Bags · Sewing

Tea towel tote bags

There is a drawer in my kitchen, jam packed with tea towels that are so cute and colourful but are actually rubbish at doing their job – to dry wet dishes. They have some sort of coating on them that doesn’t seem to wash off even after a few spins in the washing machine. So instead of just sitting pretty in the drawer, I have decided to give them a new purpose – tote bags! If you want to see the transformation and perhaps repurposing your own tea towel collection, then keep reading. This whole process is done in 10 easy steps.

Materials you will need :

  • Two tea towels – Mine measures approximately 66cm x 46cmm for each tea towel
  • Webbing – At least 52 inches long
  • Self healing cutting mat
  • Acrylic ruler
  • Rotary cutter
  • Sewing pins
  • An iron

To make the tote :

Step 1 : Cut 7 inches off at the bottom of each tea towel.

Step 2 : Cut 2 webbings for the handles, measuring 26 inches each. This is just a guideline. You can cut them longer or shorter depending on your preference.

Step 3 : Fold down the top (uncut) of the tea towel at 1 inch and press. Then fold again at another inch and press.

Step 4 : Measure 3.5 inches from each end of the tea towel and mark for webbing placement. Mirror on the other side.

Step 5 : Tuck the webbing under the marked fold and pin to secure.

Step 6 : Stitch to secure with a 1/8 inch seam allowance.

Step 7 : Now flip the webbing up, and pin to secure.

Step 8 : Stitch to secure at the top of the tea towel, making sure the webbings are securely tucked under the stitches, with a 1/8 inch seam allowance. If you are able to control the speed of your sewing machine, set it to the lowest speed. The layers can be a little bit tricky to sew.

Step 9 : Line the tea towels, wrong sides facing each other. Pin the sides and bottom to secure before stitching them close with a 0.5 inch seam allowance. Strengthen the seam at the beginning and at the end with a couple of reverse stitches.

Step 10 : Once you have stitched all three sides, turn the tote inside. You have now made your very own tea towel tote!

If you have decided to give this project a go, I would absolutely love to see them. Feel free to share them with me on Instagram #sewnicelydone. If you are a visual learner, there is a video of this tutorial on YouTube . Good luck and have a fabulous Sunday!

Fely xxx

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