My First Tote

I’ve been sewing up a storm lately and loving every minute of it. I started off with a few simple projects I knew would make perfect gifts for some friends of mine who came into town a few weekends ago.

Last week, I followed Bella Dia’s awesome tutorial for making a travel tissue holder:

Travel Tissue Holder

Notice the tiny holder on the right. I misread the pattern the first time (college degree ≠ smart) and made the holder half the size it should’ve been. Oops! Thankfully I got it right on my second try.

Feeling chuffed with the enormity of my prolific sewing accomplishments, I decided to try Carrie’s tutorial for making a cutie one-handle tote with a loop closure. It took several hours and multiple pinpricks to my delicate digits but I’m very pleased with the results:

My first tote

Yay! I cannot tell you the satisfaction I’ve derived from what is basically a minor achievement but I’m just sew so excited that I can actually so sew, even though I have lots more to learn.

“What’s next,” you ask? Oh nothing much – just designing my own line of Birkins and collaborating with Donna on a bed and bath collection.

P.S. My Mom always told me that properly ironing your fabrics is just as important as the sewing and I understand why now. I rarely iron clothes so I just have an old, crappy iron and it is not cuttin’ it for my sewing projects. Anyone know of a good iron to try?


7 Responses to “My First Tote”

  1. carrie Says:

    Your tote looks great, nice work!! I have a Rowenta iron that I love. It was pricey, but it was worth it. It’s lasted 5 years now, and it works beautifully.

  2. Amy Says:

    My mom sews professionally. I thought everyone’s mom made their clothes until I was about six since she made all of mine. Now I just get lots of quilts and she’s into knitting too, so I’m getting socks and scarves (I’m too picky to let her make me much else). I think she goes through an iron every couple of years, but yes, they make a huge difference and you MUST iron! You also MUST prewash everything or you’re going to have a huge problem when you wash the item later… I’ve been handed down irons and even sewing machines if I wanted them, but alas, I don’t like sewing. I did make enough items when I was a kid that I’m confident I know how. I also learned that while Mom will fix my clothes, she does NOT replace zippers! “You may as well just buy new pants because it’s too big of a pain.”

    I’ll try to remember to ask her for an iron recommendation. I know she’s had Rowenta before as well.

  3. Kriss Says:

    Adorable tote!!

    I’ve also heard Rowenta irons are the best. Do you have a Kohl’s nearby? You can order from them online, and use the discount code “BACK2SCHOOL” and get an additional 30% off your order (if you have a Kohl’s charge).

    With the coupon, you can get the Rowenta Professional for $68.49, when it’s regularly priced @ $114.99. It’s still expensive for an iron . . . but I think this is one case where you get you paid for. I have a cheapie black & decker, and it spits water over whatever I’m trying to iron.

  4. sandy Says:

    it looks awesome! are you a knitter? if so, here’s a great beginner project that looks AMAZING when finished! the picture on the site isn’t that cute, though. BUT! if you wash the purse in hot water TWICE, it gets smaller and cuter. seriously – felting is awesome because you can screw up your knitting all over the place and the felting hides it:)

  5. Christine Says:

    Aren’t you crafty?? These are REALLY nice!!

  6. Amy Says:

    Mom replied!

    “I’d recommend Rowenta. There are various levels. Of course I have the professional version (over $100. if I remember correctly) but like most things, quality and longevity cost more. I do go through more irons in 10 years than most folks do in a lifetime. Usually the thermostat conks out and the iron won’t get hot enough to make good steam. I leave the iron on for hours at a time when I’m working and yes I hate the automatic turn-off feature. Several years ago I had a run of bad luck with some supposedly professional irons (Not Rowenta. I was temporarily ticked off with Rowenta when they tried some new kind of sole surface that was Teflon coated or something which wasn’t smooth and developed rough spots. I boycotted them until they came to their senses and went back to stainless steel or whatever it is now.) Any way, I decided it may be better in the long run to buy a cheap iron every 6 months than spend a fortune on a pro iron once a year. In reading the warranty for my new, cheap iron I discovered that the warranty was good for 90 days based on average use of the iron of 3 hours per week! Good grief I have the iron on about 6 hours per day! No wonder they don’t last!

    “I went back to Rowenta and this one is over 2 years old and doing well. And Rowenta’s lesser versions are still better than most anything else I’ve tried. Joann Fabrics and Hancocks often have sales she should watch for.
    Another tip, Never buy an iron that proclaims itself “Light” as in not heavy in weight. (“Light iron” is an oxymoron.) You need the weight of the iron to do a lot of the work for you. Heft a professional iron and a “light ‘n easy” one and ask yourself why a pro pays big bucks for an iron that weighs a ton…….that’s part of the qualities of a good iron.”

  7. Maxine Dangerous Says:

    LOVE THE TOTE!!! Wow, how cool that you’re becoming a sewing maven. I still fear sewing machines. Too much speed and bobbin choking (hee, that sounds a little dirty) for my tastes. I’ll stick to collages with speed-free glue sticks. 😀

    Seriously, though, awesome stuff, grrl. 😉

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