A DIY Poolside Tote? Why Thank You Very Much!

Once again I teamed up with Sewmamasew.com for the Manchester Metallics Summer Bag Challenge. This a new Robert Kaufman collection. It's super glittery, and comes in a variety of hues. The fabrics that I chose for my Poolside Tote bag were as follows:


  • Exterior fabric - EVENING from Manchester Metallic Collection

  • Exterior fabric Denim weave- DARK WASH from Indigo Denim 

  • Exterior fabric Denim weave- LIGHT  WASH from Indigo Denim

  • Exterior fabric Denim weave- BLEACH WASH from Indigo Denim

  • Lining- RED by Bouffants and Broken Hearts

  • Accent fabric (Handles,) EARTH from Metro Living 


Although the Manchester Metallics is a fabulous collection it would not be my first choice for making a tote bag.  [You absolutely could apply a thick backing to make it sturdy for a tote] But I'd be all over this fabric for quilting or making a garment but it does not have the necessary weight on it's own for a tote.

I was excited for this challenge because this was my first tote. I choose the Poolside Tote by Noodlehead patterns. This is a nice big tote that can handle a load of stuff. I wanted to add a little something , something to the tote to put my stamp on it. 

Last year I competed in a little sewing competition which I won...[pats own back]... I used trash-bags to create a dress for the unconventional challenge. We were not allowed to use fabric in this challenge. Now the trick was for me to create fabric textures with the trash bags. When I was done weaving it really looked like leather and I was ecstatic over the transformation done by weaving. [You can see that full story HERE] So I decided I would weave raw edge denim fabrics together to make a large piece of fabric for my main pattern piece. Let me show you how I did that first. 

My denim pieces

 I used my grid mat and rotary cutter for this project. I folded my fabric in half two times [four layers] and then I squared of my pieces.

 I cut as many one inch strips as I could in each color.

 All done with the strips now time to weave.

 You will need to secure your pieces down for weaving. I taped down my dark strips across the top on my grid mat with a heavy duty tape. It has to hold your denim while your weaving and tugging it. [ The imperfections below lend a quality to the denim.......what that really means is that I got a little crazy with my rotary cutter but it's all good!]

 Now just start weaving.One row starts on the top of the dark strip the next row starts on the bottom of the dark strip and keep alternating. You will also be alternating the colors of the strips you are weaving. I did four at a time taping them at the sides once I stretched them taught. 

Now to squeeze the rows together I took the strips that were under and pulled them towards the top, You will notice that my rows are looser as you go down, that's because I was running out of denim. But I think it looks cool this way.You will need at least a 1/2 yard of each color to make it tight all the way down and if you want to weave fabric for the front and back of the tote you will need a yard of each color. 

When you're done weaving make sure you have framed your fabric with tape. Now stitch all the way around your fabric to hold it in place. You don't want to waste all that work you just did. Add your fusible woven interfacing to the back. Now you're ready to trace your pattern and cut it out.

 I didn't have enough of my woven fabric but if it had been about 5 inches bigger all the way around, I would have washed and put in the dryer. I think this would have made the raw edges look more fabulous then they already did.

I hope you enjoyed my poolside tote in all it's glory!

That Black Chic

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2 of 15 comments
  • Vimarhonor
    Vimarhonor
    An hour ago

    Bravo. Delightful design. Need to see you on project runway.

  • KayeMcA
    KayeMcA
    57 minutes ago

    Love this tote! I’ve got a few pairs of jeans in search of a project! Thanks!

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