curtain totes and giveaway

EDIT: The giveaway is closed and commenter #1, Jess, is our winner!

It’s finally time for that giveaway I’ve been mentioning! Details at the end of the post.

I started making the monk bag last summer after I found the tutorial on the purl bee site. I cut pieces from a thrifted vintage curtain for the straps, but then I got stuck and put it away until a few weeks ago.

There are two sections of pattern in the curtain: the skinny bordered vertical stripe and the vertical floral pattern. I’d wanted to use the bordered part for the handles, but it was too narrow and that’s where I got stuck. When I revisited the project, I used the wider floral part for the straps instead and the bag came together quickly.


I was going to use a solid color for the center section, but then I found this green remnant in my stash and the colors matched up perfectly.


I used fabric from two vintage sheets for the inside of the bag. You can see the floral pattern through the light yellow handles, but it’s still mostly reversible. I added the orange ribbon to hide a small hole, and I like how it adds a bit of interest to the large block of solid color.

To celebrate my finished monk bag, I decided to make another tote bag from the curtain.

I used the thinner bordered stripes for the handles on this bag and cut the pieces for the body of the bag wide enough to include both elements of the curtain’s pattern.


I skipped the pocket on the monk bag, but put two pockets in the tote.


The first pocket is two-in-one. The orange pocket is from a pair of orange corduroy pants I found on clearance back in my high school days. I think I wore them once or twice before I chopped them up. (This was years before the brightly colored pants thing took off.) Anyway, I’ve had this pocket in my stash for almost a decade. I put a vintage yellow sheet pocket behind it so it would pop off the solid orange broadcloth background.

I used a piece of the curtain for the other pocket.


I like how the curtain pops against the orange fabric remnant I found at the store recently. I’ve definitely had luck with remnants over the years. This bag could be reversible too. (I have been on a major reversible kick lately!)

I made up this tote “pattern” but I’ve found that good dimensions for a smaller, purse-sized tote are a height of 2-3″ more than your width with straps between 18-24″ long.

I’d forgotten how much I liked the pattern of this curtain and got a nice sense of accomplishment from finishing these totes. However, I’ve decided to give away the monk bag since I don’t see myself using it regularly (if anyone wants it that is). To enter the contest, leave a comment and a way to contact you!


5 thoughts on “curtain totes and giveaway

  1. They are all beautiful (and well made from the looks of it!). I love finding nontraditional things to use to make other things, I once reupholstered a chair using fabric from a pillowcase I found that I just loved!

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