Monday, July 13, 2009

Tutorial: How to make a Bag from an Anthropologie Dishtowel

It's been a long time since I posted any sort of tutorial - this one is way overdue. The kitchen towels from Anthropologie are so cute that it's a shame to wipe your dirty hands on them. Also, after a few cycles through the washer and dryer, they become a little droopy - so I selected a couple of favorites from the sale table at my local store and made them into summer handbags. This is a fun and easy project - please give it a try!

Here is the towel that I started with.

Cut off all four edges. It's a shame to waste the lace, I know. You can save it for something else.

Cut a 3.25-inch strip from each side for handles.

Use an index card to make a pattern for the tab. Cut two of these from heavyweight stabilizer. Cut one from one end of the 3/25-inch strip. Cut the second from lining fabric and install the "male" half of a magnetic closure.

I trimmed the top of tab with rick rack, a small blue doily and a yellow button. Use whatever you have on hand.

Stitch the tab pieces right sides together, turn, press and top stitch around the edge. Cut the second handle piece to the same length as the first piece. Discard extra fabric. Fold the handle strips in half lengthwise and press. Open up and fold the long edges in to the center and press. Pin and topstitch down each long edge. Center rick rack on handles and stitch through the center.

Cut the remaining large towel piece in half. Now you should have a front, a back, a tab with a magnet and two straps.

Mark 3/4 of an inch in from the top edge of the front and draw a line from this point tapering to the bottom corners as shown. Cut these sections off. Repeat for the back.

Pin the front and back pieces to heavyweight stabilizer. Stitch around the edge and trim.

Trace the front and back to your lining fabric and cut out a front and back lining. Also cut out two pocket pieces using an index card for a pattern. Stitch your pocket pieces right sides together leaving an opening for turning in the bottom. Turn, press, topstitch across the top edge and then pin and stitch pocket to the right side of the inside back lining.

Stitch lining pieces right sides together along the sides and bottom leaving about a 5-inch opening in the bottom for turning. (Sorry the opening doesn't show in the photo!) Sew across the bottom sides of the lining "paper-bag" style about 1-inch in from each edge.

Sew the bag front and back together along the sides and bottom. Again, "paper-bag" the bottom edges to give a little dimension to the bag. Sew the tab to the back (right sides together) and the straps to the front and back as shown. Turn the bag right side out. Fold the tab over to determine the placement for the "female" half of the magnet. Mark and install the magnet on the outside front of the bag. Leave the lining inside out.

Place the bag inside the lining and pin around the top edge keeping the tab and the handles between the layers. Stitch around the top. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining. Stitch the opening closed.

Turn the lining to the inside and topstitch around the top edge. All done!

Please let me know if you have any questions and if you try this project I'd love to see a photo.


searcher said...

Laura, You are so talented! I'm going to try this when I get to the cabin....we are on the first leg of our trip to WI. Thanks for the Tutorial! I am a beginner, but you make me feel like I can do it! Love ya, Barb Seiler

KB said...

I LOVE it! You are an amazing woman.

woof nanny said...

Adorable, Laura! I posted it to my purse blog.

Indigo Blue said...

we do not get tea towels as nice as that in the UK, or I am looking in all of th wrong places! lovely idea, thanks for the tutorial.

Kathrin said...

Thank you very much Laura for this lovely Tutorial. We don't have such special towels in Switzerland, but the idea works as well with other fabrics.
Have a lovely week, love to read your blog, Kathrin

Anonymous said...

I was up in Columbus yesterday and couldn't wait to get to Anthropologie. The towels there weren't on sale, though. Dang!
from your (favorite)sister-in-law Jan

Heidi Ann said...

Oh, this one is SO beautiful, too!

Mutuelle sante said...

Thank you so much it has been a wonderful guide, now to make a bag from an anthropologie dishtowel is without a doubt simple and easy with the help of your tips. Kudos