Monday, 25 April 2011

Tote Bags - Large and Small

My 8yo daughter had been invited to her classmates birthday party.  We were going to give her some of our Fairy Bears books that both older girls had read but were still in fairly new condition.  I decided to make her a little fabric tote to put the books in.  It took an hour in total from when I liberated the scrap of daisy fabric from my stash to when I snipped the last lose thread once I'd finished sewing.  It was so quick and easy to make up. 

Here is a really dodgy photo of the tote I took on the way out the door to the birthday party.

Once the other parents at the party discovered that I had made the bag (thanks to my 8yo chatterbox), I immediately had 6 orders for them.  I only made one as we had run out of wrapping paper and I was too lazy to battle the supermarket for more I thought it would be a handy bag for the books to be carried in that would double as a girlie handbag.  I told the other parents that I may make more and sell them at the school Summer Fair or they can pop around for a cuppa and select fabric from my stock and I will make one for them to purchase. 

I had no intention of making and selling these bags as a source of income.  But after thinking about it for a bit I decided to make two more bags.  One adult one for myself and one more small girls tote.  I'm using to test the market.  When school starts back this week I shall be carrying my tote and wait to see if other Mum's in the playground demand to know where it's from like it and want one too.  My youngest will be using the other one to carry her snacks to Nursery in.  Perhaps the other girls at Nursery will pester ask their parents for one if they like hers.

Here are the two other totes I made:

Many thanks to my husband for taking the photos and making the totes look good. 

It's really mind blowing that a new source of income can come from something as totally innocent as running out of wrapping paper and sewing a simple fabric bag.

I make them because I enjoy sewing and they're really easy to make.  I'll probably get bored if I make too many though.  I'm sure I can make other bags and will probably get a pattern book cheaply and experiment. 

Has anyone else stumbled upon a new income source completely out of the blue? What did you do and how did you manage to find the time to explore it whilst keeping everything else in your life on track?


  1. Oh wow I love them! Totes are very fashionable at the moment aren't they!

    Thank you for linking up!

  2. They're so pretty and a grt way of using up odds and ends of fabric
    Im just learning to use my machine so might have a bash at making some totes someday as i always need shopping bags :)
    Ive made a few quid here and there making jewellery but i tend to flit from one craft to the other so would never make a proper income out of any of my makes lol

  3. Really pretty bags.

    Good luck with it - hope you get lots of orders. How fab to make some money from something you love doing.

    I'm starting a sewing course next week and one of the projects will be a tote bag. I may steal your idea and get DD to model it to nursery with a price tag on it!!