I’ve been looking at the larger pieces of my fabric stash for inspiration. There are a few yards of different batiks that I bought this summer at a going out of business sale. I never had anything in mind for them, I just liked touching them at the time and the fact that they were on sale. Many people do this with clothes and shoes, but sale fabric and kids’ books are my Achilles’ heel.
I’ve been holding onto this tutorial from The Long Thread since the fall and finally put a pleated tote together this week using one of the batik yardages. I recommend the tutorial. I used the end product as the gift bag for a 9 year old’s birthday gift. It came together easily. I don’t have any fusible fleece in my stash (or haven’t uncovered it yet). I used a double layer of Craft Fuse, but one layer would have been fine. I used the same fabric as the outer fabric and lining.
It’s a good size tote – bigger than most online tutorials – which makes the bag very functional and not just a fun quick project to use up fabric. The design is simple, yet the pleats and shape make it a little more fashionable than a straight lined tote. It’s a fine free .pdf tutorial, but likely easier to follow if you have some sewing experience, or have made lines bags before. I only changed it by adding a slip stitch in a few places to hold the lining in place when it was done. It would be easy to convert into a nice purse with interior pockets, a magnetic snap or zipper at the top, and maybe changing the straps a little depending on your preferences. This end product will likely have a life as library bag, dance bag, snow pants carrier or American Girl transporter.