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Thread: Springtime Tote Bag

  1. #1
    Senior Member JoAnnGC's Avatar
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    I made this tote bag as a birthday gift for my niece and filled it with a few small goodies. The ladies at the party went wild and now I have orders to make six more for the ladies and two or three more to sell at the day spa where my daughter works as a massage therapist. I've discovered that I absolutely love mixing and matching FQs! The flower/yoyo button looks off center in the picture but it's really just the camera angle that was off kilter a bit since I was in a bit of a rush to take the picture before I left for the party. Do you think the spa customers will go for these and how much do you think I should charge? Keep in mind that the clientele there are used to spending money somewhat lavishly. Thanks for looking!

    Morgan's Tote Bag
    Name:  Attachment-20235.jpe
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  2. #2
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    Wow, I love your bag!

    Do you think you could get $35 or $40.00 from the bag or more??

  3. #3
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    Also would be cute to make like a make up bag, billfold to match but you would charge more. Wow, cool bag! I love the colors!

  4. #4
    Super Member Gramof6's Avatar
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    I love the bag! Beautiful. You did a nice job. Shoot might as well start out at $45 or $50 for the Spa. Add a wallet or checkbook and add another $20-$25 ea. Still cheaper than Vera Bradley. If you find that this is priced too high, you can lower your prices...if it is priced too low, it may hurt you to raise them. Just my half a cent. :wink:

  5. #5
    Super Member JanetM's Avatar
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    You bag is adorable. Given that your potential buyer is a spa customer I really think you should price them at $60. You will know quickly if you have priced it correctly.
    What did you quote the ladies who have already asked you to make them one?

  6. #6
    Super Member earlylace's Avatar
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    I would like to attempt to make a bag, never made one before, yours is WOW! Lace

  7. #7
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    I need that! :thumbup:

  8. #8
    Senior Member JoAnnGC's Avatar
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    One of the ladies at the party asked what I would charge and suggested $35. The other ladies all pooh-poohed her and said to charge at least $45-50. I think $50 is a fair price considering that the fabric, trim, etc. costs about $10-$15. For the spa I'll have to allow for the spa owner's commission so probably charge $60 there. Her customers pay that much for a 4 ounce bottle of lotion without blinking so they might not mind spending that much for a one-of-a-kind bag...we'll see!

  9. #9
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    Your bag is adorable and I understand why everyone wants one! I think $50-$60 is a very reasonable price~one that will sell quickly and give you a nice profit.

  10. #10
    Super Member belmer's Avatar
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    very nice... I think I need to attempt to make a bag, I have so many bright fats that I need to make a couple of them.

  11. #11
    Senior Member JoAnnGC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by belmer
    very nice... I think I need to attempt to make a bag, I have so many bright fats that I need to make a couple of them.
    They are so much fun to make and you get that element of instant gratification because they don't take as long to make as a quilt. The diversion helps to refresh my creativity especially when I am between larger quilting projects or when I just need to get myself going again.

  12. #12
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    The bag is adorable and since you are creative with your fabrics I would go for a $60 price tag bottom line. Then you could afford to put costlier fabrics in for an expensive looking bag for $75. Then another one that offers matching garage door opener case, secret pockets, etc. Giving them a choice and price range would suit your customers better. Good luck with your sales! :D :D

  13. #13
    jewelps's Avatar
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    sew cute

  14. #14
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    I think if you can afford the spa, you could afford $40 for such a beautiful bag. you go girl. :D Penny

  15. #15
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    I love Morgan's tote bag. Could you please tell me what fabric collection you used?

    Patchwork Patty

  16. #16
    Super Member Charleen DiSante's Avatar
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    I love it too! And, am wondering how to come up with a price for something like this. Thanks for sharing!

  17. #17
    Senior Member aberi's Avatar
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    Love the colours ... nice work!

  18. #18
    Super Member Rainbow's Avatar
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    LOVELY !!! Like mentioned, you will know RIGHT OFF if the price is too high.

    Would LOVE the pattern. How do you stiffen the sides??

  19. #19
    Senior Member JoAnnGC's Avatar
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    Thanks very much to all for so many nice compliments. In answer to some of the questions...

