secret tote swap

So here it is, the bag I made for the tote swap. I had one word to go off of for the description: purple. I hope this suits!purplepleatedpurse_toteswap01AI used the pleated purse tutorial from Modest Maven. I knew I wasn’t game for the complicated piecing and quilting that the other participants were skilled at, so I wanted a pattern with some design elements that would show up well with simple fabrics. (Other patterns I found in my search were the pleated tote tutorial and the roll-up tote.)


I used two layers of off-white broadcloth for the lining since it was a very thin fabric and divided the pocket on the inside.

(This is my third magnetic snap and I love them! I can’t believe it took me so long to try them out.)

Since the largest piece of purple fabric in my stash was the solid color I used for the body of the bag, I wanted to add a smaller fun piece to my package.

The rosy wedge bag tutorial is simple, but the fabric and shape add some personality.


I used interfacing and batting instead of using fusible fleece and quilted the batting to hold it all together. It made it a bit more difficult to get the ends right, but I do like the look of the quilting on the pouch.

I went all purple on everything since that was the only word I got describing my partner’s preferences.


a light purple lining using fabric that had been in my stash for over a decade.

I liked both bags, but they looked a bit plain so a friend suggested adding an embellishment to the purse. I got out my crochet hooks and made a pink swirl flower from this tutorial. It gave the bag some needed excitement.

pleatedpurse w flowerA

I also made a bow and added it to the pouch. Too cute!

pouch w bowA

Then I played with Photoshop and made this for the swap’s Flickr page.


I realized later it should have said Secret Tote BAG Swap but oh well. 🙂

I have really gotten into posting my projects in blogger groups on Flickr in the last month and it’s been a lot of fun. The ladies in this swap were so encouraging and left lots of nice comments, so that was a great part of the swap experience.

(My username is photosarahcrafts if you want to check me out!)

I rounded it out with a scrapbook paper card (in purple of course!) and sent it on its way.


I had a partner in the U.S.A. this time which was nice to keep shipping costs low. Hopefully it has arrived and I’ll hear from her soon!


10 thoughts on “secret tote swap

  1. handmadebymrsh says:

    I think that pink works perfectly and the little bow is really cute! You might want to try a slightly bulkier interfacing with that bag pattern next time to bulk it out a little…or maybe it’s just me that likes chunky bags LOL!
    p.s. there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this tote, it’s gorgeous and really well sewn, I just like a bit of bulk in my bags 🙂 (p.p.s. I was trying to find a cool way to say bulk in my bags like junk in the trunk etc but I failed)

    • I used pretty hefty interfacing, but might add batting if I were to make it again. Have you used fusible fleece? I’ve never tried it but think it might work in this situation.

      • handmadebymrsh says:

        Ah, that might be the thing of it. With bags I like to use light or medium interfacing for the lining and the outer with either a stiff felt or fusible fleece. (Stiff felt is cheaper obviously!). Soft & Stable is another alternative but I think that is too much bulk sometimes and when I want a floppier, but still stable bag then I’ll use felt or fleece. Not nice felt, cheap, hard, horrid felt. 😀

        If you’re going to be quilting it though you could use batting because then you won’t have to worry about it coming apart when you’re putting the bag together. For pleats though I’d probably use something fusible like fusible fleece because it’ll be easier if it’s attached. I’ve also realised I could go on for hours about bags…oops!

  2. I really love this bag. I’ve been wanting to make a cloth bag that looks a little bit more like a purse than a shopping tote, if you know what I mean, and this is exactly what I mean. Thanks for sharing on Train To Crazy. That’s how I found you.

    Sue xo

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