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Back in 2017, I made this tote bag as a gift for my Girls Camp Youth Leaders. Of course I created one for myself as well! Since then it has stood the test of time as I have used it often to carry my hair supplies and other sundry things when I travel. It has proven to be useful and sturdy. So, today I'm reposting the tutorial just in case you've missed it. It is a great sewing craft for the Spring or Summer and if you have kids going off to camp, they will put it to good use!
I mentioned in this post that I am going to Girls Camp again this year as the Youth Camp Leader cabin mom. This year we are going for 5 days to a camp area that will be very primitive as far as using tents instead of cabins. (But, there will be showers and flush toilets! Thank Heavens!) It will be so much fun. I wanted to do something fun for my girls. Last year I made the girls I was over pillowcases. This year, because these girls have so much responsibility at camp and need to bring more little extra things, I thought some tote bags would be nice. I know that I could order some perfectly good totes from Oriental Trading or Dollar Tree, but, I saw in my brain what I wanted these totes to look like. The girls said that they liked black, a few wanted a little color and I had found some really good prices on fabric, so of course I had to come up with my own design. By the 5th bag, (or 2nd) I realized how crazy I was, but by then I was committed to the project. I needed to make 14 of them, because I couldn't leave out my cabin mom partner and myself! I have to confess that they are so cute! They would make great gifts for any occasion besides camp and if you only have to make one or a couple, you can totally whip one tote out in about an hour and a half. I got even faster as time went on. Here is the tutorial:
Here is some of the fabric I used. I wanted a little color and cute contrast with the lining. Yes, I did lining. I felt like it would hide any raw edges and make the whole bag sturdier. I used a heavier duck type decorator fabric on the outside, and a lighter cotton on the inside. For my bag, the body measures 15"x 17". 2 pieces of each fabric.
You can really make this bag any size that you want. Just remember to make the lining pieces the same size as the outer pieces. The bottom of the bag needs to be the same width as the bag pieces. The strap needs to be 1 and 1/2 times the length of the bag. The casing needs to equal the diameter of the bag.
I wanted to make this a one strap tote so the girls can easily sling it over one shoulder as they are on the go around camp.
Begin sewing the outer bag in the following way:
Next, prepare the casing and apply in the following manner:
Once you sew the casing on, sew up the side seam. Now you are ready to attach the strap.
Find the center of the bag and attach the unfinished end of the strap to the top of the bag and sew securely. Pin the finished end of the strap at the base of the bag just above the seam where the bottom is attached. Slip the bag onto the sewing machine so as not to catch the other side, and securely sew on the strap. I usually sewed it and back sewed it across in 2 spots about 1/2 inch apart.
Now the outside is finished and you simply have to make the lining.
For a sturdy drawstring that would not slip back through the casing, I used para-cord and beads.
You have to find beads with a big enough hole for the para-cord to slip through. I added the colored beads above the wooden ones for just a little accent.
Here are a few additional tips:
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!