Sunday, July 18, 2010

Girlie tote bags

A coworker of mine had asked if I could make her 7 year old granddaughter a set of tote bags, one a beach sized towel type bag and one a smaller purse sized bag that she could carry around.  Of course I said yes, and coworkers request was that it had her name on it and said granddaughter liked girlie colors.  Woohoo for free reign!  My mind went to work, and this was what I came up with...

The bigger sized bag measures about 16 inches wide and about 14 or so inches high and is about 6 inches in depth.  I had been thinking about trying some hexagons for some time now, and since I really despise hand sewing, I found this tutorial which is a video tutorial from Ladyharvitine that shows how to machine piece hexagons, and I thought I'd give it a shot.  I figured this would be a nice small project to just get my feet wet.

I must say, there is definitly a learning curve to this, but once I got the spacing down (you have to leave a precise 1/4 inch unsewn on each end to join them together) they went together quite easily.  Its definitly not perfect, but I really like the effect here.  I then machine embroidered her name on the hexagons, and pieced the hexagon portion with some white canvas, and then applied some heavy fusible interfacing to give it some weight. 

The back of the bag is white canvas and I lined the tote with a pretty girlie pink cotton solid.

As for the smaller tote, I kind of followed this tutorial from Rachel at p.s. i quilt however adjusted the dimensions to fit my need. 

I used 2 1/2 inch strips and used 6 on each side and made them about 10 1/2 inches high.  After I pieced them together and then cut a 12 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch piece of white canvas for the bottom, the finished dimensions measured about 8 inches wide by 10 inches high and the depth is about 4 inches.  It acutually makes a nice lunch sized tote or a small bag/purse for a little girl.  I just used some white 1 inch cotton webbing for the handles on both bags (i.e. the lazy way :) ) instead of cutting and making fabric handles. 

Here's a pic of the back..

I like this smaller bag, I'm already thinking of adding strips and making them taller to make a tote bag for myself!  The cotton batting just gives it a really nice weight and feel to it. 

I have one more ordered bag to make for another coworker, her daughter wants a bag with her initials on it to be her school bag this year, and she has requested zebra print fabric and pink!  So fun...check back soon!


  1. What a fun post !
    It's so funny that I found myself playing with hexagons today too !
    Your bags are beautiful, and that hexagon-piecing of yours looks terrific !

    I don't even know what I want to make with hexies but they surely are calling to me.
    I like them randomly pieced, like yours, rather than in flowers, etc.

    Thanks for the inspiration, and the link on YouTube !

  2. How sweet! Wow, what a fabulous first try on hexies. I've been too scared to try, but you've inspired me to do a little project. Thanks for sharing. Happy Sewing! :o)

  3. Adorable. Great job on the hexagons! Can't wait to see the zebra print one :)

  4. Jessica love these bags! Especially the larger tote. The hexagons really make it pop. Zebra should be a fun fabric to work with.

  5. These bags are really nice! The colours are perfect for a girly girl, and the hexies are just fantastic!

  6. Oh these are just lovely!, love the hexagon detail!

  7. Every fabric you picked is so great for a young lady! She is going to love these bags! Great work!

  8. just love these bags! and the hexie tutorial was a gift from heaven! so, thank you!

    beautiful Friday Finishes!

  9. I love to find new bag tutorial, thanks for the links. I love these,they look like such fun. I am sure she will love them. I like the idea of machine sewn hexagons. Thanks for linking to lush friday,Andrea

  10. Great bags both! The hexagons are especially sweet. I bet the little gal is going to be just delighted with her feminine bags.

  11. Jessica, you did a really terrific job on those bags. I just love them. The colors are so pretty and you did a nice job with the designs of each one. Beautiful work!

    xo -E

  12. Love all those girly fabrics, and the hexies look great! I am going to have to try that.

  13. Those are so sweet and girly! Thanks for the link to the hexagon tutorial. I think I might try it but I don't think it's as easy as she makes it look. Yours turned out beautifully.

    Thanks for linking up to Finished for Friday!

  14. love the hexagon bags, so lovely to look at, love handbag on .