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The Floral Satchel: A New Twist on a Cool Project from our S4H Bags and Totes Book

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If you’re a regular visitor to Sew4Home, you’re probably familiar with our Re-imagine & Renovate series. It’s where we show you how new fabric can completely change the look of a design; the same way a fresh coat of paint can transform a room. The theory works just as well with the ten projects in our new Sew4Home Bags and Totes book. We selected one of our favorites: the Kid's Vintage Book Bag, and gave it a floral makeover. 

The fabric and hardware you select are what gives your bag its personal style. This adorable satchel appears in the book with a kid-friendly design in retro fabrics. It’s a look we love, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only look!

We found a home décor fabric that featured a gorgeous watercolor floral. Rich greens, delicate pinks, plus hints of magenta, gold, and orange make up an abstract poppy garden. The colors are rich and elegant. We paired this with a solid mint green canvas that coordinates with but does not overpower the main print. The original project mixes three fabrics for the exterior, but we reduced this to just two. That’s another choice you can always make as you create your custom look – simply add together the fabric quantities needed for the various sections to give you the yardage required.

Our sophisticated exterior has a fun surprise on the inside. A candy pink gingham is used for the lining and the same sweet color is echoed in the perimeter piping. 

We also changed up the flap’s stwist lock to a sleek rectangular option but kept the other hardware the same. 

Each fabric has its own personality; and just like mixing interesting guests at a dinner party gives you dozens of fascinating conversations - how you combine fabric in a project gives you an unlimited number of beautiful end results. Pick up the book and give it a try yourself. 

There are ten cool carryalls included, from a jumbo tote to a petite clutch. And we have tips and techniques to help you give each one a professional finish. Plus, no paper patterns are required!

The book is available now at your favorite in-store or online bookseller, including Amazon. For international orders, publisher Fons & Porter tells us the best places to order from would be amazon.co.uk, barnesandnoble.com, or the Interweave online store, where it is available as an eBook and a printed book.


Comments (17)

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Jvadala2 - Not sure how you want to use the neckites - as fabric? If so, if you can assemble the ties into a panel in order to create "fabric" from which to cut, anything is possible. 

Wendy H. said:
Wendy H.'s picture

Oooh, LOVE this reimagine on the kids vintage tote! I picked up a copy of the book the moment it hit amazon and have been merrily sewing my way through it whenever I've had the chance ever since. This wasn't one that had hit my fancy to be totally honest, although it's a very cute project the way it's presented in the book. I just don't happen to have any younglings that would be of the age to appreciate it (empty nester here lol). BUT! That's changed now!! Now I've got to give it a go - it's so funny how the smallest changes can make such a huge difference! ❤

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Wendy - Thank you! You summed up the theory behind this perfectly: one pattern can create so many different looks! We're so glad to hear you're enjoying the book - thanks for buying a copy!

Sarah Tron said:
Sarah Tron's picture

I love the book! I have swatches of fabric tucked into it that I'm going to use as I try each pattern. Now I'll just print a pic of this and tuck it inside too!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Sarah - That is wonderful news - and what a super way to remember which fabric you want to try. 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@kaz - great - pretty widely available. Hope you enjoy it!

Linda L said:
Linda L's picture

It looks like you made the flap shorter and perhaps wider than the original book bag? I asked for and received your book for Christmas and thought this would be a great purse in a different fabric. Love the ones you used in today's post.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Linda - We positioned the lock slightly higher, which is what is causing that slight difference in the look, and we went with a longer strap (the "adult length" as specified in the book). So glad to hear you got a copy for Christmas! 

Lanetta said:
Lanetta's picture

I love this.  I have been working my way through the book making each bag.  I plan to work my way through it a second time using different fabric for each project.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Lanetta - Thank you - and thank you for buying the book! It's so fun to create new looks.

Nell said:
Nell's picture

Love it!  It's amazing how different fabric changes the whole look.


Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Nell - Isn't it true?! You can get some many unique looks from one pattern.