Tag Archives: tote

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

Linen and Leather Tote Tutorial

Linen and Leather Tote Tutorial

Linen and Leather Tote Tutorial

Linen and Leather Tote Tutorial

Linen and Leather Tote Tutorial

The ladies at Kollabora and Plaid Crafts sent me these new peel and stick stencils to play around with.  I fell in love with this one particular stencil because it reminded me of Hawaiian quilts that I grew up around!  I really needed a new tote and loved the idea of stenciling extra details onto the front so I dug into my fabric stash and came out with this gray linen and scraps of sueded leather.

Want to know how to make this cute linen and leather tote?  Well, let’s grab our supplies.  You’ll need:

linen, leather, interfacing, lining material, (and if you’d like to stencil your linen, stencils and paint)

Linen and Leather Tote Tutorial

Stenciling with these Handmade Charlotte stencils is super easy.  They are peel and stick.  So just peel them, place them where you would like, and paint.  If you would like a repeat design, like I did, just peel them up and place the stencil right next to your painting.  I used Plaid paint as well, and just used an iron to set my work once the paint was dry.

stenciling

Now are you ready to make your tote?

Cut List:

Linen:  (2) 14”x10.5”

Leather:  (2) 14”x6.5”

(2) 20”x2”

Lining:     (2) 20”x2”

(2) 14”x16”

Interfacing:  (2) 14”x16”

(2) 20”x1.5”

Before we start, there are a few things you should know.  All seams, unless otherwise noted, use 1/2″ seam allowance.  It is important when sewing with leather to get the right needle.  Your local fabric store will sell leather needles, grab one.  Otherwise your needle will break.  Ask me how I know!

Steps:

  1. With right sides together, along the 14” side, sew the linen piece to the leather piece (the 14”x6.5”piece).  Repeat this step for the remaining two leather and linen pieces.  Press your seam.
  2. Iron on your interfacing to the back of this piece.  DO NOT IRON THE LEATHER.  I did not iron the interfacing on to the back of my leather, it would not be pretty.  I stopped ironing the interfacing when I got to the bottom of my linen piece.  I used a fairly stiff interfacing, but it is up to you what kind of interfacing to use.  Add topstitching along the leather, linen seam at this point.
  3. With right sides together, match the two linen and leather pieces and sew around three of the four sides, leaving the top (linen 14” side) open.
  4. At the bottom, box the corners by matching the side seams of your bag.  Sew a perpendicular line, one inch in from the edge.
  5. With your lining pieces (the 14”x16” pieces), starting near the middle of the bottom, sew to the corner and up to the top of one 16” side.  Repeat on the other side, leaving a 3” open space at the bottom.
  6. Now it’s time to create the handles.  Iron on the interfacing aligning one long edge to a long edge of the lining.  Do this to the other handle lining piece.  With right sides together.  Sew your leather strip to the lining strip, along the long side of the handle only using 1/4″ seam.  You want this seam to be along the interfaced side.  (There should be a ½” gap on the lining that does not have any interfacing.)
  7. Now press this seam, not ironing your leather, but ironing your interfacing.  Turn your interfacing under ½” and your leather ½”.  Using binder clips, clip this seam so that wrong sides are together, right sides are facing out.  Sew along the opened edge, and your handles are done!!!  That was the hardest  step, so pat yourself on the back!
  8. With your leather facing the linen, baste your handle in place, 2 ½” in from the side seam of your bag.  Do this to all four sides, making sure your handles do not twist.
  9. We are about to finish up the bag.  Now take your bag, with the handles basted in place, and stuff it inside the lining.  The lining should still be inside out, so when you put your bag in your lining, right sides should be matching.  Make sure your handles are perpendicular to this top edge, and the side seams of the outer bag are matching the side seams of the lining.  Pin in place.  Sew around this top edge with a 1” seam allowance.  Find the hole at the bottom of your lining now, and pull your bag through.
  10. When it is all pulled through, you should have your bag right side out with your lining sticking straight out.  Find that hole (that the bag just came through) and sew it together, either by hand with a blind stitch, or on your machine.  Stuff the lining inside your bag.  Iron the top seam down and topstitch the top edge of your bag.  YOU MADE IT! linen and leather tote instructions linen and leather tote side view

Linen and Leather Tote Tutorial

 Stencils and paint were provided, but all opinions are 100% my own!