Make A Big Tote Bag When Staying In, For Your Essential Trips Out

navy spot bag by A Howse

navy spot bag by A Howse

We hope you are all enjoying a sunny Friday now Spring is finally here. We also hope you are keeping positive and finding creative ways to spend more time at home now. We are all staying in to help the amazing National Health Service team up with our other security and emergency services and save lives, during this important time trying to slow the spread of Coronavirus. Read about some more ideas on how to stay at home successfully here:

During this time at Create Display we would like to bring you useful and artistic articles and tutorials to provide some engaging solutions for activities to brighten up your days whether you are at home helping the NHS, or if you are at home in social isolation. Do contact us to let us know what you have cleverly crafted!


Our online shop is open and we plan to add some more original pieces to the collection soon.

back of navy spot bag

back of navy spot bag

This project can be made easily by one person in one session sewing. Why not involve other younger members of the family and show them some basic sewing techniques? This week I have made a new bag to hold all my essentials and shopping as we adapt to our new routine of only going out to exercise and buy groceries when we really need to. We are very lucky to live by the coast and have a garden and shops we can walk to nearby. So this bag has enough room to store key food items like break and milk. This simple tote has two front pockets for a small Thermos flask and my purse.

Taking your own favourite hot drink is now a 'must have' as unfortunately all the cafes are closed for the next few weeks at least. As we always have plenty of rain showers most months in the UK this bag has a wide zip top and is made of two layers of good quality wool. This means the bag is strong and durable and it can be washed on a wool wash which is hygienic and will keep it look an smelling fresh. A cool iron can be used too to hold the shape nicely.

AH navy spot bag with flasks

AH navy spot bag with flasks

This bag was made the same way that the previous tote bags were made in my last blog tutorial you can see here, I just made it 50% bigger:

To start I selected the fabric. I upcycled a navy wool scarf with pale pink spots that I had worn a lot and wanted to reinvent into something new and lovely. I found some heavy vintage navy wool in my fabric stash and used it for the bottom of the bag and the lining. The dark navy wool works well for the bottom section of the bag as it will not mark easily if the bag is put down on the ground at any point. I have also made the generously wide straps out of this strong plain blue material so they can hold lots of weight in case I buy anything heavy.

To keep the design looking cheerful and give it a white blossom inspired flourish, I have edged the front pockets and the straps by hand with a rows of shaped roses in slightly opaque polyester ribbon. The white stripes also help me be seen by other traffic if the daylight is dim down our country lanes.
AH nacy spot bag detail

AH navy spot bag detail

This spotty accessory is unique and if you do go to the supermarket you won't get mixed up with anyone else's trolley. I hope this post may motivate you to create your own unique item out of second hand supplies online (most shops are closed for a while) or fabrics, clothes and soft furnishings you already own.

I can recommend my local independent fabric shop The Eternal Maker where you can shop online and receive supplies in the post


I purchased my matching zip from Hobbycraft

Stay in, keep creative and be well, we're all in this together!