Christmas · I Made That! Monday · Sewing

“I Made That!” Monday – Christmas Tote

Everyone that knows me, knows I’m a sucker for a bit of the festive spirit. This last week at work I’ve discovered a dedicated Christmas station on the radio and have been treating my colleagues to an hour or so festive fun a day. I love it! (Jury is out on them.. ha!)

So when I leafed through my latest copy of Love Sewing and saw this easy-to-follow pattern for a pleated tote bag – well I just had a vision of a Christmas themed tote, perfect for carting around delivering all my gifts.

xmas tote 5.jpg
This magazine is my constant inspiration.

I went on the hunt for the perfect Christmas-bag-making-fabric and came up with this fun-but-not-over-the-top linen ish number, with cute snowmen, reindeer and Santa decorations.

I also opted for a red and while candy-cane stripe for the lining, because if you can’t go OTT with your lining, when can you?

xmas tote 8.jpg
What to do with the rest of this?!

While cutting the fabric for the straps I misread and cut a whole inch less width than was intended. When I realised I tried to salvage my strips by sewing them with a super duper tiny seam allowance, but all this lead to was me missing some of the linen in my seam, the edge of the fabric fraying and holes in my strap.

xmas tote 3.jpg

In the end I threw them away as a bad job and re-cut the fabric for the straps to the correct length. Lesson learnt – hacking by drastically shortening seam allowance = probably not a good idea.

Anyway, here’s the finished bag:

I spy in the background, an unfinished, abandoned dress. Oops. Must get back to that!

I’m so happy with it! The pleats came out great, I’ve never been too good with pleats so I was really happy with how they worked out here.

I love a bright lining fabric!


The candy-cane lining is fun and I love it, though I slightly regret the attempt at a candy cane on the inside pocket. At least if I decide it’s hideous, it’s only me that’ll have to see it!

xmas tote 6.jpg


Something else I would like to share with you all:


My topstitching. Look how much better it is compared to this mess. Or this mess. I know it’s not perfect but it’s definitely improving!




The one thing I’m not happy with is this little pucker here. You’d think I’d have learnt by now that the common trick of pressing flat and then closing up your turn-through hole with topstitching is not going to work for me, because my topstitching sucks. Then I’m left with flappy bits that get all puckered. I need to stop being lazy and slip-stitch the opening closed before I topstitch, that way there’s no holes to trip me up.

xmas tote 7.jpg
Pucker troubles.

Besides that, I’m so pleased with my newest festive addition. I can’t wait for December to get here so I can use it without receiving piles of scorn.

xmas tote 1.jpg
It’s bag-inning to look a lot like Christmas (!)

Speaking of Christmas makes, I’m getting all my things together for another series of The 12 Crafts of Christmas this year. I’m looking forward to it!

Hayley Margaret

Are you making anything Christmassy yet?




9 thoughts on ““I Made That!” Monday – Christmas Tote

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