We are well beyond the diaper bag phase, but I still like to have a tote with me when we are walking around the city. My purses are either too small or uncomfortable to carry for very long, so I starting dreaming up a new tote.
I wanted something simple and fun, but most importantly I wanted a tote that was *mine*! I needed a bag that I could use when I’m out with the family, and also a bag that I could toss my stuff into as I head out to meet my running partner.
After a little bit of window shopping at my favorite (overpriced) stores and some careful investigation of the totes on display at the local quilt shops, I came up with this:
It’s a simple tote, 12″ tall, 15″ wide and 5″ deep. I used a laminate for the interior, the bottom of the bag, and the exterior pocket (all fabric is Echino). It was tough to decide how to use the laminate: to protect the bag exterior from dirt and the elements, or to protect the interior for my sweaty running clothes. Protection from sweaty clothes ultimately won out, and I was able to cut carefully so that I had enough laminate for the exterior bag bottom as well!
The exterior pocket is 7.5″ tall by 11″ wide, divided into 2 compartments.
Inside the bag I added a zippered pocket and a tab closure with a magnetic snap.
The straps are just shy of 30″ long. I made the straps by covering some 1″ webbing with Echino. I was hoping to have enough laminate for the straps, which wasn’t the case. I think the fabric straps will still hold up well, though.
I added my label to one side of the tote.
I toyed with the idea of using a binding to finish off the top edge of this tote. I think it would have made the bag look more polished, but I worried about how to neatly finish the bag straps. It’s much easier to cleanly tuck the straps into the top seam and add some topstitching for durability!
I’ve used this bag for a trip downtown on the bus and several running “dates” now. It seems to fit my needs really well!