Posted on 7 Comments

Tote bag makeover

Tote bag makeover in progress

So I wanted a sturdy but decent-looking tote with pockets that would allow me to carry around all of my Summer junk – camera, various gadgets, and the usual purse stuff.  I had a pile of these Polka Dot Creations tote bags in the basement, and I didn’t like using them because they had an outdated logo.  (I know, I know. Crazy.)  Still, they’re really nice heavy duty totes and it’s stupid of me to let them go to waste like that.

Enter the ticking stripe.

Totebag makeover in progress Tote bag makeover in progress Tote in progress

I covered up the front logo and the back logo with pockets.  The first pocket I made was more of a 3-pocket system – one large pocket with a shorter divided pocket on the outside of it.  I attempted to make the second large pocket for the other side be gusseted, or at least, expandable in some way.  It’s for my camera.

Tote in progress

Then I made the outside of the bag, which was essentially a sleeve for the original tote.  The tote would be turned inside-out, so that the pockets were on the inside of the bag, and the ticking would be sewn to the outside.

The finished bag

Like so.

Pocket detail

Here are the pockets.

Button detail

And the self-made polymer button I added on for fun.  It’s not functional – there’s a snap underneath it that does the real work.  Pay no mind to the messy stitching – by the time I got to this section, I was more interested in finishing than in making it perfect…

I’ve been carrying around this bag for a week now, and I do like it, however I’ve got some notes for next time (and why shouldn’t there be a next time, if I’ve got so many of these tote bags in the basement doing nothing?):

  • I should add a backing to the pockets.  When I open and use a pocket, it reveals the logo behind it, and I really don’t want to see that.
  • The pockets feel flimsy compared to the canvas of the bag.  I should either interface them, use heavier fabric, or cut up a second tote bag for the pockets.

Essentially, my biggest complaints are related to the pockets, but since big, functional, and numerous pockets were the whole point of this experiment, I can’t really ignore the fact that they don’t feel right to me.

Still, I like it.  And I particularly like that it’s not obvious where it came from (at least, until you look inside a pocket!).

Posted on 7 Comments

7 thoughts on “Tote bag makeover

  1. I heart your tote makeover!! Too cool. I bet you could sell those easily!!

    1. Well, thank you! As for selling them, though, it really looks better than it functions… the pockets definitely need to be re-worked. If I manage to make it work better, I will definitely consider putting some in my shop 🙂

  2. i love the makeover- super smart. i did one and added sides to make it a bit bigger. making it like a sleeve is perfect.

    1. I like that idea of adding extra to the sides. That, actually, might make a great spot to slide a camera into 🙂

  3. Great advice! I love the finished tote and I love making something no one else will have!

    1. Me, too. I enjoy being unique!

  4. […] Tote bag makeover in progress Image by lisaclarke Pocket sewn over the logo. Blogged here. […]

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