I love sewing bags and totes. And here's why:
|The leather handles make this bag
a workhorse–and they're comfortable, too.
|With the pre-punched holes, it was easy to
handstitched these on. I used six-stranded
embroidery floss in the same color as the leather.
|These leather handles will give this roomy
tote an ultra-long life.
1. They usually don't take too much fabric so you can either splurge on fabulous fabric or find something in your collection that works.
2. They always fit.
3. If I stay focused, I can finish in a day. Unfocused, I may need two days.
4. No matter what the pattern, it's easy to add more pockets–even zippered pockets.
5. Most bag and tote patterns allow for adding personal details–ribbon, funky hardware, hand embroidery.
The only thing that I, personally, don't like are fabric straps. My bags get a workout. They are used–some might say abused. They get tossed in the back seat of the car, stuffed with too many library books, and end up carrying sewing projects, lunches, and the ever-expanding array of electronic devices I need to conduct my life.
My bags don't get coddled, and I find that fabric straps look worn and sad long before the bag.
So here's what I do. (And if I know the Sew Daily crowd, you'll have some great ideas to add to this list!)
1. Buy leather (real or faux) handles at a craft store. My current Schlep-It-All-To-The-Office-Bag has purchased handles-and this bag is getting close to celebrating its fifth birthday!
2. If you can find some leather scraps, it's easy enough to make bag straps. I made this black strap by folding over a strip of leather and stitching it down using a wide ribbon to hide the seam. (Like the metal rings? I found them at the hardware store for $1.29 each!)
3. Start looking at yard sales and your local Goodwill or other charitable resale shop. Look at the handbags–but only pay attention to the straps. Cut the straps off and toss the bag. You'll get some great deals.
For other inspiring bag and tote ideas, the 2011 Stitch magazine digital collection is now on sale–four issues, each with more than 30 projects!
Ok, Sew Daily crowd—how do you handle your handles? Let us know!