flowered tote bag and zipper pouch

I sent two packages off to Alabama last week. One was a zippered pouch I’ve been meaning to make for my friend and former roomie Kendra and the other was a belated birthday present for my friend Natalie.

As part of my stash busting I’m trying to find uses for a lot of my fabric. I had a decent amount leftover from making Kendra’s Auburn tote bag and wanted to give her a pouch to use with the bag since I didn’t make pockets in it. (She’s an Auburn alum and a few years of living in Alabama have cemented the orange and navy color combo as Auburn in my mind.)


the original tote

I went back to Charm Stitch’s sketchy pleat clutch pattern that I used here to make a couple pouches for charity (and one for myself) and whipped one up for Kendra.


I used orange for the lining and added an orange ribbon to the zipper.


I really like this pattern and can see it as one I’ll go back to again and again. My only modification is to add topstitching on both sides of the zipper. I use thin broadcloth a lot for my linings and find it gets stuck in the zipper every time unless I topstitch.

My mom’s friend gave me a massive stash of fabric and notions when she was cleaning out her mother’s house. I’ve sorted through it and donated some, given a few pieces to Amanda, and kept the rest. I’ll post about it eventually because it was like traveling through a piece of sewing history to go through it all. I’ve used a few pieces of the fabric already to make baby pants.

A vintage navy zipper found in the stash spurred on the making of the zipper pouch for Kendra. (I’d been thinking about making it for months but was waiting to buy some zippers in bulk.)


And this flowered canvas fabric from the stash was perfect to make a birthday tote for Natalie.


I had a tall narrow strip of the border printed fabric so the front side has the yellow stripes and the back is solid daisies.


I was going to attached the straps with square stitching and then sew down the thick hem on the top, but I realized I could just sew around the very top and bottom of the hem and secure the straps that way to minimize the stitching visible on the outside.


Natalie really liked her tote, and already had a woman ask her where she could buy one. There’s no more of that vintage fabric, so she’s got a one of a kind photosarah original. 🙂


2 thoughts on “flowered tote bag and zipper pouch

  1. Kathy Sacco says:

    Sarah, I recognize the fabric!!!!!!!!! I made a pants suit out of it when I was in high school! I’m so happy you’re enjoying my Mom’s goodies.

  2. Denise Dudik says:

    I love how you used the border fabric, and the fabric itself. Nice job on the pouch and strap attachment as well!

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