles that were 15 x 25. Then I stitched the open sides shut (like a pillow case), flipped them right side out and pressed them flat.

Note* The unfinished open edge will attach to the bottom piece of the bag so don't worry about closing it up.

I placed the panels of my bag together (seamed sides together) and stitched again along both sides.

Then I flipped it out again so it is now a fully lined tube.

Then I drew this pattern for the bottom of my tote bag and placed it on my fabric wrong side out and traced it to create this shape:

This ellipsis here is 15 inches in diameter across by 4 inches.

I cut out two of these.
I placed them wrong sides together and stitched all the way around like this:

I pinned it to the bottom edge of my tote bag and then stitched all the way around to attach the bottom to the tote, keeping inside the original stitches that I had made sewing the bottom piece.

 I turned it all right side out and now, my tote just needed a strap and I thought it would be nice for the kids to be able to adjust the straps as they needed , keeping in mind this one tote would cover most of Jackson's body should he throw it around his shoulders now.

I cut out two long strips and two short strips; 4 x 18.5 inches and 4 x 8.5 inches. I sewed them right sides together into long tubes and then tucked in their ragged ends and stitched them shut.

Placing two D clips on the shorter strip, I stitched it down to one side of my tote bag where the side seams were.

I sewed one edge of the longer strip down directly across from the shorter strap holding the D Clips. Now the bags can be adjusted and for a little extra strength, I tie the long strip in a not on the D Clips.

Then we were all set to head out!

We had a nice afternoon  with Oma, strolling through the still-tiny Farmer's Market gathering at the civic center park. We snagged some lovely produce and shelled out way too much money for my daughter to ride the enormous bouncy slide.

and the bags were dragged along for the ride. We'll be back next week to fill them up again.... and again .... and again....

all that sweet sweet goodness.

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