Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Turn your stitching into a tote!

Here's a family secret...I didn't get my craftiness from my mom! In fact, I always thought the crafty gene skipped a generation in our family. But after I started Satsuma Street, my mom decided she would give counted cross stitch a try, just to see what I was up to. And if you're a stitcher, you won't be surprised to hear that she quickly got addicted!

After she finished the Garden Cat design, she told me that what she wanted for Christmas was for me to turn her stitching into a craft tote that she could use for her growing collection of floss and projects. She loved her gift, and I was pretty proud of it too! So I thought I'd share a few tips for how I did it.

First off, I used this tutorial from Better Homes & Gardens as a starting point. I adapted the dimensions and pockets to suit my needs, for instance instead of a pocket in the center, I put the panel of stitching. If you want a really simple tote design, I like this one from Purl Soho. The body of the bag is made from a heavy canvas "duck" cotton.

Since a craft bag used for cross stitch won't be filled with anything too heavy, I decided to use a fun woven trim for the straps rather than making straps out of fabric. It's made from jute and cotton, so it's pretty strong, but if you were using the bag for books or groceries, I'd recommend making sewn straps (which you could decorate with trim).

If you're going to put a piece of stitching on a bag, it will need to stand up to heavy use, so I recommend using a strong fusible interfacing on the back. That will make your fabric much stiffer and will help prevent stitches from being pulled out.

I always love seeing how other stitchers use my designs, so please share your photos with me on Instagram (I'm @craftnik) or on the Facebook page!

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