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Grey Tweed Upcycled Tote Handbag or Purse

Added Oct 10, 2011

by Maggie Molloy

Tipperary, Ireland






This tote is made from my own very basic pattern. All it uses are two rectangles, sewn together with the bottoms stitched and clipped to give you whatever depth you want on the bag. Its a great beginner style purse because there is no pleating, darting or complicated shaping.

I have at least three projects listed that all use this pattern but with very different fabrics and very different styles so do have a look.

With a bag shape that is this simple its always best to go all out on your fabric and decorations. I always choose very heavy fabric for this style, just to give it a little more oomph! Try tweed skirts, men’s suit jackets or heavy trousers. They all work great. This purse is made from a ladies tweed skirt in dark grey.

For the embellishment i added a strap around the center and then made a simple fabric flower with a huge vintage button in the middle. I think the technique for the flower is called a yo-yo and its so so easy.

This was one of the first bags i ever made and looking back now i would probably change a lot, especially the straps! But it is a great beginner shape to try and make yourself and once you use nice heavy fabric and good decoration it wont look like one of the thousands of flimsy ‘pillowcase style’ beginner totes you see patterns for online.

Material Notes

For this purse i used.. a vintage grey tweed skirt (calf length) vilene s250 interfacing, sew in wadding, contrasting fabric for the flower & a large vintage button. The fabric for the purse cost €1




Winter, Fall
Garment Type
Business, Casual, Classic, Preppy, Vintage
Coating, Corduroy, Cotton, Denim, Flannel, Leather/Fur, Suiting, Velvet, Wool



2 Comments Sign in to add a post

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    Oct 10, 2011, 06.07 PMby crazykitty5


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    Oct 10, 2011, 10.10 AMby suribabe

    I like this one too :) Maybe I should go to charity shops and start looking for jackets and skirts.

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