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Floral Satchel: A New Twist on a Cool Project from the 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 popular Sew4Home Bags and Totes book. We selected one of our favorites from within its pages: 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! No young ones in your life at the moment? No worries! Sometimes the smallest of changes can make a huge difference. 

We found a home décor fabric at a local chain store that featured a gorgeous watercolor floral. Rich greens, delicate pinks, plus hints of magenta, gold, and orange make up an abstract poppy garden. We paired this with a solid minty blue canvas that coordinates with but does not overpower the main print. The original project in the book 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 own custom look – simply add together the fabric quantities needed for the various sections to give you the new required yardage.

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 twist lock to a sleek rectangular option but kept the other hardware the same. 

Every 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 (6)

Anonymous said:
Anonymous's picture

The fabric choosen for the new look is just gorgeous. I shall have to try and find something similar as I've been planning on making a new bag for spring.

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

Thank you! New and different fabric does make a huge difference. Happy Spring!

Susan B said:
Susan B's picture

I made this as the original book bag using a school bus print.  I liked the size and shape so much that when my daughter asked for a new purse, I made it again in a more sophisticated fabric.  I added a zipper pocket on the front of the flap for her smart phone and changed the twist lock for a magnetic closure.  She loves it and says it's the perfect size.

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

@Susan - Thanks for your own "new fabric makes the difference" story. How fun to add an exterior zippered pocket!

LesLee said:
LesLee 's picture

Sew cute. I love how just changing the material it completely changes the look. Great Job. I look forward to honing my skills with all your inspiration. 

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

@LesLee - thank you so much! We continue to be amazed at how new fabric can give you a whole new look.