Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Alee Moncy: Sew Your Own Collapsible Shopping Tote

Whether you’re looking for a colorful way to carry your farmers’ market haul, a sweet Mother’s Day gift, or a fun way to use that great new fabric you found, Storey Senior Publicist Alee Moncy says the Collapsible Shopping Tote from One-Yard Wonders is the perfect way to celebrate spring. A few Storey sewists even stitched some up in the office! Check out their handiwork and download the pattern and instructions to try it yourself. 

Spring is finally here, and after our long winter, I’m so looking forward to picking up fresh fruits and veggies on Saturday trips to our local farmers’ market. I love seeing what’s come into season each week, and knowing that it was all grown close to home. Plus, I love a reason to use my homemade tote bag, which a group of us here at Storey sewed together last spring when we discovered a fun new line of fabric called Locally Grown.

Locally Grown is designed by Marisa Anne of Creative Thursday. The prints include bees, sheep, chicks, chickens, strawberries, and cherry tomatoes, all of which seemed to embody what was on our mind as spring approached, and what many of our books at Storey are about. Our friends at Andover Fabrics generously sent us some samples of the fabric, and we got busy sewing up some projects from our book One-Yard Wonders.

People chose a variety of the projects from the book, like this ironing board cover sewn by Creative Director Alethea Morrison, appropriately staged here with her own model chick.

Many of us chose to sew the Collapsible Shopping Tote (designed by Shelley Crouch), which required just one yard of fabric, a package of ½” double-fold bias tape in a coordinating color, some thread, and a snap or piece of Velcro. We brought our sewing machines to work and set up in the conference room. As we worked, some of the more experienced sewists, like our publisher Deborah Balmuth, taught us how to make a French seam, along with some tricks for stitching the bias tape around the raw edges.

We had a blast checking out each other’s progress, and soon, we had a slew of completed bags. The tote is designed to fold up and tie closed in a small bundle so you can easily carry it with you and have it on hand when you need it.

Since then, I’ve actually made two more totes as gifts for Mother’s Day and a spring birthday. They’re quick to whip up once you get the hang of it. Download a PDF of the instructions and pattern so you can try it, too, and if you’re out and about with your tote at the farmers’ market or making one for Mother’s Day, tweet a photo to us (@StoreyPub)—we’d love to see!

And if you want more ideas for sewing projects that use only one yard of fabric, we have hundreds more in One-Yard Wonders, Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders, and, releasing in June, Little One-Yard Wonders!

Happy sewing!


Pattern and instructions excerpted from One-Yard Wonders © 2009 by Patricia Hoskins and Rebecca Yaker. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

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