Introduction: Fall Tote Bag

This project involves weaving, crocheting, and sewing. I gathered up some yarn that I had left over from other projects, some scrap fabric, and two buttons. I selected colors that I thought would go together nicely for a fall theme. The end result is a new fall tote bag.

Step 1: Gather Materials and Equipment

Equipment used:

  • Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom
  • Two 7.5 DPI Rigid Heddles
  • Two Stick Shuttles
  • Warping Peg
  • Sewing Machine
  • Sewing Needle
  • Crochet Hook (size 8)

Materials used:

  • Variety of different yarns
  • Cotton printed fabric
  • Two buttons
  • Thread

Step 2: Warp Your Loom

  1. Calculate the length needed for your warp.
    • I know that I want to weave a finished fabric measuring 15 inches wide and 45 inch long
    • My average yarn waste on my loom is 12 inches
    • Adding the length of my project (45 inches) to my average yarn waste (12 inches) gives me my warp length (57 inches). For this project I rounded up to 60 inches.
  2. Calculate the warp ends per inch
    • I will be using two 7.5 dpi heddles for this project, giving me a total of 15 dpi (dpi=dents per inch)
    • To get a finished fabric 15 inches wide I need to multiply that by my total dpi (15x15=225)
    • I need to warp 225 ends
  3. Warp your loom
    • You can make your warp using a warping board
    • I choose to use a direct warp method using a warping peg (see video)

Step 3: Threading Your Heddles

  1. Threading the back heddle or the second heddle
    • When using two heddles, always start threading with the back heddle first

    • Insert 3 warp ends into each slot opening and 1 warp end into each eye

  2. Threading the front heddle or the first heddle
    • When threading the next heddle, be sure the move the warp ends over one slot to avoid crossing the yarns between the heddles
    • Take 1 warp end from a slot opening in the back heddle and insert it through an eye on the front heddle

    • Take then remaining 2 warp ends from the slot opening in the back heddle, and the warp end from the eye in the back heddle, and insert them through a slot opening in the front heddle

  3. For Further information on threading a second heddle, see the PDF file below

Step 4: Weaving

  1. Tie on your warp
  2. Start weaving. I used a variety of different patterns and colors to make an interesting fabric. Be creative here and have fun!

Step 5: Weave a Strap

  1. Weave a strap for your bag that will be about 3 inches wide and 12 inches long
  2. Calculate your warp length based on your average yarn waste plus the length of the project. For this project I want a strap about 12 inches long and I have an average of 12 inches of yarn waste so my warp length should be 24 inches
  3. Calculate your warp ends based on the dpi of your heddle. For this strap I will only use one 7.5 dpi heddle, so for a strap 3 inches wide I will need 23 warp ends. I rounded up to 24 warp ends because I don't like odd numbers.
  4. Start weaving your strap! This part of the project would be improved by using an inkle loom to make the strap, but I work with what I have, so I used my same rigid heddle loom. I wove my strap in a simple plain weave, but feel free to do what you want for your strap!

Step 6: Construct the Bag

  1. Fold and Sew
    • fold your woven rectangle into thirds, or about every 15 inches.
    • refer to diagram above and sew side A to side B and side C to side D
  2. Pull Open
    • Pull at the corners (not sewn to another side)
    • Open into bag shape (see diagram)
  3. Attach Strap
    • Once I have a finished strap I attached it to the corners of my bag. allowing the corners of the bag to overlap my strap

    • I sewed the strap in place and crocheted a border on the edges with a single crochet stitch.

Step 7: Making the Liner

  1. Measure a piece of fabric 15" by 45" and add 1/2 inch for seams
  2. Sew the fabric wrong side up just like you did for the bag in the previous step
  3. Sew a hem along any unfinished edges
  4. Insert liner into bag (see image). The right side of the fabric should appear when you open the bag.
  5. Sew liner to the bag (I recommend you do this AFTER you sew in any buttons)

Step 8: Finishing Touches

  1. Add buttons to the bag.
  2. Crochet a chain into a loop to go around the button and close the bag. (see image)
  3. Add a single stitch crochet boarder around the edges of the bag
  4. Add a few crochet chains at decorative fringe to the bag (see image)

Step 9: Enjoy!

Once finished, now its time to enjoy your new bag!

Fiber Arts Contest 2017

Participated in the
Fiber Arts Contest 2017