Placemat Tote Bag Experiment…at least I learned some things…

I love, love, love crafting but my visions do not always turn out.  Even when following a tutorial.  Take tonight for example.  I had purchased two placemats on clearance at Khol’s for $.79 each.  What a bargain!  I started to follow this tutorial ( –> CLICK HERE ) to create the bag.

Here are the things I learned in this experiment.

  • Accurate measurements are important.

I measured out the bag and cut the corners per the instructions which said to draw a line 3” in from the side.  That line that I drew as my sew line looked way too far in.  I went with my gut and my keen observation skills (I referred to the example in the tutorial) and ended up drawing a second line only 1 1/2” in.  I also marked in PEN which is really never a good idea either.  


  • Check to see what stitch setting you are using.

I hadn’t used my machine in FOREVER.  As in years….many, many years.  I *thought* I had the stitch set to straight.  I did not.


I pressed on though!  I mean, who was going to inspect the seam anyways?  This was just my test bag and I was using it to work out the kinks.  As it turns out, there were a few more kinks to come.

  • Consider the pattern of the material you are using.

In the tutorial, and where my keen observation skills failed me, it was not mentioned that I should have maybe checked the pattern of the placemat.  I was just so thrilled that it was $.79!!!  So when I sewed it together and turned it right side out…I saw this.


{ sigh }

And I was trying to be all fancy and making a gusset and everything! 

  • Again, accurate measurements in relation to the size of the project, are important.

When you peek inside the inside, you will notice the seam that I actually reduced, still looks way to big. 


I’ll have to recalculate next time I make a tote bag.  Which may be a while because of the next thing I learned.

  • Check the size/type of needle you are using for your machine *before* beginning your project.

Otherwise, you are likely to end up with this…


A broken needle. 

There ya have folks….my awesome crafting/diy/sewing tips for the evening.

You welcome.  😉

Stay awesome!! ~lisa


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