I made this tote bag from items I found a two of my favorite stores and some leftover things I already had. SCRAP in Portland is like the Goodwill for craft lovers and Goodwill Outlet is where they sell stuff by the pound and you have to dig through a lot of stuff that's been dumped into bins to find the gems but they are there.
1 large piece of sample upholstery fabric which I cut down to 12 1/2" wide and 23" long
several men's dress shirts that I cut up for the lining
some scrap fabric
leather scraps for the strap
Step 1: Making the Parts
Be creative with the lining. I cut up a few shirts and used some fabric scraps and pieced them together to make the lining. I incorporated the shirt pocket so it could be used as an inside pocket for the tote bag. Ingenious I say! I hate making those fussy little pockets.
Make a front and back lining piece using the tote bag fabric as a guide for the size.
Step 2: Attaching the Lining
Sew one of the lining pieces to one of the short ends of the tote bag fabric and the other piece to the other end. Then fold in half so the lining pieces are together, pin and sew down both sides. Be careful to match up the seam where the lining and main fabric meet so you will have a nice edge all the way around when finished. I like to do it this way when possible because then there is no hand sewing at the top edge where it's been turned. No matter how careful I am it's always obvious that's where the opening was.
Press seams, pressing the seams toward the main fabric.
If desired, miter the corners for a flat bottom. I used the bottom fold of the tote fabric as the middle of the bottom then measured 1 1/2 inches on either side of the fold to give it a 3" wide bottom. Sew and cut off the excess fabric.
Step 3: Finishing the Lining
For the lining, sew in from the side edges about 3 inches on both sides leaving an opening in the middle to turn right side out.
Miter the corners to the same width as the bottom of the tote bag and cut off excess fabric.
Turn bag right side out. Slip stitch the lining closed, this will be at the bottom of the bag. Fold the lining to the inside of the bag and press around the top edge to make a nice sharp finish then top stitch around the top to hold it all in place.
Step 4: The Straps
Cut the leather pieces to the same width and stitch together. I went over it a few times to make sure they'd hold.
I then attached them to the outer edge of the purse.
The last step was to add a snap in the middle on the inside so it wouldn't hang wide open.
And there you have it!
* After I got going I decided to do a little embroidery work on the front, not so easy once you've start piecing the thing together so I'd suggest doing it before adding the lining pieces. :-)