Tuesday, November 8, 2011


So how does this ...

become this...
The idea of deconstructing, changing up and then reconstructing a ready made canvas tote bag, had never occured to me, until I took part in Michele's (Something Special) Fall Intrigue Tote Swap. We had to make our partner a shabby chic tote, and then fill it with Fall goodies ... It was a great swap.

I will definately use this deconstruct/reconstruct idea again, for a few reasons.
- It's very economical - a pack of 3 totes costs you around $7-00. Use a coupon you can end up paying half of that.
-The canvas makes for a really sturdy tote, so there's no need for interfacing.
-There's also the convenience of handles and hems already being done, and seam lines marked .... It really would make a fantastic, last minute gift .... we all know that there's invariably at least one gift, we remember that we forgot on Christmas Eve!!!

So, incase you'd like to give it a try, this is how I made the tote above...
-I cut out the fabric pieces to the sizes I needed (measure the tote for these). My center panel was longer, as I wanted to gather it onto the side pieces. At the time you attach it to the canvas shell, you need to have 2 completed panels (a front and back).
-I sewed the bottoms of the panels together and then laid it over the canvas tote. The first place I attatched it, was along the base seam. From there I attatched it in various places ... namely along the gathered seams. I then turned in the hem at the top of my panels,and top stitched it to the canvas shell.
-All that was left to do then, was reconstruct the side seams of the bag along the original seam lines.
-I then made and added the flowers and buttons. Imagine all of the embellishments you could use.
-This particular bag I lined, but it really isn't necessary, as the inside of the tote is very neat and tidy.

I was very spoilt with the package I recieved from my partner - who happened to be the hostess herself ... take a sneak peek - Isn't it lovely?

If you want to give the tote a try, you wont be dissapointed. If my explanation of the method I used, didn't make sense, just let me know and I'll clarify it for you.
Happy Sewing!!!!


  1. I never would have thought to re-purpose a canvas tote but what I great idea! I think I have a bag that would be perfect for this. Now I need some time!