Tote Bags

Tote Bags



Tote bag pattern:


Title: Crafting Adventures: A Review of my Tote Bag Project


I had the desire to create a unique crossover tote bag. Which led me to break away from my usual pattern-making routine. While I typically draft my patterns, this time, I chose efficiency over the creative process and purchased a simple, common tote bag pattern online from Etsy. The goal was to seamlessly incorporate my screen printing work as patches and explore the art of dyeing manta fabric.

Challenges with Manta Fabric:

The journey encountered a couple of bumps when working with manta fabric, since it shrinks significantly after washing. Despite efforts with both shrinking and non-shrinking fabric, the handles ended up shorter than my ideal length.

Adjustments for the Next Batch:

Anticipating a next batch, I plan to tweak the pattern, focusing on lengthening the handles and possibly widening the bag to accommodate my laptop comfortably.

The Crafting Process:

First and foremost, the challenge was getting the patterns printed in actual size. A visit to a Xerox in Oaxaca City provided A2-sized paper, eliminating the need to tape smaller sheets together.

  • Manta Fabric Preparation: Cutting the manta to size, washing, and dyeing with Procion dyes were part of my initial stages. While I would like to experiment with natural dyes in the future, I have yet to finish my current stash or Procion dyes.


  • Screen Printing Patches: Prior to assembling the bag, I had already screen printed patches using plastisol. Some on black cotton fabric and others on fabric I had pre-dyed earlier.


  • Image Cutting and Edge Finishing: Skipping interfacing, I cut out the images and zigzagged the edges to combat  my manta fraying.


  • Patch Attachment: Spray adhesive proved to be the preferred method for attaching patches to corresponding fabric sides, avoiding the bunching that often occurs with pins.


  • Sewing Process: With patterns in place, I began sewing the pieces together.


In Conclusion:

Reflecting on the overall experience, I found this pattern to be straightforward. For those familiar with sewing a lined pouch without a zipper, following this pattern will be easy. The most time-consuming tasks were screen printing and curing the patches, along with cutting the fabric. Sewing does take a while as well, but since this bag doesn’t require hemming, it was easier to work with. I eagerly look forward to crafting the next batch with the edited pattern.


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