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Workhorse totes

For lack of a more creative name, I think of these tote bags as workhorses. They are sturdy, hold a lot of stuff, are reasonably stylish, and make great gifts. Plus, they can be made in just a few hours. The fun part is pairing the lining fabric with the outside fabric, which means lots of comparing this and that.

The one on the left started with fabric that was 22" x 14". I like the elongated shape. The one on the right started with fabric that is 21" x 17.5" and that shape is great for deeper things and seemed to hold a bit more. Perfect for moms on the go. My mom made the red flower pin and it adds a nice punch of color, I think.

The outside is this really soft chenille-like decor weight fabric that should hold up to a lot of abuse. The lining is similar to wool gabardine and has a nice texture although it holds lint really well, unfortunately.

This one makes me think of the beach. The size is smaller than the two above and made up of leftover cuts of fabric just to see what would happen. I like it. The starting fabric size was 18" x 15" and is a good size for carrying school books or running quick errands. Normally, the bigger the bag the better for me, but this one works and I don't know if that is just because of the combination with the fabric and leather strap. Back to the sewing machine to make more prototypes.


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