Saturday, February 23, 2013

Alexis’ Tote Bag & Giveaway!

As promised, today is the info for my 2nd giveaway.  So, I will go ahead and just get this out of the way.  To enter, leave a comment on THIS post – if you leave it on any other, I may not see it.  And here is what you can win-

I found this really cute St Patrick’s Day themed material at Jo-Ann’s – this is a half yard.  The greens are so bright and vibrant on the black background, and it has gold sparkles all over it- would be really cute for a St Patrick’s Day project!  Also included is a brand new & unused copy of McCall’s pattern number 6045-a Kay Whitt handbag design.  This is the pattern I used to create my Hippie Bag – and I love it- I can’t wait to make another one off of it.  It is really easy to put together.  And just like last time, I will send the winner a copy of my late brother’s book

I have cats, but I want to reassure you that this has been packed in a ziplock bag since I brought it home.  Shouldn’t be a problem for allergy sufferers!  Everyone is eligible to enter, with the exception of the people who live in my house.  Just leave a comment below – before Wednesday (Feb 27) at 12 noon (PST).  I will put all the names into a jar and announce the winner that evening.  Good luck to everyone!

Okay, so Alexis’ Tote Bag.  After measuring out the plastic, I figured out what sizes I need to cut from muslin to include the seam allowances.  I thought I would make the outside and the lining, so as to figure out how much extra I would need on the outside for the part that folds over the top.  I hope that makes sense.  Here is a picture of what I mean on the original bag-

For the lining, I figured I would cut two pieces 6 ½” x 11” for the sides, and two pieces 14 1/4” x 11” for the front and back pieces.  How did I come by those numbers?  The finished size of the sides is 5 ½” x 10”, so I added an inch on each side for the seam.  The finished size of the front and back is 10” x 10”, with the pieces extending under the bag for a 5 ½” finished bottom, which is 2 ¾” extra for the front and back pieces.  There are no seams along the bottom of the front and back on the original bag, but I want the appearance of a seam to make the bottom sit flatter. For the 10” x 10” front and back, I added ½” at the top and bottom for the seams, plus 2 ¾” for the bottom, plus an extra ½” to sew a seam to represent the seam along the bottom of the front and back.  This sounds really confusing, so I will draw a picture-

Once the pieces were cut, I measured up 3 ¾” from the bottom of the front and back pieces and drew a line.  I measured back down ½” from that line and drew another.  I folded between these lines, matching them up, to get my mock bottom seam.  Drawing the line on gave me a nice straight place to sew.  I ironed the seam toward the bottom.

Next was sewing the front and back pieces together at the bottom.  Here my measurements didn’t add up – I guess I needed another ¼” or something.  The first time I sewed the seam with a ½” seam allowance, the bottom finished out to only 5” instead of 5 ½”.  I took the seam out and re-did it at ¼” and the bottom was fine.  I pressed that seam open – don’t know why, it just seamed like a good idea.  <sorry>

While I was doing this, I heard the toilet in my bathroom flush, and then someone running away.  My toilet is one of those that you have to jiggle the handle, so I figured it was Layla.  I called out to remember to jiggle the handle, and who comes walking in, but Harry, drying his hands on the hand towel that was on the rack.  “I just washed my hands,” he announced to me.  I know he can’t reach the sink and said to him, “In the toilet?”  “yeah,” he replies as he hands me the towel.  I’m so glad I cleaned it yesterday...

So, back to the tote.  I knew I would have to do some partial seaming, so first I measured and marked where I would be sewing and pinned it- stopping ½” from both sides of the fabric- 

Then I folded the sides up to sew them up-

And after sewing on the other side, turning it, and stuffing it with other fabric so it would stand up, voila!

It turned out pretty good and I have a much better idea of the cutting measurements.  I found a really pretty purple fabric that Alexis likes, so tomorrow, I will get into it!

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to enter the giveaway!


  1. Once again, I am ineligible.. whatevs.. I wouldn't make that myself anyways. Oh I do wish I had gotten your sewing gene.. but what I lack, I make up in cake decorating/baking.

    My that Harrison is a funny boy. You'll be happy to know after that he took a shower and used an entire bottle of shampoo so he and Layla could play with bubbles in the tub we keep the toys in in the shower. So, I think he's nice and clean now. Silly boy.

    So glad I could give you a good challenge! Whoohoo!!! Can't wait for my bag!!!!


    1. You can't enter because you would want ME to make more stuff for you! LOL

  2. Me! I'm eligible! MEMEMEMEME!!!!

  3. I almost missed a giveaway ! I love that purse. I want your butterfly pins, all I have are boring yellow daisys and I hate yellow.

    1. I'm glad you joined the party! I love the flat butterfly pins because they are so much easier to grab. Got them half off at Jo-Ann's one day. You do have to be careful when ironing something you have pinned- they melt very quickly!


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