Embroidered tote bags
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Embroidered tote bags

This is one of my favourite makes and one that I am the most proud of. A lot of time went into making of all of these but the end result was worth it. These were made for friends and family as Christmas gifts last year. Each pattern is different, with the same couple of stitches used in different ways. I have never tried out embroidery before but I am definitely a convert. With just a few basic stitches you can create whatever picture/pattern you like. Choose a style, sit back with the TV or radio on and start embroidering!

 

The mixture of stitches, types of flowers and colours used all help to make the design stand out. It is worth noting, if you want to do this as a quick project don’t use such as wide range of colours! A lot of time was taken up by threading new colours through the needle, knotting and cutting threads for each part of the design. I used a rainbow thread pack which has a gradient colour running through the threads. You can buy these online or in shops such as Hobbycraft and John Lewis. If, like me, you have never embroidered before then I would strongly recommend trying out and practicing some basic stitches first. I found this tutorial on Craftsy really handy. For a smaller, and less daunting(!), embroidery project check out my make up bag blog post. If you have recently taken up embroidery I would love to see you creations. Send me a email or tag me on Instagram with your work!

 

Materials:

TIPS:

  • Buy a large embroidery hoop
  • I decided to work from the outside in when starting my designs. This made it easier to make sure the outline of the square was straight. Once you have your border you can fill in the square in whatever way you like.
  • Iron the bag as you go. Every time you finish a session of embroidery, take it out the hoop and iron the edges of the bag to prevent a circle mark appearing.
  • Practice a few stitches on a spare scrap of fabric before beginning. You will soon get comfortable with the stitches and probably only use a select few that work well for your pattern.

 

Go the extra mile

  • I decided to create my design as a square but this would look just as lovely as a circle (or any shape for that matter).
  • Why not experiment with one colour. Use a range of shades and see result you get.
  • The great thing about embroidery is there are no rules. Create whatever you like. A flower, landscape, abstract pattern, portrait of your dog. Literally anything goes.
  • To add a signature to my bags, I embroidered my initial on the bag of each one. You could add your name, logo or even a label to your finished bags.

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