Saturday, July 2, 2016

A DIY Poolside Tote? Why thank you very much!

Once again I teamed up with Sewmamasew.com for the Manchester Metallics Summer Bag Challenge. This a new Robert Kaufman collection. It's super glittery, and comes in a variety of hues. The fabrics that I chose for my Poolside Tote bag were as follows:
  • Exterior fabric -EVENING from Manchester Metallic Collection
  • Exterior fabric Denim weave- DARK WASH from Indigo Denim 
  • Exterior fabric Denim weave- LIGHT  WASH from Indigo Denim
  • Exterior fabric  Denim weave- BLEACH WASH from Indigo Denim
  • Lining-RED by Bouffants and Broken Hearts
  • Accent fabric (Handles,) EARTH from Metro Living 
Although the Manchester Metallics is a fabulous collection it would not be my first choice for making a tote bag.  [You absolutely could apply a thick backing to make it sturdy for a tote] But I'd be all over this fabric for quilting or making a garment but it does not have the necessary weight on it's own for a tote.

I was excited for this challenge because this was my first tote. I choose the Poolside Tote by Noodlehead patterns. This is a nice big tote that can handle a load of stuff. I wanted to add a little something , something to the tote to put my stamp on it. 

Last year I competed in a little sewing competition which I won...[pats own back]... I used trash-bags to create a dress for the unconventional challenge. We were not allowed to use fabric in this challenge. Now the trick was for me to create fabric textures with the trash bags. When I was done weaving it really looked like leather and I was ecstatic over the transformation done by weaving. [You can see that full story HERE] So I decided I would weave raw edge denim fabrics together to make a large piece of fabric for my main pattern piece. Let me show you how I did that first. 
My denim pieces
 I used my grid mat and rotary cutter for this project. I folded my fabric in half two times [four layers] and then  I squared of my pieces.
 I cut as many one inch strips as I could in each color.
 All done with the strips now time to weave.
 You will need to secure your pieces down for weaving. I taped down my dark strips across the top on my grid mat with a heavy duty tape. It has to hold your denim while your weaving and tugging it. [ The imperfections below lend a quality to the denim.......what that really means is that I got a little crazy with my rotary cutter but it's all good!]
 Now just start weaving.One row starts on the top of the dark strip the next row starts on the bottom of the dark strip and keep alternating. You will also be alternating the colors of the strips you are weaving. I did four at a time taping them at the sides once I stretched them taught. 
Now to squeeze the rows together I took the strips that were under and pulled them towards the top, You will notice that my rows are looser as you go down, that's because I was running out of denim.  But I think it looks cool this way.You will need at least a 1/2 yard of each color to make it tight all the way down and if you want to weave fabric for the front and back of the tote you will need a yard of each color. 
When you're done weaving make sure you have framed your fabric with tape. Now stitch all the way around your fabric to hold it in place. You don't want to waste all that work you just did. Add your fusible woven interfacing to the back. Now you're ready to trace your pattern and cut it out.
 I didn't have enough of my woven fabric but if it had been about 5 inches bigger all the way around, I would have washed and put in the dryer. I think this would have made the raw edges look more fabulous then they already did.
I hope you enjoyed my poolside tote in all it's glory! Make sure you take a gander at all the other fabulous totes made by the other bloggers listed below! NOW it's your turn to get your tote making on!


Sandy Whitelaw of UpStairs Hobby Room
Kathy Green of Designs by KTGreen
Carrie Federer of carrie bee
Anne Zeitler of AnneZPlace
Sanchia Gair of Red Brolly
Natalie Strand of Vegetablog
Devida Bushrod of The Driftwood Thimble
Sara Johansen of The Sara Project
Sarah Sharp of No Hats in the House
Michelle Webster of michellepatterns
Marni Weaver of Haberdashery Fun
Jenny of My Handmade Home
Mo Bedell


Check out the 2 Uses Tuesday Link Party HERE!
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43 comments

  1. I love the idea of weaving fabric to create new fabric, it gives such a great texture!

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    1. I original created a woven fabric for my unconventional challenge in a sewing contest. I had to figure out a way to give trash bags a fabric texture. Seriously the woven trash-bags looked like leather when I was done. So I've been wanted to do that weaving on some other type of fabric and this was the perfect opportunity!

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  2. Love this! Your tote came up in my feed and the denim weaving pulled me in. Perfect accents.

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    1. Well I'm glad I used that denim then! I love the way this tote came out and I love working with denim.

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  3. Great looking tote. Love the denim weaving. Have you tried Soft N Stable as a body stabilizer? Also fusible fleece works. I am already in a denim tote making phase so I may give the weaving a try. Love your creativity.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. Yeah I bought a stabilizer but it was not firm enough. I did go out and get a firm stabilizer which I am using on another poolside tote. I didn't think the fusible fleece would do the trick.

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    2. The fusible fleece worked great with the MM fabrics! :)

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    3. Noted for my next bag. Thanks!

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  4. I hope you win the challenge! So creative. Love the lining too!

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    1. Thanks Donna but it's not a competition just a challenge for us to create with the tools given, which was the fabric.

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  5. Wow! Incredible! You are so talented. I love what you did with the denim (weaving). Very creative. Now, you got me over here wanting to make a poolside tote. LOL! Great job, as usual!

    By the way, You look so cute!

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    1. Thanks Anita, I Think I'm mean-mugging a little in that shot! lol!!

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  6. Love the weave. Thanks for sharing the fabulousity.

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  7. Tote-a-licious!! excellent idea..

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    1. I know for sure that is not a word but I'm totally down with it! Thanks!

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  8. Very cool bag! I like your woven fabric idea!
    ~Natalie from Vegetablog

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  9. I love this.. What you did the the fabric is amazing! Your pics are great as well :) - Marni

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    1. Thank a bunch Marni, this was a fun project.

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  10. That bag is awesome, what a great idea for that denim and the fact you've got some fraying goin on makes it even more amazing! Great job Michelle!

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    1. Thanks Regina, if I had more fabric I would have washed it and dried it again after weaving so that the fraying would have been more fabulous. I had not room at this pint for more shrinkage.

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  11. I love what you did with texture! That's such a neat idea! Cute bag!

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    1. Thanks Anne, the bag was kinda simple so I had to do something to give it life! lol!

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  12. Cool bag! You totally made it your own. You are one creative chic!

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    1. Thanks, I'm trying to be as inspiring as I can.

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  13. So much work and it's just beautiful! I hope it lasts for ages.

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  14. What a FAB technique! Thanks for sharing....LOVE the bag.

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    1. Thanks Heidi This was fun, I see more totes in my future.

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  15. What a great bag! Thanks so much for the weaving technique--it's amazing! Now I'm off to check out that dress you mentioned :)

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    1. Thanks Karen that dress was my pride & joy!!!

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  16. This bag is BAD!!!!!! I love the weaving. I really want to try this one day.

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    1. Thanks Johanna!Just call me a Bad Mammajamma! LOL!!

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  17. Need a LOVE button for this project. Sew inspirational!

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  18. Very nice post. I like it, Thanks for sharing.

    non woven bag machine

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  19. This is perfect! I love the weaving. You are amazing. I never would have thought of that. Again, perfection!!

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