Friday, June 3, 2011

A "Very Simple" (but cool!) Tote

So there I was, browsing through some of my favorite blogs the other day, when I hit Camp Follower Bags and Quilts and read Tia's tutorial for a "Very Simple Tote".  I just love Tia's work.  I  followed one of her tutes a long time ago and couldn't WAIT to try this one out!  Only...


Ooops. Yeah. No room on the cutting table. I finished putting the Log Cabin blocks together first (will share soon!), moved that aside, then got started!

I grabbed a BDU pant leg that had a fairly good cargo pocket and followed along with Tia's tute on my iPad.

IMG_2434 Starting Tia's Tote Tute

Man.  That's a pretty crummy-looking flap on the pocket, isn't it? Seriously. All worn through where the button hits - a clear sign that instead of ironing her husband's uniforms herself, someone sent them out to the Quartermaster laundry. What a laz oh, wait!

IMG_2435 Cargo Pocket

No. This is one of my husband's old uniforms. Never mind.  (I ♥ the QM Laundry!)

Under the pocket was a pleat of some sort.  In order to keep everything nice and squared up, I stitched it flat.

DSCN1614 Pleat under pocket

Why, yes.  That IS pink thread.  Variegated pink - King Tut 926, Red Sea.  I liked how it looked on the camo, so I did this, too:

DSCN1618 Quilting on the bag

I couldn't help myself.  Did I mention I decided to line mine?  In hot pink camo?  Tia's tute was so easy to follow that I thought I'd make it more complicated for myself.  LOL.  Even with that, it was a piece of cake!

For the interior pocket, I decided to use a chest pocket from a BDU blouse.  I backed that, too - in a zebra print.

DSCN1620 Inner pocket and backing
Inside pocket; SGT Zim in the background, standing guard

Why not, right?  Then I thought I should do some pink quilting on that, too:

DSCN1621 Inner pocket

It seemed like the right thing to do.

For the binding, I used the zebra print.  In this next photo, you can see that pinned in place - and can get a look at the inside of the tote:

IMG_2438 putting binding on

Oh, yeah.  I added the heart (a fray-edge appliqué) to cover up that area over the button.

Instead of making fabric straps, I used a black polypro.  I also decided not to tuck them into the binding like Tia did but added them after I had the binding on.

DSCN1627 Outside of bag

Tell me that doesn't look totally cute!  And hey, I knew making "strong boxes" on dog collars would come in handy in other endeavors!

I thought I'd add a side tab from the uniform as a closure thing.  I'm not sure why.

DSCN1629 Adding a tab closure

I think because I liked it so much on Patty's bag!

DSCN1632 Button for closure

I sewed the button on with the pink thread, too.  I used my Grandma Z's thimble.  I'm not sure what she'd think of this project, but I think she'd like that I was thinking about her!

Also note the nail used to secure the button at the right interval.  I wanted a little more "give" to this than normal - a longer shank, if you will - since the BDU fab is thick.

Here it is, all done!

DSCN1633 Outside of bag!

And a look at the back:

DSCN1636 Outside of bag

And now... a look inside:

DSCN1638 Inside of bag

Isn't that cool?!?!

Tia, this was SO much fun!  Your instructions were great!  Photos where I needed/wanted them, and enough verbiage to explain it all in the simplest terms!  Thank you so much for sharing your VERY cool tote!!!  I can see making this again SOON, and adding even more little extras!

Thanks to all for reading!


BeadedTail said...

I love that tote! The camo, the pink, the pocket pocket, the heart, the zebra - all of it! Cool!

Anonymous said...

Now I want another bag. Sigh.

the Campfollower said...

Your bag looks GREAT!!!!! Thank you so much for showing me what you made! You did fabulous.

NanaNor's said...

Hi there dear friend, Got to say I am so impressed with your bag but more than that-your quilting. I just wish you lived in Colorado-near me instead of Kansas. We'd have such fun together and I believe you'd teach me much. Thanks for sharing!