tote bag

i didn’t intend to blog about this last project i made, but it turned out so cute i just couldn’t resist sharing! my three year old son started preschool a few weeks ago and was in need of a tote bag to carry papers back and forth to and from school. since i’m too cheap to buy something when i have perfectly good scraps of material wasting away in a box, i decided to make him one.

now, i put it off and put it off because i thought it just seemed like a boring project. however once i got started, i was surprised by how much i enjoyed making this little bag! the more details i incorporated into the bag, the more excited i got about it. i haven’t made tote bags or purses or anything like this before, but i’ll definitely be making some in the future.

this is a simple bag, just big enough to hold papers and folders or books from the library. i had some green corduroy leftover from a skirt i made last year and i figured it would be durable enough. plus, green is his absolute favorite color… it’s like it was meant to be. i fully lined it in green cotton, and even added a zipper pocket on the inside to hold his snack or small items.

i had some issues with the topstitching around the magnet…
please excuse all the tied off threads!

i wanted a simple applique for the front, something that wasn’t too little boy-ish so he can hopefully use this for a few years to come. i drew a car silhouette which i cut out of some scraps of stripy material i had laying around. i added some fusible to the back of the applique to keep it sturdy, then just zig-zagged around the edge attaching it to the front panel of the bag with top stitching thread. i wasn’t sure if it would be cute or just look homemade (oh the horror!) but it turned out even better than i had hoped. seriously cute stuff.

i faced the top edge of the inside of the bag and added a magnetic snap (love those! so easy to put in!) and of course, straps. now, i thought—hey wouldn’t it be cute if i had the cords running side to side for the straps? bad idea. made it nearly impossible to turn the straps right side out! i ended up wasting two whole hours of my life working on those little buggers!

not. kidding. 

i needed a tag for his name on the inside, so i decided to go all out. i drew out a little message in pencil, added some fusible to the back and just stitched away on my machine! not too bad for a first try at freehand label making if i do say so myself.

the best part though was his excited reaction to seeing the completed bag—

this is mine? it’s green?!
with handles?!! and zipper?!!!
and a snap?!!!! and a car?!!!!!

seriously, this boy could not contain his happiness. warms a mama’s heart.

—lisa g

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