Happy Hack-mas! It’s Dec. 1 and I’m full of holiday happiness — and sewing. This year has just flown by and one of the high points for me was the release of my third book, Hack that Tote!, in September.
When I was in the planning stages for the book, I talked with my publisher about including a gallery of additional projects as inspiration. In the end, it didn’t make the cut. But as a gift to you, I’m sharing a hack a day with “recipes” for using the book to create the projects. Some hacks are super easy; others combine elements from multiple patterns in the book. Hopefully, they’ll inspire you to hack a few totes for your holiday gifts!
And now, without further ado, the first Happy Hack-mas project is …
A Tubular Frame Purse (pg. 60), made with a mix of quilting cotton and yellow vinyl. If you follow me on Instagram, you may already have seen this project. It’s definitely one of my favorites!
I followed the pattern from the book fairly closely. The biggest change is the contrasting vinyl, which meant dividing the exterior panels into two pieces and adding seam allowance to join the two. Definitely use a leather needle for stitching the vinyl, especially the seam for those corded handles — it’s super bulky.
It’s been so much fun to read along with each stop of the Hack that Tote! blog tour. I’ve loved seeing what each of the talented folks who’ve taken part have done to tweak the bags from the book to suit their needs. A big “thank you” to these wonderful folks for being a part (be sure to check out each to see what they’ve whipped up and enter their giveaway):
9/28 Sue O’Very
9/29 Gen Q Teri Lucas
9/30 Patty Murphy
10/1 Vanessa Lynch
10/2 Lindsay Conner
10/3 Stephanie Moore
10/4 Katy Cameron
10/5 Kim Niedzwiecki
I wrapped up the book last fall but I’ve continued to play around with different ideas for modifying not only the Basic Tote Bag but many of the projects in the book. I’ll see a shape or a fabric or fun hardware and wonder “how can I use that?” and off I go!
That’s somewhat how this particular hack came to be. I saw a metallic leather bucket bag on a fashion blog and immediately realized how similar it was in shape to the Tote. My plan is to make it metallic leather some day but I had some beautiful metallic champagne vinyl in my stash and got to work.
This bag is closer in proportions to the Goodie Bag with Reverse Applique, with all four sides finishing about the same width. I made one long strap and attached it to the center of the side seams with a nice, big box stitch.
Because I put metal grommets around the top of the bag for the drawstring (which I still need — the silver cord is just a placeholder), I opted to use another piece of the vinyl for the top of the lining. It makes it a bit of a challenge when it comes to pressing the top seam of the bag but I like having the extra durability of the vinyl vs. using a full lining of fabric.
One of the touches that I love is the magnetic closure. The tabs are separate pieces and the vinyl should help them hold up to the wear and tear that happens with this type of bag closure.
My hope with Hack that Tote! is that you’ll not only love the projects I’ve included but that you’ll be inspired to mix up things and make the bags you sew reflect your style. I’d love to see what you make! Tag your projects #hackthatote or share them to my Facebook Page because show-and-tell is my favorite!
And … C&T Publishing is graciously giving away a copy of Hack that Tote! to one lucky reader of this blog! (Printed copy for those in the U.S.; ebook outside of the U.S.) Simply comment below and tell me a favorite hack from the tour. I’ll use Random.org to choose a winner after 5 p.m. Eastern time on 10/10. Good luck!
A year ago, I was eagerly awaiting the release of my second book, Modern Style for Girls.
A year ago, I was wrapping up my third book, Hack that Tote!
Only a handful of people knew I was writing another book, each of them sworn to secrecy. I wanted my second book to have time to build an audience, without the distraction that comes with another book.
So here I am, less than a month until my third book launches into the world, finally spilling the beans.
Hack that Tote! is 104 pages, filled with some of my favorite projects and a wealth of information about fabrics, interfacings, hardware and so much more. At times, I felt like writing this book was a bit of a brain dump! The base project, the Basic Tote Bag, is one I’ve taught for years in my Sewing Basics class at Intown Quilters. Each of the hacks — the modified patterns for the additional 11 projects — shows you simple ways to transform the Basic Tote.
But it doesn’t end there. I’ve included information about the process behind the hacks, with key information to help you further modify the patterns to really put your own twist on things. There’s tons of photos and illustrations to help, too.
Hack that Tote! will be out in September. Ask your local quilt shop or book store to order it! I also have a limited number of autographed copies available for purchase in the U.S. (just click the Buy It Now button):