Raid that fabric stash and button box to create these cute embellished totes using an easy sewn fabric strip technique. Fabrics are torn into strips, sewn together and used to create a little tote that will hold an ipod or smartphone, homemade candies or other small gifts. A great way to recycle those fabric scraps
You Will Need...
- Fabric scraps
- Heavy Duty hole punch
- Rubber stamps- assorted
- Black pigment ink
- Heavy duty hole punch
- fabric glue
- sewing machine and thread
- round nose pliers
- Blank craft shapes
- Chalk ink
- Rotary cutter and mat
Step by Step Instructions
Who doesn’t love a good fabric stash buster/scrap project? I am forever on the lookout for great
projects that will use up my fabric scraps. I also love to create tiny totes. They are very handy for giving small gifts such as gift cards, candies, soaps, art gifts, etc.
I recently had the idea to use some of my larger scraps to create these pillows, exploding with color. I tore strips of fabric in a mix and match color theme and pattern selection.
The way that I assembled the pillow on the right is the same way that I assembled these cute little tiny totes, embellished with buttons.
I simply pinned together two of the strips and used my sewing machine and some black thread to sew the pieces together.
Continue in the same fashion until your strips make one nice sized piece of fabric that can be cut to form the front and back of the little tote. Notice how I used the various stitches found on my machine to join the pieces together, which adds some fun elements to the tote bag. I also used some free form stitching (see the yellow strip) to add a little whimsy. Some of these fabrics were purchased patterns leftover from previous projects and some were strips of hand dyed muslin I use to make my hand dyed and stamped ribbons. The idea is to have fun using up strips from your stash.
couldn’t resist adding a stamped sentiment to some of the strips that were solids. Text type details make things so interesting. I used solvent ink and set it with my iron on a medium setting (no steam).
Determine the desired size of your finished totes and add a 1/2″ seam allowance on all sides. So if you want your tote to be, say, 5 1/2″ x 7″, cut your pieces to 6 1/2″ by 8″ using a self healing cutting mat and rotary cutter. Join the pieces together, wrong sides out. I was left with an uneven edge on one side since my strips were not exactly evenly torn. I cut off that edge and set it aside so that the edges were even. This makes it much easier to sew even seams.
Once my bag was sewn, I used the iron to steam the seams open and turned it right side out. Note that I used a knife pleated piece of hand dyed ribbon for the top of the tiny tote, which makes a nice embellished finish on the top edge.
Now for the part that’s even more fun than putting the strips together. Embellishing it with BUTTONS. I fell in love with these hand dyed buttons by designer Laura Kelly for Buttons Galore and More that I received in my design team package.
I laid out a little “design” and used Beacon Adhesives Fabri-Tac to glue everything in place.
One of my favorite parts of this tiny tote is the button handle created by threading the buttons onto
a piece of wire.
I attached the handle by punching holes with a heavy duty hole punch, punching right through the fabric layers.
I used round nosed beading pliers to curl the sharp edges inward and secure the handle.
Even before joining the design team at Buttons Galore and More, I was fascinated by these little pieces of smooth plastic pieces they call “Start-Ups.” They handle ink beautifully. I used chalk ink by ClearSnap to ink the piece in an uneven manner. I did have to use my heat gun to
get the ink to set quickly though. I’m impatient that way.
I stamped a fleur de lis motif in the center with the solvent ink.
I had so much fun making this little button embellished tote that I had to make another one. I mean, I had all these torn fabric strips just laying around, right?
Remember the scrap I cut off of the uneven edge of the joined strip fabric piece? It didn’t go to waste either! It seems scrap fabric projects lead to more scrap fabric projects!