Learning Something New: Day 2

Several years ago, I taught this tote bag at a couple of the Martha Pullen schools.


The animal print is an upholstery fabric, the ivory and orange fabrics are silk dupioni, and the brown is cotton sateen. The embroidery designs are from Zundt. The ivory tiger panel is a large pocket, edged with double piping. The side pockets are piped with single piping, and are just the right size to hold a bottle of water.


The body of the tote – like the back shown here – was easily made this way…layer lining, lightweight batting, and outer fabric, then machine embroider the light, open designs to quilt the layers. Student loved it because the positioning and orientation of the designs was random! Hoop wherever you want! Quick and easy. You can see the folded prairie points at the top of the back; they are on the front, as well. Again, easy – folded squares of fabric, stitched into the top binding, then secured at the point with a feed-dogs-down zigzag.


Here you can see the zipper that closes the tote. I used a heavy-duty coat zipper. And you can see the detail on the straps, too – straight-grain strips of fabric run through a bias tape maker, then stitched to the backing fabric for the strap in random spacing and angles. The backing is cut wider than the animal print strip, so that when it’s turned right side out, the backing wraps around the seam allowances and forms a kind of built-in bound edge.

I’ve used this tote a lot, which is quite surprising, considering that I rarely wear brown, and I am NOT an animal print kind of person! Leopards, zebras and such are not in my closet or home (well, unless cats count!) But the tote is sturdy and a good size, and it has a secure zipper closing, which most totes do not.

Okay, this brings me to “learning something new.” I am also not a purse person. I don’t change purses with seasons or outfits. I put my stuff in my purse and leave it there until the purse falls apart. I have a good quality black leather shoulder bag that I’ve been using for at least 10 years. Before that, I had a nice black leather shoulder bag that I used for 10 years. The problem is, my current one is worn out, and good quality leather purses give me sticker shock!

Soooo, here comes another Craftsy class for me! I’m taking advantage of this week’s big sale and learning some new things.  This afternoon I watched this class


…and I’m ready to make my own leather bag! What a great class! The instructor goes over designing, choosing and cutting leather, supplies, sewing on a home machine, adding zippers, pockets, and lining. He really made it seem very do-able. Leather is one material I’ve never sewn, but I’m more than ready to try! If you’d like to try this class, too, click here.

Maybe if I make my own, I can have a new purse more frequently than once every 10 years!

This post contains affiliate links.

7 thoughts on “Learning Something New: Day 2

  1. I look forward to seeing your results. Had my own first leather bag sewing experience last week making a bag that’s a combination of leather and canvas. Once the finishing touches are on this bag I may consider taking a class to make something for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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