There is a tradition in the UK (we’re full of them!) that whatever weather we have on St Swithin’s Day will stay with us for the following 40 days. Hopefully I’m not jinxing things by sharing this gorgeous little rainy day tote bag with you, but I fell in love with the fabric at The Corner Patch’s sale recently – it’s perfect for a little fold up bag to keep in my handbag, and even more perfect for taking my lunch and various snacks to work (OK, no lunch, all snacks, but don’t tell anyone!)
Essentially the pattern is the same as my Mini Tote Bag, which I posted back in June as part of the Summer Sun(day) series – you can find the link here for the full tutorial. It is still made from just over one fat quarter so is a great stash buster. You’ll see this variation has a top panel rather than a contrasting bottom panel. This was a strip from another fat quarter (around one quarter of the lilac spotty fabric) I toyed with the idea of using the lilac fabric for the handles as well but eventually chose to use the rainy day fabric as I loved it so much. You’ll also notice that the contrast band is slightly narrower than the previous incarnation; again this was something I decided on at the time as I felt that a wider band would have detracted from the rainy day fabric.
For the same reason I chose a cream thread rather than a contrasting thread – a cerise pink would have looked great against this fabric but I eventually decided it might be a little too much. Using a top contrasting panel also gives you an option to have fun with trims and buttons. I haven’t got any in my stash that would have been suitable but I can a cute button (or three!) sewn on with some short lengths of lace vintage trim stemming from them.
This is the third Mini Tote I have made (the other one that you’ve not seen is a variation of the original Mini Tote so you’re not missing another exciting combination) and I’ve got to say they’re really fun to make as you can easily measure, cut and sew one within about an hour or so, they make great little presents and they’re great to stow away in handbags, coat pockets and glove boxes just in case you need them. I’ve specifically made them a little bigger than most magazines so I love to take mine on the train with me (yes, I have to take less snacks on those days).
If you love this post, you will adore my Handmade Shopper Bag post for the full size version of this tote bag – they are so much more fun than grocery bags (and if you’re living in England, they’ll be much cheaper when a 5 pence surcharge is introduced later this year!)
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