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Posts Tagged ‘tote bag’

Hand-made Custom Tote Bags

Are you looking for a unique gift for a special someone? Well look no further.

A couple of fellow bloggers recently commissioned me to create some special gifts for friends and family to be given as Christmas presents and I wanted to share them with you all. I love creating these custom bags and I know the recipients will be thrilled too.

When I first let it be known that I would make custom designed bags, Agnes (What’s Her Name from Dachsies with Moxie) ordered about a dozen bags for me to make over the course of a few months. The last few would be Christmas presents for her mother and best friend. She also wanted one for herself and only told me to make it pink (her favorite color). She was confident that I would pick the best embroidery and fabric for her and I think I did good.

You can click on the image to make it bigger. The embroidery is called Dachshund Sketch and the first time I saw it I knew it was perfect for Agnes.

The next tote bag I made was for one of Agnes’ friends who has a Bichon Frise and loves purple. One side of the tote has a full body embroidery of a Bichon and the other side has a paw print that says “I ♥ My Bichon Frise”.

The final tote bag for Agnes was one for her mother. She wanted it to coordinate with the clutch bag I made as a Mother’s Day gift for her mom with a similar embroidery of the Virgin Mary. I altered the original embroidery to fit on the exterior pocket for this bag and I think it turned out great!

Do you remember when Lily Belle and her mom came to visit us? Well they were here to pick out fabric for this beautiful red and black tote bag. This bag is also a gift for a dachshund loving friend. It is a little smaller than the other tote bags. It is the same height, but the width is smaller.

The interior of this bag has the same features as all the other bags. Each bag has two zippered pockets and two regular pockets and the zippered pockets are open in the back for extra storage.

If you are interested in ordering a one of a kind creation for someone special on your holiday shopping list you can visit my Etsy shop to place your order. Just click on the link for the custom large tote bag or click on the “Request Custom Item” link on the menu to the left on my Etsy shop home page.

Not a Dachshund or Bichon Frise lover? No problem. There are many non breed specific embroideries that can be used to embelish your tote bag or you can visit Embroidery Library to pick out one of your favorite dog or cat breed and I will add it to my collection.

You can also view my current inventory of pet related designs here.

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Next up for my Project Week posts is my biggest crochet project so far. I like checking the magazine racks at the grocery and craft stores to see what new quilt and crochet magazines have come in. A few weeks ago I picked up the August issue of Crochet World and thought there would be a few projects that I could tackle and some to save for later.

Scanned from Crochet World Magazine

As usual my husband, Charlie likes to thumb through my magazines and give his opinions on what he likes and doesn’t. When he saw this tote bag he asked if I thought I could do it and after looking at the pattern I thought I would give it a try. It took three tries to get going correctly. One of the attempts I again pulled the tension so tight that when I had finished one complete side of the bag I measured it and found it was 10″ x 11″ and it was supposed to be 14″ x 15″!

I pulled it apart and started again with a much looser tension. After the first couple of rows I measured the width to see that it was correct and then proceeded.

Here is my finished tote. I’m not sure if you can tell, but I went a bit rogue and modified the pattern to add more depth to it. The original pattern just called for two sides sewn together so it was a flat pouch. I decided to make some sides and a bottom to give the bag more volume.

Side View of Tote

I crocheted three extra panels, one for each side and one for the bottom. The other modification I did was to add a lining. It is always nice to have a substantial stash of fabric in my closet. When I decided to add the lining Charlie and I looked through the stash and he picked out this perfect striped fabric (it’s no wonder I call him my Chief Creative Consultant). I think the bag is more useful with some pockets and the lining makes sure nothing will get stuck to the side of the crochet or poke through the holes.

I put two pockets inside. The plain pocket is actually divided into slots so you can put crochet hooks and other accessories in them. The other pocket is what I call a divided zippered pocket. Instead of sewing all four sides of the zippered pocket to the lining I only sewed three and left the top open.

Double Zipper Pocket

Divided Plain Pocket

As always you can click on the images to see a larger version of the pictures. Even though it took three tries to get going I am real happy with how this turned out and plan on using it as one of my primary crochet project bags. In addition to the tension issues I was also challenged by using two strands of yarn to crochet at the same time and went the extra mile by adding the side and bottom panels to increase the volume.

I think one thing I can conclude from all this is that I am certainly hooked on hooking!

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The next project on my list are a couple of dachshund bags I made for Agnes (What’s Her Name from the Dachsies With Moxie). Her mother in law is owned by a longhaired red dachshund and Agnes asked me to make a clutch and a tote bag embellished with a longhaired dachshund embroidery.

I found a nice embroidery for this project at Embroidery Library, but the colors they stitched theirs out in were for a black dog so I had to figure out how to modify the colors for a red colored dog. I asked Agnes for some hints and she suggested that Ruby, one of Frankie Furters beautiful wives, looks very similar to her mother in-laws dog. I printed a couple of pictures of Ruby from their blog to use as reference and I think it turned out very well.

The tote bag has the embroidery on an exterior pocket on both sides of the tote. The green area was quilted with a Sashiko style of quilting and the interior features a fun dog related print.

When I first saw the lining fabric I knew it was right for these bags. It is printed with all sorts of words like, woof, yap, bark, arf, ruff, etc. There are two zippered pockets and two plain pockets inside as well.

I made the clutch bag out of micro suede and embroidered the dachshund on one side. The lining is the same fabric as the tote bag.

Since the bags were for Agnes’ mother in laws birthday and I was shipping them directly to her I wanted to spiff up the packaging just a little so I wrapped the bags in some colored tissue paper and included a birthday greeting.

As an added bonus I also included the “Bad to the Bone” toy shown above. According to Agnes the bags and toy were a huge hit and will be well used. If you are interested in a bag with your favorite breed on it leave me a comment and I’ll see what I can come up with.

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