Just as every blogger, I have a long list of blogs I find inspiring. One is the lifestyle and travel blog of Valentina Duracinsky. Recently we swapped blog buttons, and I wanted to highlight a project I made for her in one of my posts. Her style is minimalist, chic, and very Parisian. She sings and dresses like a modern day Joanie Mitchell meets Audrey Hepburn. Anyway, after some conversing between her and myself, I decided to make her a colorblocked tote bag- and line it. Here’s how I did it.
1.Make the body of your tote bag. *updated for clarity 9/10/14* I used two pieces of fabric to create the colorblocking effect. I sewed them right sides together and then topstitched before sewing the side seams. Then I cut two 15″ x 17″ colorblocked rectangles and sewed them together on 3 sides.
2. Make the lining. It should be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch smaller than the outside of the tote bag.
3. With the wrong sides together, match the bottoms of the bags at the corners. Fold the corners out so that the side seam and bottom seam meet, making a triangle. Check out this video (start watching at 0:49) if you need more illustration.
4. Stitch in a line several inches above the point of this triangle, perpendicular to the side seams. This will create a corner, giving the bag dimension and space inside.
5. Flip the outside of the bag over the lining, so the corner seam is hidden.
6. Fold down the top of the bag twice, to the inside. Stitch along the inside edge. Add straps.
That’s it! You can see another tote bag I’ve made here. Be sure to check out Valentina’s blog here. I’ll let you all know when she posts about it so you can see how she wore it!
I was nominated for this short blog hop by the talented Marilla Walker. I thought I’d take a mini break from sewing and share my answers with you.
What have you been doing / making / scribbling at your desk this week?
I have been traveling a lot this week for job interviews, so I’ve been writing blog posts that were previously photographed but waiting to get posted. Not much scribbling. When I’m away from my machines I come up with a long list of things to do once I get back, and that list has been growing. It includes a pattern hack, fabric printing, and some minimalist tote bags. I’ve also been PURGING my stuff and packing for my move down to Richmond, VA. I think I’ve gotten rid of half of my clothes so far. I feel featherweight and free with less boxes to lug down south.
Where are you currently finding your inspiration? (Influences, heroes, sources of inspiration, paths exploring)?
Creative friends and people watching. While in Richmond, I visited a sewing workshop, met a local jewelry maker and was seriously impressed by the creative community there. I also went to a bluegrass festival where I sat on a blanket, drank some Whitbier and watched the crowd party by (till it started raining). I love looking at the clothes people wear and dissecting how they were made. The ways in which people present themselves to the world are so varied and interesting.
How important is being creative to you, and how do you blend this with your work / life / family balance?
So important. Up there with water and air important. My job is pretty science-y, and without creative time to balance it out, I’m liable to turn into a swirling vortex of pharmacology and anatomy trivia. As far as how that balance works, I tend to swing back and forth between the extremes. I’m either not sewing at all or trying to fit it in every free moment. I sew till I’m sick of it and then I take a break.
I hereby nominate Alisa Sibrova and Lindsay Woodward for the blog hop.