{How To} Tote Bag Fun

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I had so much fun working with this Inkodye this week!  This dye is super fun and magic to watch.  Just paint your project outside in the sun and watch the color come to life .

This project is for all levels but will take a few days.

Skill Level- 1 1/2 Buttons



A note about the project-  This project will take a few days to complete due to dry time, dying and fabric laundering.  This is why the project is rated 1 1/2 buttons.

Basic Instructions:

  1. To personalize my project, I wanted to add an initial using a resistance method.  (Basically, you apply something that will “resist” the dye)  Aleene’s Tacky Glue was my solution.  After testing several other brands that claim to dissolve with water… this was the one that passed the mustard in my book.  Sketch out your letter and let dry.
  2. After your initial is dry, it is time to play with dye!  Since I wanted a spattered look, I used a spray bottle ($1 at Target) and diluted with water.  Then, I brought my project outside; placed it on a drop cloth and began to have fun.  To create highs & lows in the color, I sprayed a few layers.
  3. Once Mother Nature did her thing, I placed all the fabric in a hot water bath.  This did two things: Removed the excess dye & Dissolved the glue.  To make things fun, I wanted to add a graphic. I used one from The Graphics Fairy.  There are many methods to transfer ink- The Graphics Fairy has a great round up here.  But I had transfer paper in the studio and I used it.  Looking back, I am not in love with the end result from the paper.  It left a strange, rough film on the fabric.  So, next time I am trying to freezer paper method.
  4. Now on to the stitching! Since I used an apron my hemlines were already finished.  You may need to fold under and stitch each short end for a clean finish.  Now, with right sides together, fold fabric in half; lengthwise.  Using a standard straight stitch, stitch along each side of bag using 3/8″ seam allowance.  Be sure to back stitch at top edge.
  5. To form the corners, fold the side seam to the center bottom.  This will form a triangle.   Mark 2 1/2″ from the point of corner and straight stitch.  To make it easy for me, I made a line, pinned and then stitched.
  6. Clip excess and repeat on other corner.  Since this is an area of pressure on the bag, I suggest stitching twice or run through the serger if you have one.
  7. Now for the straps.  I am reclaiming ties on my apron.  Each strap length is 25″.  I spaced them 6″ apart on center and use 1 3/4″ seam allowance. (this is the part that hangs below the top edge)  To help them withstand constant use, I did an X and box stitch all around the placement.
  8. Clip all your loose threads and fill with your favorite goodies!!
As you can see this bag is packed and ready for the beach!
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  1. What a great tote! Love the dyed effect!

    Just stopped by to let you know that I featured your ruffled flag pillow on my round tuit post this week!

    Thanks again for linking up! Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  2. Louella-Heathersphere says

    This is wonderful!!!

  3. Thank you for this tutorial I love it, color is very me.

  4. How cute is that!