Tote bag or ECO shopper, simple enough for beginners to create and a great starting point for improvers to modify, adding pockets and closures.
The humble tote bag is a staple in everyone’s life now. Whether you are here to sew it for the first time, or to adjust it to make the size to suit you, we hope you find the instructions easy to follow.
If you are not brave enough to cut into your ‘good’ fabric this is the perfect project for old duvets and curtains.
Optional: pimp your egg with buttons, beads, trims
This project I found on the Vlieseline (previously known as Vilene) website. You can download pattern and instructions here.
If you have not used decovil before then this a fantastic little project to have a go. Mainly used by bag makers, with it’s leather like form, decovil really holds it shape. Tear-resistant, but also dimensionally stable and easy to shape. Furthermore it is resilient, resistant to bending, punchable and the cutting edges stay tight. Thereby the fixed fabrics are good to handle and very stable and durable. Ideally suited for the creation of hats, belts, bags and small fabric bowls, but also, for interior decoration. It’s an iron on stabiliser, the shiny side is the glue. Suitable for cotton, decorative and synthetic fabrics. Machine wash 30o.
** At time of writing this, we stock Decovil in a pre-pack sheet size of 45cm x 50cm, if you love it as much as we do, we will look at stocking Decovil on the roll. Which would mean a 90cm width by whatever length you would like.
We would LOVE to see your makes! Fiona & Marice xx
Romy is one of Tilly’s tops for stretch fabrics. It’s standout feature is the unusal neckline, which is not unlike those on babygrows. This is an advantage if you don’t want to spoil you hair-do when getting into it!
Fiona and I both liked how the top is constructed, the pattern pieces for the front and back have straight necklines. An easier option, given that there is no round neckline to tackle, so no wrestling with stretching in a neckband. The crucial part of the process is the accurate marking of the notches, a very important task when constructing the Romy, paying close attention to the correspending nothces for the version you are making.
Fiona : Height 5’3″ / B 47″ / W 39″ / H 45″. Made a SIZE 8.
Marice : Height 5’0.5″ / B 37″ / W 31″ / H 40″. Made a SIZE 5.
MARICE : whilst the photo may look a little squint, my neckline does sit well, a little higher than I am used to. Normally wearing a crew neck, or V neck.
FIONA : as you can see in the photo, the neckline is far too wide and very loose, bagging. Unfortunately it is the same at the back of the neck with far too much fabric. Whilst I made a size 8 to fit my chest size, it has meant the pattern has assumed I am larger all over. Marice and I measured our shoulder widths and interestingly we measure exactly the same. The issue here is that I carry most of my excess weight in my chest and tummy while still having a small back and narrower shoulders – there’s a lot I need to do to adjust this to fit correctly. One of my favourite knit top patterns is the Tilly & The Buttons Agnes, which fits me perfectly so I was a little disappointed that this wasn’t the case with Romy.
MARICE : SLEEVES are too long, it’s usual for me to shorten by a couple of inches, I’ve not cut shorter yet, as I wanted to see how the pattern comes out true to size. My fabric has a print on the rightside and plain on the wrong side. I’m considering rolling the sleeves up? Not sure yet. I might live with it and then decide. MAIN BODY As you can see in the above photo (middle) I kept pulling the back of my t-shirt down, it wasn’t sitting correctly on me (right photo). Totally expected though, being shorter, the waist needs to be higher up, this is an adjustment I will make to my pattern pieces before I sew the next one. I’ve yet to hem my Romy, but in a lazy way, I kinda like the way the mustard underside rolls up.
FIONA : SLEEVES I made the cap sleeves so no issues here (although I missed the bit in the instructions to hem them before stitching to main body and sewing up the sides!) MAIN BODY Despite the problems with the neckline I actually really like the fit in the body, the Romy is not fitted but it’s also not too boxy so I think the shape is flattering for a variety of different figures. Overall this was an enjoyable sew and as always Tilly’s instructions are well written and very easy to follow. I’ve got quite a bit of work to do to the pattern if I am to make another one but will, of course, update you all on my progress.
Here’s the short sleeved version I made last year … you will have probably seen these photos on our social media. Sadly we have sold out of our hippo fabric, but there will be more funky prints for you to choose from.
When we first laid plans for opening The Wee Fabric Shop, back in October 2017, one of the most important issues for us was to be an environmentally conscious business. We began with the obvious one of not buying in plastic bags. Purchasing items in bulk meant less packaging not only for us but you, it helped our carbon footprint with fewer delivies, this was, and still is tough, being a small business. We don’t have huge budgets of buying power but we are making our views known with what we purchase. Products which are good quality and built to last.
Our PAPER BAGS are made from recycled paper
We have ready made CLOTH TOTE BAGS made from upcycling old duvets or curtains. Time constraints though, mean we do not always have a supply ready made and offer free pre-cut fabric to make your own tote.
NO PRINTED RECEIPTS, we send electronically (optional) or hand write upon request.
Our ‘plastic’ CELLO BAGS we package our kits in are made from Corn Starch
Paper MAILING BAGS and parcel tapes are biodegradable
Customers drop off unwanted POLY POCKETS which we re-use for our student class notes
PATTERN SWAPS, every 3 months we hold pattern swaps, for you to share your unloved patterns.
Approximately 3/4 of our fabric stock is OEKO TEX standard, we are constantly aiming higher with this.
In the process of changing our SATIN RIBBON to newlife ribbon, made completely from plastic waste.
Replacing our Sew All threads with rPET 100% RECYCLED THREAD where available.
Our INTERFACING manufacturer is introducing 100% recycled polyester rolls, we already have some in stock.
*13/07/20. Hello, welcome and thank you for stopping by! We are now open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10am - 4pm. Closed Wednesday & Sunday so we can recharge our batteries. You can still order online and have the choice to collect or we will post to you.
Fabrics are sold by the half metre, if you need any help from us, you can send a message via contact us in the ‘About’ page.
Take care, stay safe Fiona & Marice xx Dismiss