    I didn't work from a pattern. I bought a lot of FQs at my local Hancock Fabrics store. They are on sale for $.99 each so I really went wild. Unfortunately I don't know what manufacturer/collection these are from because they are marketed as Design by the Piece Singles and are already trimmed of their selvedges before they are folded. I do know that many textile companies are included in the FQ section and that they are packaged by Fabric Editions LLC. The FQs sold at Hancocks do not match the fabric they sell by the yard. I know some of the FQs I found there are actually made by Moda and Blank Textiles. I wish I could identify them so that I could buy more by the yard but at this price FQs are just fine and just the right size for this project. Anyway, I had lots of fun mixing and matching regardless of the origins and then just started cutting and constructing. I used Pellon 808 Craft Fuse to give the bag a bit of body. It's all straight stitching and the inside is fully lined with pockets and a matching fabric-covered removable base. The bottom corners are tucked in, squared off and stitched both on the outer section and on the lining so they disappear. The yoyo flower button closure echoed the whimsical floral prints and helped to incorporate all of the main colors. There really are no rules. I just kind of made it up as I went along. It appears that I'll be making quite a few of these so I'll keep posting pics of them as I get them completed. Also, as a variation or if you don't like the moderate stiffness of the fusible interfacing, you may use batting and quilting instead. You should probably expect the first one to take longer to come together but like anything else the more you make the faster they go. Lots of fun! Thanks again!

  20. #20
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    cute

  21. #21
    Super Member Rainbow's Avatar
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    If you do not have a pattern, can you give us the dimensions, please.

  22. #22
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    That is so cute. I'm sure you could get twenty five or even better for them. Go for it.

  23. #23
    Senior Member JoAnnGC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainbow
    If you do not have a pattern, can you give us the dimensions, please.
    I used FQs so the starting measurement for each piece of fabric is 18"x21-22". Most of the time these are not cut exactly straight on the grain so I carefully trimmed each piece to make sure that every cut was straight and square. This part takes the longest but makes the end product look much more professional and makes it much easier to match everything up. The front and back are identical and are made from two FQs of the same dimensions (approximately 17"x20") cut in half and then joined together with a contrasting strip (3"x20"). Fusible was applied before parts were joined and I used a 5/8" seam allowance while joining the main pieces. I also added the fused and lined pocket panel to the outside of the front. The tote handles were made from 3" strips lined with fusible, joined with a 1/4" seam, then turned right side out and top stitched. These were attached to front and back making sure that the front was lined up with the back and I also added the button loop in the center on the back panel. I did not use fusible in the lining but did add some self-lined pockets to the lining by sewing a wide strip (about 8"x20") across the center on each side of the lining (made from two matching FQs) and stitched vertically to separate these into three sections each. After double-checking to make sure that the lining measurements matched the outer measurements I sewed the outside front and back pieces together and the front and back lining pieces together. In order to square it up on the bottom I flattened out the corners by matching the seams and stitched straight across about 3" from the corner on the wrong side of the fabric. Doing this on both the outer part and on the lining and tucking the excess into the bottom between the two parts after the lining was attached to the outside helped to stabilize the bottom of the bag. When attaching the lining to the outer part of the tote bag I left an opening large enough for my hand to fit through so that I could turn everything right side out and line it all up. While topstitching the top edge of the bag I closed off this opening. I then measured the bottom of the bag and cut a piece of foamcore to those dimensions. I made a fabric sleeve to cover this and finished off the raw edge by turning the edge under neatly and fastening it with hot glue. This made a lightweight but solid base that fit snugly into the bottom of the bag. I then added the flower button centered on top of two yoyos, one slightly larger than the other, and attached that to the pocket to line up with the loop closure. The prep work took longer than the actual sewing but none of it was difficult.

    I don't consider this a complete tutorial, just a general walkthrough of how I made this bag. Again, I must emphasize, there are no rules. You can use any combinations of fabric and can make it any size you want. As long as your main pieces (outer front and back and front and back lining) are the same size just make sure that everything is lined up where it should be and then just sew it all together.

    I hope this was helpful and not too confusing. It's really a very simple design that lends itself well to many variations. Have fun with it!

  24. #24
    Super Member Rainbow's Avatar
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    Thank you for the directions. Wanted to make one for a special friend.

  25. #25
    Senior Member JoAnnGC's Avatar
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    I just posted pics of the Pink Paisley Tote Bag that I just completed if you want to take a look.

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