Indigo Dyed Workshop Tote Bag

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Happy Tuesday! Today I have a new bag project to share using my Workshop Tote Pattern.

I didn't make a lot of handmade gifts for the holidays this year (just lots of drawstring bags!), but I did make this tote bag for my brother's partner! We picked the fabric together and decided on this piece of cotton canvas that I indigo dyed. It was nice to finally cut into it and let it live its life as a functional object! This particular one I dyed here in CT and the fabric was accordion folded before being clamped. I love how you can see the clamp detail on the two ends of the fabric. I want to recreate something similar to this next time I do some dyeing!

It feels like this fabric was meant to be a bag! It's nice that it can really shine in a project like this. It's just cut into two pieces, so you still get to appreciate all the interesting shapes and details of the hand dyeing.

I didn't have a ton of yardage of this particular piece, so I just used it for the front and the back of the tote bag. For the sides and bottom I used some undyed bits of the same base cloth. It's a utility fabric that I bought from JoAnn's years ago. I really like it, I should see if I can find more!

I am actually running pretty low on indigo dyed fabrics! I've made four quilts with just indigo, which has used up a lot! You can see three of those quilts in the posts below, I still need to share one. I didn't really have a big enough piece for the lining, but I still wanted to use something indigo. So I cut into one of my drop cloths for the lining of this bag! I have a few sets of thrifted white sheets that I use as drop cloths when I dye and paint, thinking one day they'd be fun to use in some projects. Well the time finally came! For the handles I used some 1" cotton webbing.

Quilts I've made with Indigo Dyed Fabrics:
Indigo Courthouse Steps Quilt (and tutorial!)
Indigo Picnic Quilt
Indigo Patchwork Quilt

It felt good to use up a piece of my hand dyed stash, I don't always reach for the canvas ones when I'm pulling fabrics for projects. I also like the way the finished bag turned out with the contrasted sides and bottom. Sometimes not having enough fabric leads to good places! A good reminder (for myself!) to make things work with what you have.

Pattern: The Workshop Tote Pattern
Fabrics: Indigo dyed cotton canvas and thrifted bedsheet
Notions: 1" cotton webbing

I have a sew along for this pattern, which you can find here: The Workshop Tote Sew Along

Happy Sewing!

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