For the entirety of my adult life I’ve carted books, shopping and lunch around in a River Island tote bag that I think I’ve owned since time began. It’s made of cream cotton and has a print of a Singer sewing machine on the front. I love it, but being the colour and material it is, it’s just not cut out for surviving muddy puddles and rainy days (as are so common in this country).
This week, therefore, I bought some colourful, waterproof, wipe-clean, bird-print, ripstop fabric on eBay (you know, that vinyl-like material you have on the art table at primary school) which I decided, unlike the cream cotton, would be the perfect fabric for an everyday tote bag.
To make the handles, I folded each long side of the strip into the centre and sewed them in place. I then folded the strip in half lengthways so all the rough edges were hidden and sewed all the way along the long edge.
For the main bag, I started by making a hem along one short edge of each bag piece and attached the handles 4″ in from each end using the zig-zag stitch on my machine. This was repeated for each end of both handles. Finally, I put the two bag pieces right sides together, stitched all around the edge and turned it right way round.
The project probably took me an hour in all and has left me with a unique, waterproof tote bag that I can take with me to work everyday. It’s much better than pay £15+ for a patterned one in the shops and is much more personal. Try it yourself!