The inspiration for this bag came from a very much used and well-worn canvas bag that my husband uses to store clothespins. I kid you not; when the weather is nice for clothes drying I’ll watch him from my office window with the old tote of clothespins hanging around his neck as he carefully hangs his clothes to dry. Every now and then I also hang clothes on the line so I grab the special tote from the laundry room and get to work. Well, needless to say, I recently took a moment to examine what was so special about this tote and then decided… we needed a new one 🙂 Or rather, I needed to get creative and make a canvas tote for myself!
Taking time to make something beautiful and useful is just so satisfying.
The fun thing about this bag, is of course the shamrock decoration, the handstitched border, and the knitted straps.
Get creative with what fabric you choose for the shamrock, or create your own applique design! For the bag material, canvas obviously works best, but I suppose other sturdier fabrics could work, like corduroy or denim.
How to make the Shamrock Tote
Finished Tote Dimensions
Laid flat – 14.5″ wide x 15″ tall (where straps start)
Skills – sewing (machine), basic knitting, hand stitching (blanket stitch)
I’ve added time markers if you want to jump to any part of the video tutorial.
Full disclaimer – I am not a professional video producer, this is my best at capturing the exact process of making this tote. Not bad for a Gramma! 😀
I think you’ll really enjoy this little project of a little sewing, hand-stitching, and knitting. Time well-spent. And lots of room for creativity too.
[Beginning of Video] Materials
- Shamrock Canvas Tote Pattern FREE PDF
- Canvas, corduroy, denim – any sturdy fabric. Consider upcycling something from your closet!
- Cotton quilting type of fabric for the shamrock – fat quarters from the fabric store, or again, something from your closet!
- Sewing machine – obviously
- Pinking Shears
- Basting Adhesive
- A chopstick or something to poke out the corners with
- Aunt Lydia’s Classic 10 Crochet thread
- Embroidery Needle
- Knitting Needles – size 6 US (4mm)
- Lily Sugar n Creme Cotton Yarn
[1:47] Prepare the pattern pieces.
Start by laying out the fabric for the bag, use the pattern to cut front (A), back, and inner panels (B).
Next cut 4 hearts (C) for the shamrock from another fabric.
[5:24] Placing hearts for shamrock with basting adhesive
Use the basting adhesive to stick the hearts on the front panel however you like. Then either hand stitch or machine-stitch the hearts in place.
[7:56] Sewing label to the inner lining
[9:26] Closeup of hearts and pieces ready for assembly
9:58 Assembling inner liner to outer pieces
11:36 Timelapse sewing inner lining to the outer piece
11:43 Trimming threads, and use pinking shearing to finish inside seam edges. Prevents fraying. Turn piece right side out, poke out corners, and press.
14:43 Sewing front and back pieces together. Double seam if desired.
15:29 Use pinking shears to finish inside seams. Turn right side out, poke out seams, and press.
17:03 Blanket stitch border
21:03 Knit the straps (Cast on 6, work garter stitch to the desired length. Tug as you go and measure. Mine is 24” long)
25:03 Bind off knitting
26:42 Attach straps to the tote