Totes, purses and anything else my sewing machine will sew.

McKinney craft fairs used to happen about once a year and usually right before the holidays. A handful of craft people make a variety of items to show and sell during a Pub Thursday. Yes, you read right, we have a pub in our office. It had been awhile since one was held so I was delighted to participate in one for the first time last week.

With 30 days to create,  I decided totes would be the most affordable, quick to sew, and customizable item I could make. Of course, I got somewhat bored after the first two totes so I started to experiment.
Flower Tote

This home decor print paired with a solid robins egg blue makes the flower details pop.

Flower Tote Interior

It’s a simple tote made with Pellon 809 Decor-Bond interfacing for some structure so it will stand up. The Decor-Bond was a little too heavy for the solid fabric so I decided to not use that fabric for the handles.

Cross-shoulder BagNext, I made this beauty. This cross-shoulder bag is my absolute favorite out of everything I made. The front stripe of robins egg blue with contrasting green for the interior pulls the floral fabric details together quite nicely.
Cross-shoulder Bag Strap

I upcycled some rings from an old commercially produced purse. The gold tone compliments the colors well.

Cross-shoulder Bag PocketAnd I created an interior pocket with a pleated detail and trim to match the exterior. I like this bag so much that I might just keep it for myself.
Product TagsI put together these product tags the day of the fair. I attached them to each product with ribbon and made sure I included care instructions.
Cherry Blossom Drawstring Bag

Here’s a cherry blossom drawstring bag for a friend’s nameless, unborn baby girl. I used the same tote design but made the top drawstrings so all of the contents stay inside. The drawstrings were a little snug so I hope they’ll loosen up with use.

Cherry Blossom Drawstring Bag Interior

The interior fabric is the same as the exterior.  And here’s a tote for her big brother.

Oliver Tote

Oliver needed a tote to take to preschool for his coat, notebook and anything else he needed. I added his name in felt letters since they won’t fray and were easy to cut out and applique on.

Small Purse

Small Purse HandlesSmall Purse InteriorI made a small purse with detailed handles and an interior pocket. It was the first item I sold. Cha ching!

Fingerless Mitts

These fingerless mitts were very popular, I think mainly because our old tobacco warehouse building is so drafty. People walk around wearing scarves and even coats it’s so cold in here. My co-worker who purchased them plans on wearing them to keep her hands warm while working at her desk.

Small Zippered Pouch InteriorHere’s a small zippered pouch with a cute lining. I made this from leftover baby gift fabric.

Small Zippered Pouch iPhone Sleeve 2014-02-06 15.12.38

And this is a padded iPad or Kindle sleeve.

Small Tote

The last piece was another purse with a zipper. These were so cute and fun to make but not necessarily fast due to the zipper, interior pockets and handles.

Over the last 30 days I learned a great deal about how to successfully install a zipper for a bag. I expanded my tote making skills by exploring three different sizes, pockets and zippers. I was very happy to receive so many great compliments from my coworkers about the professional quality of the products I was selling. Many asked if I have ever considered opening an Etsy store, which I have, but I don’t want to deal with the emails and shipping goods. Maybe one day, in my free time. Ha!

Have you ever sold handmade goods at a craft fair? What did you learn about yourself throughout the process? What kind of goods did you make? And would you do it again?

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3 Replies to “Totes, purses and anything else my sewing machine will sew.”

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