Barkcloth Dancing

We’re doing a happy dance here, and while it may not be accompanied by a farmer on a bass fiddle, it has been triggered by the satisfaction of making a new bag for the season.

When a piece of fabric as evocative as this one comes my way, it would be ‘downright unneighbourly’ to fold it away in a dark cupboard for posterity. These farm folk need to be on show, and having filled every conceivable space in our home with artsy scatter cushions, a tote bag was the obvious solution. In fact, for that awkward 20 minutes, too scant to devote to a book and too lengthy to eat cake, this project is just the ticket.

Not one to reinvent the wheel, I am directing you promptly to this tutorial, where, if you can sew a straight line on a sewing machine, you’ll also have reason to trip the light fantastic!

Gather your supplies:

tote materials

and cut them out like this – front and back 16 x 14 inches, handles 22.5 inches each.

cutting out the tote

You’ll also notice two pieces of rope, which are my tweak on the original, because I like the security of a closed-up bag. Just slip each piece under the centre of each top fold before you sew your two straight lines. (If this is not making sense it is because you haven’t gone and visited the Purl Bee 20 minute tote tutorial that I directed you to earlier).

inner tie

Should you be a rail commuter, uni student, incidental shopper or an iPad, keys, make-up bag, wallet kind of gal, then this tote is going to cut it.

finished barkcloth tote

Postscript: and while a hoedown-style jig may not be your preference, I’m sure you can execute a quick Harlem Shake to celebrate instead.


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