Thursday, May 11, 2017

Collapsible Tote in Grey and White



It is sooooooo good to be making again!

Here is my latest project:

It is a tote.

For which I cut up my precious grey Orla Kiely stem fabric.

I've wanted to make this tote since I saw something similar in a hardware store earlier in the year. I sat on it, as I do with all my projects, and not only because the kitchen/house was a beast that had dominion over our lives till just recently. It was the fabric, see. It took some visualizing and strategic piecing, particularly with the large repeat print, and I wanted to put it off until I felt my brain could reliably handle the fabric layout with minimal wastage. You know how that is, right? Limited yardage, but the motif has to be dead-center and completely symmetrical and . . . well. Let's just say that you'd want all your wits about you when you tackle something like that.

Finished it at last, though. Very happy. Just in time for summer, too, when I can load it up with swimming things and head to the pool.

Let me walk you through it.

First, it's roomy. Like half-a-yard-long roomy. I put 8 bath towels in it without overflow.

See.

The inside is ripstop nylon so that it's lightweight and wipe-clean.

And it has pockets. 

Here's one - a zippered pouch for keys and money and such.

The other pocket is divided,

for phones and tall sticky-out-things like pens and grocery pads.

See.

And there is a wire frame in there, that locks in place to hold the bag standing up by itself,

and its mouth open so you can get stuff easily from inside.

But then the sides unlock and fold,

and the whole tote goes flat.

and is held in place with an elastic strap connected to the base.

Well of course I had to make more than one. 

All those totes, folded down to this:

Perfect for stowing in the trunk of the car, for when you make trips to farmer's markets and Costco.

Here's a shot of the base: blue ripstop nylon for a pop of color. The base has a rigid insert (some kind of particleboard) so it's really sturdy. And there are plastic feet to keep the ripstop nylon from contact with the ground. You can also see the elastic strap emerging from the short sides - when the tote is in use, the strap remains along the base, pulled taut between the plastic feet. When it's collapsed, that strap wraps around the top of the tote, as shown.

There's no particular reason for why I made these - sometimes it's just to see if I can make something (in this case, apparently, yes). I really only want to keep one tote, so I'm putting the remaining two in the shop for you to buy if you'd like to. The tote measures 19" x 12" x 13" (L X W X H) at the top, and you can find more detailed dimensions (base, pockets, etc.) in the item description in the listing.




21 comments:

  1. Lovely! I have a couple of these from Costco about a year ago and I LOVE them.... you might regret selling :). Where did you get the hardware for the sides?

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  2. What great-looking, useful totes! I have to admit, when I got to the photo of three, I literally laughed out loud. But of course... why make just one?! LOL 💕

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  3. That is the perfect shopping bag! Will you please consider making a pattern/supply list available to purchase?

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  4. These look great, and I can think of so many other uses. I agree with Ruthy, please tell us about the hardware. Thank you for the inspiration.

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  5. I would love to see the wire skeleton inside. Beautiful use of this fabric!

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  6. I would love a ruff tutorial. Mostly hardware and basics sizes. I can figure the rest out!

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  7. I need to see the innards too. Off to research large metal frame thingies.

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  8. Hi Lier,
    It's fantastic (as usual)!! Just so you know, you forgot to link to the shop in the post. I had to Google it to find the listing.

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    1. The Dreamer: thank you so much for letting me know. If not for your comment, there still wouldn't be a link. Duh. I've added it now.

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    2. You are most welcome! And the shout out on the blog today - makes me feel like a celebrity :)). Love from India, Shireen

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  9. Lovely bag. I was wondering too where you sourced the frame for the tote.

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  10. Lovely bag, Great idea. I was wondering too where you sourced the frame for the bag.

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  11. LiEr, this is stunning. The perfect project for that gorgeous fabric.

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  12. So perfect! I'm also interested in the hardware (and pattern?).

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  13. Please consider selling the pattern ! Love this idea for our beach house!






















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  14. Another vote here for more details on the inside structure! These bags look amazing!

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  15. Ugh! Sold out already. I'm barely busting out my sewing machine for the projects I have the materials & skills for! *cries* I want one... *knows she is a whiny baby who just needs to woman up*

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  16. I'm with everyone else! You make such beautiful things and inspire us to want to do the same. Please share where to get the frames and maybe, after all the things you've taught us, we might be able to figure out how to make these!!!! And as always, thanks for sharing your knowledge ;)

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  17. Wonderful bags! I would love to make some for our RV as space is so limited in there. I researched collapsible basket/bag frames and came up with nothing. Can you please share your source for these? It would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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  18. I found online a link where someone made a similar bag using u-shaped sign frames: http://jillcataldo.com/how_to_make_a_large_utility_tote/

    Might be worth trying.

    --elizabeth baker

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    1. Elizabeth, thank you for the link! It's a great idea. Never thought to use sign supports! Excellent.

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