I’ve been a fan of tote bags as long as I can remember. There is something very comforting about carrying a big, durable tote bag on my shoulder, like having a fluffy Akita beside me, instead of a little Chihuahua. Hervé Chapelier makes wonderful tote bags and I brought many of them home from Paris when I was there a few years ago on a holiday. The airport custom thought I was a reseller because I had so many of them stuffed in my tiny suitcase!
I also like those eco-friendly grocery bags. They are so cute and practical, and I would love to carry them everywhere but I’m a bit hesitant to haul around a bag with the giant Trader Joe’s logo on it. So I decided to make my own, taking the durability of the grocery bag and combining it with the bright color inspired by Chapelier.
I used Joel Dewberry’s Ginseng Wildflower Rust fabric for this project. I fell in love with this beautiful, orange and turquoise, nature-inspired design the moment I saw it here, and knew immediately that I wanted to make a tote bag out of it.
I used my own pattern for this bag, partially because I did not find the pattern I loved and partially because I’m still terrible at following instructions. I knew that this would be a big risk (since I picked up a sewing machine only a few weeks prior) but I was willing to go for it.
I’m really happy with the way it turned out and I carry this bag everywhere I go. I put a pocket inside for keys and other little items that often get lost in the black-hole of tote bags. I was pleasantly surprised how durable it is and how much stuff it can hold.
I’m thinking about writing up a tutorial for this bag in the near future so stay tuned!