Hello again, makers!
Today I’m excited to have started a new chapter in my sewing journey, and it was to use another substrate I wasn’t familiar with. I really wanted to learn more about our canvas substrate, so what better to make a project with it? First thing, I thought of sewing was a tote because I wouldn’t be afraid of cutting a lot of pieces, and it could also be simple enough for any beginner to make! I started this project on the first day of summer so I was inspired by the summery canvas print “Mexican Morning Dress” by Dana Willard to make the perfect tote for a beach day, or a trip to the farmer’s market.
I have to admit, I was a little intimidated on working with this canvas because I really did not want to mess up such a beauty of a print! I also wanted to use as much of it as I could without being wasteful. But to my surprise, working with this fabric was (dare I say) even easier than working with cotton! It was so soft but it has a sturdiness that made it easy to cut and sew on.
Oh, snap! Check me out, sewing away! With my sewing wizard, “Meli” by my side, she guided me through the entire process. A fun thing about this tote bag is that it’s totally customizable. I wanted to make it rectangular shaped, so it could be long enough to fit a rolled-up towel or some fresh baguettes! I cut out 16’’ by 21’’ rectangles and repeated that cut on the inner lining which I decided to use a cotton print by Dana called “Windmill Magenta” from her Blush collection.
Here are some close-ups while I was sewing that I thought would be nice to take note of. I sewed with a ½’’ seam allowance all around and made 2 ½‘’ boxed corners. I measured my straps and made sure to sew it on the bag several times, so it could be extra sturdy.
Before you knew it, I was done! My first tote ever and the first time sewing with some yummy, Art Gallery Fabrics canvas. I learned a lot of new skills while making this, like making the straps, boxed corners, and some topstitching action. But to go into more details:
- Make sure your pieces are even when cutting the rectangles because if not when you start sewing everything together, things will get wonky really fast.
- Once you cut the perfect rectangle, use that piece as your template.
- Using a thicker needle, normally used for denim helped a lot when sewing the thick parts of the straps together.
- When you’re sewing the lining to the bag, make sure you leave a big enough hole, so when you flip it inside out- the whole bag can fit through.
- Match your seams when sewing the boxed corners, you’ll be able to feel it with your fingers.
Lastly, don’t be afraid of sewing something new! I was timid going at this in the beginning, thinking it would be more difficult sewing with the substrate but it turned out to be the exact opposite. I am super excited to start using my tote, especially knowing that’ll last me forever and it's ready to do some heavy duty work. If you have any tips with this canvas or another project you would like to see me tackle with this substrate, let me know in the comments below!
Till next time,