Pleated Tote (level: intermediate)

The Long Thread’s pleated tote is one of my favourite bag patterns –  a few changes from a basic tote bag pattern create a big impact.  I do mostly hand-sewing, and can finish one of these in a few hours, so with a machine, it would be even quicker. It can be made without the fusible fleece, for a more boho floppy look.

These make fab Christmas presents – make one, and then fill it up with little goodies, like warm socks, books, biscuits, chocolates, a bottle of something, a gift card, or some lush soaps!

Below are several variations I’ve made on the basic pattern.

I added a little ribbon to this one – just tacked it in place. I LOVE the combination of the green rose pattern and the Chinoiserie handle and border. This was a Christmas present to my sister.
This was a present to a friend – to give it that extra-slouchy beach bag look, I curved the top border. I also divided the main body in two – don’t forget to calculate for added seam allowances if you do this.
By keeping the design to a simple blue/grey palette, with bright accents, I got a bag with six different fabrics to look fairly harmonious. I try to keep the 70/20/10 rule in mind with sewing as well as decorating – 70% of the project in one colour, 20% in a complementary colour, and 10% in an accent.

I want to make another soon with some big buttons or a rosette or something!


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