I was so happy with the results of my one hour basket, I decided to make a tote for my neice. She just graduated from JMU with a Bachelor's degree and is now pursuing her Master's, as she prepares for a teaching career. Originally, I had made the hour basket thinking I would give that to her, but decided to make something more versatile for her gift. I read that a teacher can never have too many totes, and she is still in college, so I decided on a tote for her. Here's the thing, I learn by doing and often change horses in mid-stream. So, while I was in the middle of making the tote using the Egg Finding Bag tutorial from sewcanshe.com, I thought I bet I can make this reversible and twice as useful! I then referred to another tutorial from Skiptomylou.org, "How to make a simple (reversible) tote bag".
I wanted the bag to be sturdy, so I used canvas for one side and quilting fabric for the other. Originally, I was going to try to do something using JMU colors, but just couldn't find coordinating purple and gold that I liked. So, I used the same canvas that I used for the outside of the hour basket and found a nice blue and white medallion print in my stash to coordinate for the other side. Again, thinking canvas would be sturdier, I opted to use the canvas for the handles. I also made an "S" template and appliqued one on each side of the tote.
I wasn't quite happy with the way the handles turned out. After finishing, I went back and fabric glued the edges of the handles, then zig-zagged stitched the ends to correct fraying issues. The tote finished at 16" x 16".
On this project, I learned that if the directions aren't quite clear to sew a sample with extra fabric to make sure the process is going to work.