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Thread: Need help with totebag construction

  1. #1
    Super Member lynnsim's Avatar
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    I've been making raggy totebags for at least two years. I've gotten a little burned out making them. So, I decided to do some traditional totebags again. When I made them before, I added batting and did stitch in the ditch; they were around 12" x 14" x 4". Now, I want to try making some larger ones. I have one cut out approximately 15" x 17" x 5". I'm using a heavier vintage fabric and lining with cotton. My question is should I add batting? I am making these for a show next weekend and want them reasonably priced. So, my plans at first were not to add batting. Now, I'm wondering if they will be too limp? Also, does anyone have an idea of how much I can charge for them? They are nothing fancy, but I do have pockets inside.

  2. #2
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    I have made many bags over the past couple of years. You definately need to add batting or iron on fleece. I use iron on fleece on the outside and sf101 iron on woven interfacing made by pellon for the lining. They both need to be lined to give the bag the body it needs. They will hold up better and look better when completed with the lining. The better they look the more you can charge. I can't give you a price to charge because I think the area you live in will influence that. Good luck, I hope this will help.

  3. #3
    Super Member lynnsim's Avatar
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    Thanks, Lorraine, for your help. I will add batting to the bag. When I complete the tote, I'll post a photo.

  4. #4
    Super Member crafty_linda_b's Avatar
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    Lynn why don't you use some flannel as a filler? crafty_linda_b

  5. #5
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    I made a lot of these for Christmas gifts this year. I used heavy pellon to give them some body. I also added a lining and a inside pocket on both sides. I used canvas for some of them and they were very well received...good luck with your show.

  6. #6
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    I made a lot of these for Christmas gifts this year. I used heavy pellon to give them some body. I also added a lining and a inside pocket on both sides. I used canvas for some of them and they were very well received...good luck with your show.

  7. #7
    sewingbysusan's Avatar
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    I charged $ 35 for tote bags recently. the customer provided the outer fabric and I provided the rest. I use a heavy Pellon or Timtex interfacing so they will stand up by themselves.

  8. #8
    Super Member lynnsim's Avatar
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    Linda, I did think about using flannel for inside, but was afraid tote wouldn't be stiff enough.
    For the ones who use batting, do you quilt the outside?
    (I do add pockets to the inside.)

  9. #9
    Super Member NancyG's Avatar
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    I was in a local kitchen shop yesterday and a gal had made some nice tote bags with canvas lining with 2 large inside pockets about the size you are referring to. Very nice and heavy. She was charging $24.95.

  10. #10
    Super Member lynnsim's Avatar
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    Nancy, that sounds like a fair price for my area. I was hoping for at least $20. Oh, was she selling them? That's the true test, lol.

  11. #11
    Super Member NancyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynnsim
    Nancy, that sounds like a fair price for my area. I was hoping for at least $20. Oh, was she selling them? That's the true test, lol.
    I couldn't tell how many were sold as this was a small shop and she probably just refreshes the inventory when they are sold. But if I were in the market for a tote bag, these were very, very nice quality and I would be willing to pay her price........actually, when I looked at the price tag, I had expected them to be more, but I think at this price they will move. We live in a small town. They were made by a local lady that quilts and sews. Also, there was no quilting on the bags.

  12. #12
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    yes! It goves the bag more shape and body.

  13. #13
    Super Member lynnsim's Avatar
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    I'm adding batting to the two I'm working on right now. The next two, I'm going to add pellon. Then, I'll see which ones I like better. Also, will compare prices. The bottom line is this has to be profitable for me, lol.
    I do thank everyone for their help. And appreciate any more help.

  14. #14
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    I sell my small bags for $30 and larger totes for $50. BUT! I make them out of vintage barkcloth. A large tote may cost me $25.00 in fabric (one yard)> And I use fusible fleece and generally do not quilt it. THere is enough texture and interest in the fabric itself and I don't want to compete.

    You might check out Etsy and Artfire and see what the prices look like for different styles. I think on both sites, some are frightfully overpriced, and some underpriced. It depends on your area.

    Good luck!

  15. #15
    Super Member lynnsim's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice! I did add batting and used vintage fabrics from my mother's stash. I'm planning on selling this size -- 17" x 16" x 5", for $25. I'm also planning on doing some totes with pellon, selling them for $20. Here's a photo:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    Super Member NancyG's Avatar
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    That is sooo cute! You shouldn't have any trouble selling your bags.

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