Caravan Tote

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

Woo hoo! It’s round three of the Super Online Sewing Match, and I’m pinching myself that I’m in this competition!  These ladies are all amazingly talented, good sewers, with a good eye for fabric and pattern combinations!

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

This round had us sewing the caravan tote, a pattern by Anna from Noodlehead.  I am not a stranger to bag making, in fact, I sew quite a few bags.  I love the attention to details that bags require!

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

I actually already owned this pattern, had it all cut out, and then did nothing with it.  That pile of cut out fabric is still waiting for me to sew, but I somehow felt it might be cheating to sew the pattern that I had already cut and set aside. So I looked through my fabric, and had a pair of pants I had sewn sitting in my re purpose pile.  They were pants I just never reached for, but were sewn out of great fabric, Robert Kaufman Essex Linen, so I knew I could re use the material!

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

The bottom of my bag is the linen, and the top of my bag is a cut up canvas drop cloth (leftover from a curtain project for my son’s room).  I wanted to make my tote waterproof, so I looked into how to wax the fabric.  I combined paraffin and beeswax to make my own wax, and set to work.  I’ll do a whole other post about waxing the fabric, but it was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun!

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

The inside of the tote is lined with Kona Cotton coral fabric, with the linen for the pocket.  I love how Anna has a clip inside her poolside tote pattern, so I added that detail to this tote.  The zipper pocket is lined with a vintage fabric from the thrift store, and the needle pocket was made with coral fabric.  I wish I could say I would load this tote up with my knitting needles, but I just haven’t found my grove with knitting.  My friend who owns a yarn shop says I need to change and try a different project (I’ve only ever started one knitting project).  Who knows, maybe I’ll one day fall in love with knitting!  But for now, these pockets will be filled with pens.

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

The pouch that comes along with the caravan tote pattern is such a cute pouch, the perfect size to slip my phone and wallet into when I’m running into the store.  I added a little wrist strap to my pouch, and again lined this one with the vintage thrift store fabric.

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

Oh man, I almost forgot to tell you about the straps.  They are from one of Josh’s old belts.  I cut it in half length wise, measured them to size and added the straps with rivets.  I also omitted the magnetic snap and instead used the rest of the belt to make a leather closure, which really holds the bag closed (I was worried it would slip open, but nope)!  The leather is thick for these straps, which had me worried if my rivet posts would be long enough, but it all worked perfectly!  I love the rustic feel the old, used leather adds to the tote!

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

That was a lot of information.  Let me give you a quick rundown of all the info and where I purchased the specialty hardware:

Pattern: Caravan Tote

Exterior Fabric:  Robert Kaufman Essex Linen, Canvas Drop Cloth

Lining:  Kona Cottong Coral, Vintage Thrifted Fabric

Leather:  Re purposed belt

Rivets:  Bag For U (on etsy)

Hook:  Creative Cloth Studio (on etsy)

Zippers:  Zip It (on etsy)

Snaps:  Dritz from Jo Ann

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

  • So pretty! I love the little top closure you added; one of my least favorite things about bags of this type is the fact that they so often don’t close at the top. I knock things over way too often for that!

  • I love it! Your
    fabric choices are very fun. It’s all perfect!

  • Wow! I love it! I love the way the linen looks waxed and the details are amazing. I think it’s awesome all the repurposing that went into this bag. Great job!!

  • The bag is wonderful, just what I love about your sewing: attention to detail, great fabric combinations. There is no cutting corners. Well done my friend, done indeed!

  • Meg

    Wow, this is really lovely! And how awesome that you used all those re-purposed materials. The wax makes is look extra cool (and I’m sure will help it last extra long!).

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  • I love how you were able to repurpose old fabric into such a great bag! This turned out so well. I’m really curious to try waxing my own fabric now!

  • You have such a gorgeous esthetic! What a great idea to wax the canvas, I bet it is super durable, it would probably make a great beach bag!

  • jm

    Perfection! The Essex linen, the drop cloth fabric, the leather closure…goodness you just aced this one!

  • I love how you repurposed your fabrics for this bag. It really looks like one you’ll get a lot of use out of. Do you think you’d like to wax more fabrics in the future? It looks like a cool technique not only for a bag, but for a jacket or coat as well.

  • The bag is adorable! And as always, the photography on your blog is excellent. I love paying a visit to Dandelion Drift. (Although it makes me miss Florida terribly!)

  • I am so curious about how you waterproofed your fabrics. Can’t wait to see your tutorial. Great job on your tote!

  • My style of bag, for sure! I love the way you repurposed the fabrics and am blown away by your creativity in using the belt for the straps and closure! Will be tuning-in for your how-to on fabric waxing!

  • Kay

    Nice work. I love that much of it is repurposed.

  • Great job on the tote! I love how you used a belt for the straps and the closure. Very clever! Good luck!

  • Oh how lovely! I can’t wait to see your tutorial on waxing canvas. I’ve been looking for a good tote for my laptop and the combination you have is so perfect!

  • Amanda

    What an awesome bag! Beautiful details and wonderful material choices.

  • wow. STELLAR! looking forward to the wax post!

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  • Beautiful! I loved the fabric! I would wear this bag everyday!

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  • that’s perfection right there. Love that you used old belts, so gooooood!!! 🙂

  • You’re a genious.

    I just ran into your blog for the first time and am adding it to my favourites 🙂

  • Kristie

    I love the pouch you made for your essentials for a store run. I really want one like that! Thanks for sharing beautiful eye candy!

  • Love it!!! It looks like the right size too!!! Its amazing how much stuff I sometimes end up carrying!!

  • A beautiful bag – love your fabric combinations, and immaculately sewn:)

  • GORGEOUS! I love it.

  • Krista

    I’m jumping in a little bit late :), but I was reading your post about waxing fabric and clicked back here to the original project. I was wondering if you waxed the upper part of the your bag (the canvas part), and if you did, how it held up with the light color. I tried waxing a light colored canvas with Otterwax and didn’t have the greatest experience–but I might not have done everything I should have. I’m still trying to figure it out.
    I love the look of the bag. Love the leather accents, too! Do you have any tips for cutting up leather belts, such as which cutting tools you use?

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