Sew, What's New?

Curating sewing and quilting talent, techniques, and tutorials, since 1997.

Recycled or Renovated? A New Look for an Old Tote Bag!

When my mother-in-law was in hospital I had to sort out feeding her cat, and found a shopping bag relegated to the back of the cat food cupboard.  It was a nice combo of tweed but it had seen better days.  I decided to give it a facelift!

I took out the old stained and holed lining.  Then I removed and unpicked the frayed handles.  I decided they were too bad to use again and had to be replaced with something else.  I wanted to make handles I could wear over my shoulder.

I was left with the outer fabric tube, which need a couple of holes darned and a seam repaired.  I used my machine for the darning, but it wasn't pretty!

I found some chocolate brown cords in my rag bag, and I decided it would be perfect third colour.  I could use it to make some heart appliques (to hide my darning), a pair of new handles, and a new outer slip pocket.  My stash yielded a nice piece of terracotta coloured sheeting to use for the inside of the pocket and the new lining.  You can see it all here.

It's turned out really well, I am very pleased with it. This is the side with the pocket as the patches were on the sides out of the way.

This side needed repairs on the centre piece.  I have a pile of similar tweed skirts she gave me, but none of them have a co-ordinating plain fabric like this combination, otherwise I would make several more!  I could carry swatches and keep an eye out though.....

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Comment by Hafsa Khalid on February 20, 2014 at 5:17am

What a harmonious mix of textures and colors! Beautiful!!

Comment by jbsews on December 20, 2013 at 10:23am

Absolutely wonderful!

Comment by Shirley Roach on December 18, 2013 at 7:25pm

very nicely done!!!

Comment by Karen on December 18, 2013 at 1:37pm

When I dropped it off this morning (with a supply of my home made mince pies) MIL told me her mother had made the original bag, and considering she is now 86 that made it an heirloom and a keepsake well worth preserving!

Comment by Kiki Polglase on December 18, 2013 at 1:32pm

Totally in love with what you have done here ! Shared onto my Facebook page - thanks ! x

Comment by Patricia on December 18, 2013 at 12:34pm

Love it

Comment by Jean M. on December 18, 2013 at 10:42am

Love the bag and bet your Mother-in-Law will too. 

Comment by Michelle on December 18, 2013 at 8:36am

What a lovely bag, and saved from the bin!  Well done.

Comment by ga447 on December 18, 2013 at 8:18am

I love plaid and when I ever see in a thrift store, I have to buy it.

Comment by Susan on December 18, 2013 at 6:28am

Brilliant!  I really like a mix of textures.  Your applique is perfect.

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