Friday, May 22

Totes for Terrific Teachers

Not on the list, but they’re something I wanted to make because my middle kid has spent the year with two wonderful preschool teachers, both of whom my older child had as well, neither of whom received anything from me over the years (while other mothers piled on the gifts: at Christmas, end-of-year, some even on Valentine’s day too)...


So I decided I’d make totes for them this year, but hadn’t yet found my exact vision. That same day, I dropped by ikatbag. Lo and behold, she’d made totes for her child’s preschool teachers  and gave me just the inspiration I needed. Thanks, Lorraine! Like hers, these are reversible.


Here are a few more close-up photos, partly for you readers who like details but also so I can remember what I did for next time. I should probably jot down some notes too – dimensions, techniques, etc – while they’re all fresh in my mind...


P.S. In the interest of time, I didn’t take photos while I was working, which means I didn’t take photos of all my mess-ups before ripping them out and trying again.

But there were plenty of those. Crooked seams. Puckers. Fabric sewed on wrong side out. A tangle o’ thread on the underside of my fabric where the nice smooth beginning of my seam should have been.

Just in case you were beginning to think this stuff is effortless.

The pictures just might make it look that way, but no, there’s lots of seam-ripping effort involved! : )


  1. You mean I'm not alone?! I thought I was the only one with a monogrammed seam-ripper!

  2. K, they turned out great! Especially like the blue one, but I'm partial to that end of the spectrum anyway. S's teachers are going to love them! We ALL rip seams. Some of us angrily and with swearing, while others (who are they? Let's excommunicate them from Sewers Anonymous) gently and painstakingly. I have several seam rippers (we called them unpickers back home) like I have several pairs of shoes.

  3. These look fantastic! I haven't dared try a tote yet, they intimidate me for some reason.

    I don't think I've ever sewing anything without ripping out at least one seam...

  4. Monogrammed - cute! Like a letter opener, just more aggravating!

    L - now why didn't I think of owning more than one?!? Esp. because the cover of mine is clear and doesn't fit on the other end when not in use. Ask me how many times I've lost that cover. About the same number as bibs you're currently working on!

    MaryAnne - you MUST make a tote. Start with a simple one. They are so useful!! They have almost as many uses as LiEr has bibs. (Can you tell I just read her newest post?) Hmmm, I've been thinking about making myself a new bookmobile/library bag. If I do, I'll be sure to post -- it's SUCH an easy bag to do!

  5. I love large tote bags! These are adorable. LL Bean makes monogrammed bags and I've always wanted to buy one. You are a very talented woman, K!

  6. Just looked up LLBean's totes, Jenny. It's always nice to see how other people make things. I've been thinking about adding a tougher bottom material to my bags and see that they do that too... Did you say you DO have a sewing machine?



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