Sew Busy: Embroidered Tote Bags

Sometimes when I start on a craft project, I have a hard time stopping. Pacing is not really my thing. A few weeks ago, Big Sis came down for a weekend and I dragged out a handful of embroidery ideas I’d found on Pinterest, along with a few fabrics to pair them to. Once we gathered the supplies to pull it all together, I became obsessed. Like nine bags in a week obsessed. Intervention, anyone?

Now I’m not crazy. There is a story behind my stitching. These lined shopping totes are intended for our annual Hoegarden Weekend, that magical time when the females in our family gather to shop, antique, play board games, cook, snack and break out the croquet mallets. Here’s a peek at what I’ve been up to, and who’s already claimed what.

The “How I Roll” Camper Bag
Camper Bag

Camper Bag close-up

Sister #3 has already laid claim to this one, sight unseen. She has a thing for campers and as soon as she heard it was in the works, she called dibs. I love the colors – so whimsical and fun.

The “Runs With Scissors” Bag
Runs With Scissors Bag

Runs With Scissors Bag Detail

I made this one with Mom in mind. As a life-long quilter and seamstress, it suits her to a T. She has spent a lifetime teaching the five of us every type of craft – from knitting to sewing to embroidery to, well you name it. Red is her color, and this fun bag will be perfect for transporting supplies back & forth to her Cozy Quilters meetings each Wednesday. Hope she likes it!

The “Make A Wish” Dandelion Bag
Dandelion Bag

Dandelion Bag close-up

This one is mine. I love the color & patterns in the print, but most of all I love the simplicity of it. I’m not letting this one go, no matter how hard they wish.

The “Nerdy Hooter” Tote
Owl Bag

Owl Close-Up

I didn’t name this one, my daughter did when she laid claim to this bag. She fell in love with this cute, sassy owl. The bag is lined in a cute owl print, as well. As a first grade teacher, her class will love it. And it’s large, which makes it perfect for bringing her work home each night.

The “Sleep Under the Stars” Bag
Camping Under the Stars Bag

Camping Under the Stars close-up

I made this one with our Baby Sister in mind. She’s always loved camping, and with her son in Boy Scouts, they get the chance to practice their camping skills often. I especially love the animal print. Check out their cute chevron tails! If The Baby wants this one, she’d better mark her territory quickly.

The “French Knot Flowers” Bag
French Knot Flowers Bag

French Knot Flowers Detail

So…many…knots! But I love how the flowers turned out. I like to think of them as firework flowers. As a button enthusiast, this one makes me happy. The bright colors of the bag and lining are so cheerful.

The “Bee Happy” Bag
Bee Happy Bag

Bee Happy Detail

Speaking of happy…this cute bee was one of the first bags I tackled. To make the wings stand out, I painted a thin layer of iridescent opal fabric paint before stitching on the details. Extra layers of thread on the bee body make it slightly 3-dimensional and the colorful floral print seemed a natural choice.

The “Don’t Bug Me” Bag
Chevron Bug Bag

Chevron Bug Bag close-up

Bees don’t have all the fun. This little chevron cutie is paired with a vine & flower print and was inspired by the tiny bugs in the print. The eyes are vintage gemstone buttons scored at an estate sale this summer. Too cute.

The “Let’s Get Swept Away” Bag
Swept Away Bag

Swept Away Close-Up

And last, but certainly not least, this adorable ‘swept away’ bag was made with my niece (K) in mind. Big Sis thought her baby would love it. There’s so much promise in the design, and so many opportunities in life to get swept up in. It’s not just a bag, it’s a motto. No pressure, K. You can choose another bag if it speaks to you (even though she’s blonde & adorable like you).

Swept Away Detail

I got totally swept up in this project, and I’m not quite done yet. Big Sis is working on her own embroidered front panel featuring a vintage bicycle, and once she’s done she’ll send it back so I can finish it to match the others. There are also plans to make small bags for our two littlest girls (both 5 years old). Four generations of crafty females in our family make me so proud to be a part of it.

What was the last craft project you got swept up in? -jeanne



Filed under Craft Projects, Family Stuff

24 responses to “Sew Busy: Embroidered Tote Bags

  1. Pat counts

    You are so darn creative! Those bags are precious. What a lucky family to have you. Pat

  2. Annette

    Do you have a pattern you could share?

  3. Cindy

    You are singly the MOST talented person I am blessed to call friend! Holy Cow NanaBread, you could sell those on Etsy!!! I know you won’t because that’s not why you do what you do but you NEVER cease to amaze me with all of your talents! Those are CRAZY CUTE!!!!

  4. These are sooooooo adorable!! Just precious. Every one of them. :)

  5. Claudia

    You ridiculously crafty woman, you! Needles and scissors in hand, you don your crafty cape and put us all to shame without so much as batting an eyelid. I love all designs, but the owl bag made me grin… there’s something in his gaze that says “yeah, dude, whatever”. Keep on crafting! Big hugs, C

    • CLAUDIA!
      Hello, friend! So nice to see your comment pop up! I’ve missed you. Hope all is well in Rotterdam. Loved your description of me crafting in a cape. I may have to stitch one up now with a large SC (Super Crafter) on it. The sassy owl bag is a lot of fun, which is why My Baby jumped on it. It’s almost large enough to classify as a carry-on. And yes, that’s a hint that you need to come visit. You had to know I’d throw one in. (: Hugs to you! -jeanne

  6. I just love these bags Jeanne. And as you might imagine, my favorite it the one with the little camper – adorable! One thing God didn’t give me was the gift to sew. I envy you…

    • Thanks so much, Eileen! I knew you’d like that camper bag. It’s very Pink Paradise-y. Speaking of, how’s your baby? Have you taken her on the road this summer? -j

      • It sure is Pink Paradise-y! No, we have not taken my baby on the road this summer. Between projects I’m trying to accomplish at home and a new job I’m not sure I know we even had a summer – ugg! Hope you’re doing well?

  7. Big Sis

    Well – you did get swept up – that was F-A-S-T!! The all turned out cute, cute, cute!!! You did good sis!

    • Thanks, Big Sis! Now you have to play “Let’s Make A Deal” and decide if you’re going to keep your bicycle or trade it for what’s behind Door #2. You also need to ask your wee one to settle on a bag. Let me know when you two decide! -j

  8. These are all adorable. My favorite is yours, the green with the dandelion type flower on it. The owl is great, too.

  9. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You. Are. Amazingly. Talented!! Holy cow, Girlfriend! When you get a crafty burr up your backside, there’s no stopping you. Love, love, LOVE all of the bags! Your Hoegarden Ladies are a lucky bunch.

  10. Jeanne, I came here for a nibble of something to eat, and what I got is an eyeful of whimsical joy. My waistline thanks you, my talented friend!

  11. Sandra Boettcher Dorris

    I found your blog today and I am in love with you. I mean, in that not romantic sort of way. Those bags are ADORABLE. I squealed when I saw the ladybug one. My kids thought I had clearly cracked.

    • Thanks, Sandra. What a great compliment! I love the chevron ladybug, too. So fun. I also made a snail bag, but didn’t post it because I can’t part with it. I may put up a mixed bag of random craft stuff soon so I can show off the snail, too. Thanks for reading the blog! -jeanne

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