Refashion Runway Challenge 3: Tote, purse, or clutch

For Week 3’s challenge in the #RefashionRunway3, we were asked to make a Tote, purse, or clutch.

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This proved to be especially challenging for me as I typically just use fabric laying around for this kind of thing. I’ve never actually made a purse from an item of clothing… But when I saw this suit hanging in my dad’s office, I took a chance 🙂

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My dad actually donated this suit to my sexy Hubs, but it didn’t fit him right so I didn’t feel too bad about cutting this up for a new Fall tote (it’ll be here before we know it, folks).

Little dissection...
Little dissection…

I’m the kind of gal who doesn’t just need a purse or tote; I need a Mary Poppins bag! I carry EVERYTHING in my purse, so I need all the pockets I can get. As such, I was very strategic with how I cut these pieces.

Front panel of new tote.
Front panel of new tote.

See how I did that? Nothing too difficult when you have the right tools.

Side panel.. my phone fits perfectly :)
Side panel.. my phone fits perfectly 🙂

And so on an so forth until all the panels of my tote are cut:

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After factoring in seam allowances, the final dimensions will be: 12″ X 12″ X 5″

I found some old maroon handles from a purse I wore to death. I always save any type of scrap/zipper/button that can be salvaged for a future project: I never throw refashioning items away!

Before I began constructing this into my new tote, I wanted to add applique to the front panel… just to give it a little pop of color & pizzazz.

I narrowed it down to these 2 Fall-ish scraps...
I narrowed it down to these 2 Fall-ish scraps…

I decided that the funky print went better with the handles than the red tweed.

Cut it , pin it...
Cut it , iron on some stabilizer to help it adhere better, pin it…

Then, applique it 🙂

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Close up of a true “Applique” stitch. (You can use a zig zag stitch too).

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Use a lint brush to get those fray threads that sometimes happen on the edge…

I made sure to avoid the lining while I appliqued it

The original suit lining is going to be my tote lining... I didn't want the applique stitching to show through.
The original suit lining is going to be my tote lining… I didn’t want the applique stitching to show through the suit lining.

Now, I can assemble it together.

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With left over scraps from my applique fabric, I made the tabs that would hold all the handles in place.

Fold, iron, pin...sew it down.
Fold, iron, pin…sew it down that middle seam with a multiple zig zag stitch.

Next, I cut that into smaller pieces and sewed it to the hardware.

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A zipper foot came in handy for the tight sewing space…

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Sew to the inside of the tote.

This was pretty labor intensive; I’m not gonna lie… but the final product came out nicely 🙂

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The long shoulder strap is nice!
The shorter handles make for a more snug fit.
The shorter handles make for a more snug fit.

Close up

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Applique personalizes it :)
Applique personalizes it… I really like applique, y’all.
Back pocket
Back pocket
Side pocket for phone is a MUST
Side pocket for phone is a MUST
Other side panel used to be suit sleeve.
Other side panel used to be suit sleeve.

When Fall comes around… I’ll be ready with my new tote bag 🙂

The best part of all: It cost me nothing

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It pairs nicely with my Vera Wang Adjustment top 🙂

To vote for my Suit Tote or the other gals’ refashions for Week 3, click here 🙂

2 thoughts on “Refashion Runway Challenge 3: Tote, purse, or clutch

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