Monday, April 18, 2011

Tote Bag Makeover

Since this bag from Anya Hindmarch was released sometime in 2007, several business and organizations started releasing their own reusable shopping bags made of cloth.

I have a small collection of reusable shopping bags which I get from malls, supermarkets, boutiques. I always keep one in my purse for when I have to go to the grocery after work or buy something at the mall. I like to think that since 2007, I have done my part to reduce the use of plastic. 

Anyway, I also have several of these bags from WWF. My husband works for WWF (which is really cool because they get to a lot of cool stuff and it's for work!) and they sell these and give some away on some of their events (as of this writing, I think I have 4 reusable bags from WWF). Since I don't really use all of them, I decided to find a use for some of my favorites.

This is one of my favorites:
This is made of canvas and the print is just their logo, no other text like the other ones. I find their panda logo cute and I thought I can make this shopping bag into a tote bag in a few simple steps!

Step 1: It was a little deep so I cut off around 2 inches off the bottom and hemmed it close.
Step 2: Add lining with pockets. I just used the shape of the bag as pattern to make my lining.

Step 3: I added a magnetic closure. I just looked for 2 magnets that are the same shape (I found 2 square ones in my husbands junk pile... I don't know where they came from but I thought they looked pretty. I put one inside the top seam on the front of the bag. Then I created this small flap by sewing 3 grosgrain ribbons together and burning the edges. I glued the other magnet to the flap, leaving it exposed since it looks nice. Then I added a little stitching on each side of the magnet.
that small square thing is a magnet
Step 4: I added a zipper... YES, this is the first time I used a zipper in a sewing project and I had to use the seam ripper several times but I did it!!! I added the zipper as an after thought, several hours after I thought I was finished with the bag so I wasn't able to take a picture. Anyway, I will be honest in saying that it doesn't really look pretty since the way I sewed it on the bag was uneven, but I say not bad for a first attempt.

So here's my finished tote:
You can't actually see a lot of difference from the photo since I didn't really change the design. But it's a little smaller and because of the lining, keeps its shape better when hanging from your shoulder.

I have another project involving my other reusable shopping bags but I'll be honest, I haven't started yet. This week is Holy Week in the Philippines, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are non-working holidays (and on Good Friday, local TV stations go off the air, malls, groceries, restaurants, and other establishments are closed) so most people go on vacations... including me :) So I might not be able to post anything else this week but I promise I'll have something good for you guys next week.
Before I sign off for the week... let me leave you with a little preview. Aside from my other reusable bag project, I need to do something about these pendants:
A shell pendant from one of my old necklaces.
Shell pendants I got from a souvenir shop somewhere in Monterey Bay, CA a few years ago when I went there on vacation.
And my husband has been working on his own project:
a dollhouse for Andrea!
He did not document his steps... and he started this very late at night 2 weeks ago so I wasn't able to take pictures of his progress but I will be sharing his finished project. This might be a little different from the doll houses you're used to seeing.


Donene said...

Your bag turned out great and much more functional and your pendants are lovely! Thanks for visiting and your nice comments

faith@ahead said...

i like what you did with the bag! really cute button! :)

Mayet said...

I also have reusable grocery bags and keep one in my handbag. it feels good to recycle things--we help our environment;)