Monday, January 30, 2012

Check the Main Lobby, Bag 'n Baggage Department for Bible Tote Bags

My first order!   From my BFF Chrissy -- she needs a tote bag to carry her HUGE new Bible in!   I have one just like it so am able to give you a peak at it's size!   Price we both are paying for getting older!

Obviously the first step for me was to find a tote bag tutorial that I could fall in love with!   Done and done!  Check out this tutorial for a Squatty Tote Bag from The Crafty CPA.   I love the "squattiness" of the bag and thought it would work out perfect for this project!   Boy was I RIGHT!!!!   When you finish reading here, check out Megan's blog -- I'm having a blast looking at all the wonderful projects / ideas!   She's doing some awesome things with polymer clay!  

Back to the tote bag -- Fashion Coordinator Daughter and I picked these fabrics out of my stash -- the leopard print is every where these days so that was a must.   Wanted a cream fabric for the outside so we could embellish with paint but, at first glance didn't have anything that would fit the bill.   Brain storm!   Why not use the cream colored 1/2 yard of pinwale corduroy for it and just turn the fabric inside out?   Yippee!!!

Tutorial -- check!   Fabrics -- check!   Embellishment ideas?   Beth searched Pinterest for a "slogan" that would fit Chrissy perfectly!   No problem -- "embrace messy hair."   That was so easy as it has Chrissy's personality all over it!    Next step was to grab the Cricut machine and cut out the stencils.

Went to work with my bottle of black craft paint and my small stencil brush.

Be prepared to be very scared!   
This picture is NASTY but wanted to show you finished product.  Don't you just LOVE
 the beads that Daughter found in the stash to put on here and there?
She really is underpaid here at 33rd and Broadway! 

On to the sewing part!   Following the tutorial was a breeze!  I used her measurements exactly when cutting out the pieces.  Bought the hardware she suggested for the handles too.   I opted out of the piping this time -- would definitely suggest using it on another bag though.  Megan had instructions within her tutorial for making your own piping and they looked equally fantastic and easy to follow.  

I did deviate from the tutorial in a couple areas -- I put some pockets on the inside as I know Chrissy doesn't usually carry her purse with her to church and Bible Study.   I loosely followed the instructions from this tutorial found at Hooked on Needles blog.  I don't think I can explain my thought process clearly but will give it a shot.  Using the pattern for one of the lining "walls" I cut it down 4 inches SHORTER and made another two wall pieces.   Sewing those two pieces together at the top -- right sides together -- I turned it wrong sides together and pressed at the top.  This obviously was done to cover up the raw edges and to "line" the pockets themselves.  Pinned the pocket pieces to the wall piece along the bottom edges, and then decided where I wanted my pockets to go.  I choose two SLIM pockets in the middle for pens as I know Chrissy NEVER has a pen with her -- and then two larger outside pockets for her mints, keys and cell phone.

The other step that I added was putting purse magnets on either end of the tote bag up at the top.   The fabric wasn't all that stiff and I wanted to give a little bit of structure to the bag itself.   Hind sight, I would probably have used an iron-on interfacing -- medium to heavy -- to give it more stability, along with the magnets.

The rest of the bag construction was simple.  Here is a picture of the finished product.  
I just love it -- there's plenty of room for Chrissy's Bible to lay flat on the bottom, and the pockets will provide room for her mints, pens, keys and cell phone.    I know for a fact that this tutorial will be one I come back to time and time again!

Let me quickly say a couple things about Chrissy.  She has an amazing website here and her facebook page is here.   Both of these sites are devoted to an amazing book she has written 
"When I Fall Please Grab My Hand."  
It's a devotional book that is out of this world.  I have a autographed copy of it that sits right on my night stand next to my Bible.  I guarantee that the Lord will speak to you through the daily observations Chrissy makes while just living life.   It's down to earth and easy to read.  Knowing Chrissy for all these years, I can testify of her strong love for Jesus, and for people!   But don't take my word for it -- stroll through her website and facebook page and see for yourself!  

Okay!  Just phoned from the Customer Service Desk 
here to check on status.  The shipping room needs to put a mailing label on the "squatty Bible tote bag" box, then it's on it's way to sunny Florida!   Check it out -- who doesn't want to go to church in style!  


  1. The bag turned out really cute--I love the beads and stencil. I visited the Crafty CPA and you are right, it is a great site! Also, I used one of Chrissy's devotionals tonight at a meeting. Great post!

  2. Thanks! I was pleased with the outcome though can always find ways to change it next time. I must say I enjoy the most having someone else making fabric choices and embellishment decisions for me! After that the sewing part is simple! :)