The Making of a Hippie Chick Laptop Tote From a Reclaimed Vintage Pillow Sham

Today I thought I’d get down to business and create a laptop tote bag I’ve had rolling around in my head for a while.  You see, I stay awake nights thinking about things to make and when this gets me to the point I’m frustrated, I settle down and make it.  I had a goal to get this done before Christmas, and today was the day.

I started off with a vintage pillow sham I found somewhere (yard sale, garage sale, antique store–those places I frequent) and removed the lining on the back, as well as the beautiful corded trim around all the outside edges.

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Top of pillow sham; note the cording on the outside edge,

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The white is what remained after I removed the tan lining

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Cording removed; saving it for something else

Then I folded the bag in half (with the folded part at the bottom) and sewed up the sides.  (I also made a lining using the same shape as the outside of the bag, as well as a welted zipper pocket, but I don’t have pictures of those–too complicated and I didn’t want your eyes to glass over)

Next up was making the silk sari ribbon roses I wanted to use for embellishments for the front.  I purchased a skein of the silk sari ribbon from again somewhere I can’t remember, but I do remember it was online!  And I had to wrap it in a ball to use it.  Luscious pinks, rose and tans–just right for my bag.

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Cool bits of silk strips, wrapped into a softball size ball

If I wrapped pieces of the ribbon around my fingers,

Ribbon around my finger

Ribbon around my finger

then smooshed it and ran a thread through all the layers,

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I would come up with a few cute little roses!  I fused a doily down first, fastened it by stitching around the edges.  I hand stitched through the roses to attach them to the top of the bag

Roses on top of doily

Roses on top of doily that is fused to front of bag

Next came the brown suede leather handles and stitched them to the top of the bag, not sewing through the lining I made earlier.  I did reinforce the area where the handles would be sewn with durable interfacing to help reinforce the stitching area so it wouldn’t tear.

Handles

Handles

Handles being stitched

Handles being stitched

Stitched in a separating jacket zipper to the top edge, and what I wound up with was a cute little tote bag large enough for a laptop

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It’s done! Tadah!

Okay, now what would you pay for a well padded, but not heavy, laptop tote such as this?