August 20, 2009

Taking on the Chica’s Challenge

When I stumbled upon a call for entries for the Crafty Chica Tote Bag Challenge, it made me wonder if I was ready. Ready to graduate from zippie pouch to tote bag. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a go.

Making slight modifications, I built off what I had learned from zippie pouches. This time, I created straps and sandwiched them between the outer fabric and the liner. I also squared off the corners of the bag’s bottom so it would be nice and roomy for a beach towel or whatever else.

One goal of mine in making this bag was to buy nothing new (that in addition to making it look like a bag in the first place.) That large piece of stripey fabric was a heavy weight fabric sample that I purchased from an interior designer’s $1/swatch yard sale awhile back (awesome sale…goosebumps just thinking about it.) I used a water resistant type of white fabric for the liner.

Here’s where I really had fun. I started the pocket by making a quilt sandwich…liner, batting and pink felt on top. Then using a variety of fabric scraps, ribbon, a vintage vinyl tape measure and even a clothing tag, I appliqued the pocket with my sewing machine. I created the butterfly pocket much like I would a painting or collage. I used fabric as my paint (cutting pieces of all shapes and sizes) and the sewing machine became my brush (adding line and texture.) I only broke three needles…I’m working on that. A needle is not quite the same as paintbrush. To finish off the pocket art, I applied gold and silver fabric glitter.

After attaching the pocket to the bag (before the bottom was stitched up), I added red ball fringe to the top. Initially, I tried to sew the fringe, but realized that wasn’t such a bright idea. The little bally things were getting in my way and the zipper was in there along with the liner meeting the top, etc. etc. In the end, I used fabric glue which worked much better and saved my sanity.

Here’s me with my first ever bag. And the icing on the cake…I was one of three runners up in the Chica’s challenge! My prize, besides adding tote bag to my sewing resume, is a crafty chica bobblehead and a gift certificate to the MakerShed store.

I definitely see more bags in my future. Next time I promise step-by-steps, keeping it real (broken needles and all!)
Filed Under: projects, sewing


  1. Congratulations!!! I love the touch of glitter!

    Fashion Girl — August 21, 2009 @ 4:02 pm
  2. Bags are indeed in your future-I love the way you take something and give it your stamp; LOVING the butterfly on the front.

    Josey's mom — August 25, 2009 @ 3:10 am

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