Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tote Bag Troubles

Frumpy tote bag:  Dixie's not impressed
A LQS offered free tote bags and I quickly signed up eager to learn new tote bag patterns/techniques.  I was looking for a larger bag to organize equipment/supplies for dog training classes:  extra leashes/leads, marking tools, treats, toys, etc, and one of the tote bag patterns offered was marketed as "big and easy"...perfect!  I visited 5 (yes 5) LQS in search of cute dog fabrics--and was surprised at how very few dog fabrics are out right now.  But I finally found some cute fabrics featuring many colorful dogs, dog bones and paw prints and was ready for class!

Early into class, I realized I didn't have much of a chance to actually finish the tote bag during the allotted class time...but tried to make as much progress as possible.  I met up with the instructor to have her walk me through the assembly process so I could finish the bag once at home...and I did with a few modifications of my own.  However, I was really disappointed at the finished product which was rather frumpy:  it did not hold its shape even when empty and practically caved in on itself once filled with all my training tools.

Scrappy midi bag

My "if its free, its for me" philosophy was seriously challenged and the bag served as a painful reminder of my frustrating class experience and wasting some really precious dog fabrics.  I tucked it away and moved onto another QuiltSmart Midi Bag...just to build some tote bag confidence.  This bag was made for Doug's mother, and he helped pick out the fabrics and even laid out the blocks onto the grid!  I put it all together at a small quilt group and all the ladies loved the finished project.  This cute little bag is capable of supporting itself and all its goodies. 
Rebuilt Tote Bag
Yet despite this success, that pathetic little dog training tote bag haunted me.  I woke up this morning resolved to do right by these fabrics...and went to work ripping out all the stitching, adding some much needed fusible fleece for internal support and reconstructed it all.  All this extra work was well worth the effort.  The bag looks way better, stands up and doesn't cave in once filled. 

Panda, Dixie and Skippy give their new training bag 12 paws up!

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