Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The weight of the world on my shoulder

Apologies for the rather overly dramatic post title when all I wanted was to show you my new world map tote bag!

This was another Easter long weekend make (it was a rather productive weekend!) I used some excellent world map fabric I found in the home decorating section of John Lewis. It's a heavy cotton which has been slightly plastic coated, not the extent of oilcloth, but enough to keep my belongings from getting soggy in all of the crazy rain we've been having recently.

I had been using this fabric as a tablecloth for the balcony table, but it was calling out to be a bag instead.

The design is very basic - two rectangular main pieces, one long rectangular gusset piece, and straps which are folded over twice. I used the grid of the map design as a guide for cutting my pieces, only to discover that the design was not printed straight, so the pieces were slightly off the fabric grain. It all seems to have straightened up in the end though.

I used some cotton gingham from my stash for the lining. I had thought that the squares of the gingham would reflect the grid of the map, but I think that maybe it's a bit too busy. Maybe I should have used a plain lining? Not that I'll be changing it anyway!
I gave the bag a bit of definition by top stitching around the seams of the main face pieces. This helps to keep the bag in a more rigid shape.

The fun bit about making this bag was deciding which bits of the map to feature. I chose...
...Australia on one side. This is where I'm from.

The UK on the other. This is where I live now.
They don't seem so far apart when I have them both on my shoulder.


  1. oooh so cool!!! i LOVE map fabric and i can never find it!!

  2. Brilliant use of the fabric. I think the lining's great. I'd love using a bag like that. Good old John Lewis - I hate the fact that my nearest branch is 60 miles away now I live in the wilds of nowhere. Oh, and I must get myself another spider plant, they're the most effective plant you can get for improving your household air quality (say NASA, so it must be true).

  3. That fabric is gorgeous, and the bag is as well.