Curtain turned tote bag | How About Orange

February 25, 2010

Curtain turned tote bag

At a moving sale recently, I picked up an old curtain with a few holes. Yesterday I sewed it into a little tote, just the right size for taking a novel or two to the coffee shop. The fabric is pretty heavy, so I didn't line it; just used French seams to hide the raw edges, which works beautifully. And I like to think it gives the bag a certain cosmopolitan air, because "French seams" sounds so fancy and sophisticated. For an excellent tutorial on making a simple, unlined tote bag, click here. I sure wish I could see the original room that had blue peacock drapes.

Update: Just in from the woman who sold me the curtain: It originally belonged to her mother-in-law, a decorating genius named Ozie Lee. These panels hung in a living room with a plum couch, light blue walls and a bright green rug. Sounds rather wonderful to me.

42 comments:

Shana said...

very pretty!! i think it probably looks much better as a bag!

Erin said...

Okay, the tote bag is awesome, BUT THOSE curtains would be gracing my massive south facing window right NOW! They are amazing. I can't believe such a phenomenal thing existed . . . I'm totally envious (and a little sad) that you found them. :( I want.

Funky Kim said...

If I had made that bag I would refer to it as the Scarlett O'Hara bag, since it's beautiful and made with old curtains! LOL

Grace said...

Nice fabric!
Thanks for the link to the french seams - I make tons of totes and just use pinking shears for the inside edge/seam. The french seams sound like they would look much more finished.

Grandma G said...

Beautiful! What did you do with the holes... cut them out?

Jingle said...

That looks great! The fabric is so cool! Love that!

Jess said...

Mum, ha. Yeah, they bothered me so I cut them out. To my dismay, they got bigger.

Helby said...

That's a great idea! But I think my boyfriend would have a conniption if I made another bag :o)

Lori said...

What a cute bag...it reminds me of Sound of Music and all the clothes that were made from curtains.

Kimmie @ live fancy. said...

Love it.

Nina said...

awesome! :)

sewfunky said...

Simply LOVE that fabric! :)

Becky said...

I was thinking Sound of Music bag too!

That peacock fabric is fab!

tractorgirl said...

WOW that fabric is totally fabulous, have you got more? It is begging to be made into cushions

Bek said...

ohhhh, I love it! Now if only I could find the gumption to not only find a cool remnant, but also sew it into a bag...

Margarida Godinho said...

Beautiful!
It´s true! When you say that had use French Seams it sounds sophisticated!!!

The Curious Pug said...

what a lovely little bag! I also wanted to say how much i love your blog :) very fun and lots of good info :)

Valerie said...

Beautiful Bag!

hi-d said...

Nice fabric. Your blog is so cool! Thanks for sharing the link to the tutorial!

Susie said...

Hm, it seems to me just the other day Jess was saying "I'm not much of a sewer... mostly it makes me pull my hair out." And now French seams? "Here's something I just whipped up from some found fabric?!?" Whoa, dude, you're blowing my mind! Totally tubular!

Sophie said...

The bag's colour is a bit too colourful for me. If I may, the pocket of the pocket would be some other colour.
Thanks for sharing. ^-^

Phillipa@everydaywoman.com.au said...

Thanks for the inspiration Jessica. Can't wait to get started on my tote over the weekend. Been looking for a reason to get some new curtains anyway. Double bonus!
Great blog.
Phillipa x

Anonymous said...

Love the fabric!
Emily

a pina colada said...

I seriously love this! What a great bag.

suzie said...

This is exactly what I've been looking for; something to lug my cameras around in. I never go out without at least one of them and what with lenses etc.......
off to check out the tutorial, many thanks ;-)

Multiductus said...

Oh, I love crafty post! Thank you ;)

I bag you said...

Your bag is very nice! I love making bags too. Have you ever checked the www.morsbags.com web site? I think it's a fantastic project.

Barefoot Books Liz said...

Lovely fabric! Thanks for posting the How To link!

Madhavi said...

That's very nice bag.And the fabric is a popular fabric from India called kalamkari which means block prints made with vegetable dyes on .you can easily find these fabrics in any Indian fabric shops .FabIndia is one such store to buy online.

reSPACEd said...

What a great way of recycling old fabric instead of sending it to a landfill! Just think of all the other kinds of fabrics you might find to repurpose as a bag -- table linens, towels, baby blankets, etc!

Just call me Su-sieee! Mac said...

Love the fabric, the bag, the French seams! Now I know what to do with some old curtains stashed in my mom's closets. Thanks for sharing.

Letterpress said...

Reminds me of Pierre Deux fabric--that's pricey stuff--so glad you got it secondhand. I have some I inherited (long story) and have made several bags from it, but it's lighter weight than yours so I had to quilt it to a backing for some integrity. You did a great job--beautiful bag.

Lisa Martin said...

I love your blog, and that tote is awesome. what a great fabric too, so glad you rescued.

Teresa @ good-grace said...

oh, I love the back story on the curtains/fabric. It does sound like a perfectly wonderful room.

It's a lovely little tote! Great job.

Joni said...

A plum couch. The lady had style and was not afraid of color.

Julie said...

That's fantastic. I received a gift from Asia, a sort of lightweight cotton robe (my father-in-law was chuckling and used the word "exotic looking"). I was going to turn it into something else. Totes are winners!

Dream on the wave said...

I loved the bag and even managed to make one thanks to the tutorial and I am so pleased with myself.And I love your blog btw.!

Meeks said...

Our family house had terrible decor!! (it was there when we moved in, but my parents never changed it! agghhh the 80s!!)
We had small dark blue daises ALL OVER the wall, with MATCHING curtains! Talk about making the room seem smaller!

Natasha Korff said...

great!! maaybe I should go cut up my bedroom curtains........!!! You're not helping with my bag obsession! I recently spotted lunch tote bags. do you have a piece of fabric left for me? *wink*

Melissa said...

The bag is adorable, Jessica. From the sounds of it, that room would've been amazing to behold.

BJ Lantz said...

That fabric is so cool ~ how could you possibly have resisted?!

Balwearie said...

One of my goals in life is to have a plum couch. Ozie Lee does sound like a genius and her old curtains make a very lovely bag!

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