DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover

DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover

I learned how to weave with a floor loom recently. I’m really happy with my latest woven piece , so I made a handwoven tote bag with clear vinyl cover.

Exploring surface design applications and taking an online fundamentals of textile course led me to taking floor loom weaving classes with Lou Grantham at SF Fiber, Oakland. She’s an amazing and inspiring teacher, and it’s really a privilege to learn from her.

On my latest weaving project, I explored textures and shapes in more depth. Lou suggested an advanced pattern called “Cat’s Track” that she learned from a weaving convention in the past.

After a few days of weaving, the result is quite beautiful, perfect to be transformed into a handwoven tote bag. The vinyl covering is added to protect the textile and make the bag water resistant. Finishing touches like handmade bag handles and magnet clasp fastening complete this project.

 

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DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

DIY Handwoven Tote Materials:

Materials: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

Process Overview:

While I cannot succinctly describe the floor weaving steps, I can say with delightful confidence that it was a such a treat to create this textile. As previously mentioned, Lou Grantham at SF Fiber, Oakland is a great teacher and I felt so lucky to learn from her.

After various calculations – from yarn thickness and length to the finished textile’s measurements – were done, I weaved the yarns into an approximately 16″ wide textile, 2 yards long. The finished textile later shrinks to 12.5″ wide after hand washing.

The weaving was done on a 6-pedal floor loom over the course of 4 weeks, 3-4 hours each time.

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

Handweaving: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

Handweaving: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

Making the woven tote body

Once the woven textile was dry, I sandwiched the finished textile between two layers of clear vinyl and secured them with clothespins.

Then I sewed the edges using a longer-than-usual stitch length (3.5 mm instead of the default 2.5 mm). I made sure to “catch” some of the woven textiles on the sides so that the finished tote is more durable.

The sewing went around all four sides of the woven piece. About 2 – 3 in. of the long warp yarns were encased inside the clear vinyl.

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

Next step was creating the bag’s side gusset pieces. I cut the excess warp yarns and sandwiched them between two layers of vinyl.

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

I pinned them sparsely with dressmaker pins on the center before sewing them.

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

I marked each of the two gusset’s side seams with masking tape this time. After all, I wanted to avoid scarring the clear vinyls as much as possible!

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

Once all the main pieces were done, I sew them together. The warp yarn gussets were sewed along the sides of the long woven textile. Once again, I used a longer-than-usual stitch length.

One more thing (not pictured): I hand sewn a magnetic clasp near the bag opening on the inside.

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

Making bag handles

Once the main tote was done, what’s left was to create bag handles. I measured how long I wanted my handles to be, plus the petal-like end points that are modeled after one of my unused leather bag handles.

First, I created two braided nylon cords and encased them in white cotton remnant.

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

The whole thing was then encased in a pink polyester satin remnant, which I fused with a weft interfacing.

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

That was then encased in clear vinyl and pricked with pins in places, similar to how my leather bag handle is.

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

That’s all for ONE bag handle. I repeated the whole thing to create the second one. By the way, feel free to ask me of step clarifications on the comment section!

Finishing the woven tote bag

Once the bag handles were ready, I hand sew the bag handles onto the tote bag! I had to temporarily tied the two bag handles because they were flapping around like crazy.

It’s a slow process and it’s definitely not perfect, but the resulting tote bag looked quite good!

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

In-Progress: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

Result: Handwoven Tote Bag with Vinyl Cover

So here’s what the finished tote bag look like! It’s quite a time consuming project, but I’m really proud of the result.

I acknowledged the final constructions weren’t the best, and the bag might be less durable than I originally intended. That said, I would definitely start using this tote bag for sewing and craft supply shopping trips!

Result: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

Result: DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

DIY Handwoven Tote with Clear Vinyl Cover - DIY Fashion Accessories | fafafoom.com

Special thanks to Lou Grantham for her knowledge and wisdom. The studio classes are always productive and fun; I learned a great deal and I’d love love love to do more floor loom weaving projects!

Thanks for reading; until next time,
Musank

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About The Author

Mira Musank

Fashion lover who becomes obsessed to do endless DIY projects, especially garments and accessories. Occasionally takes a break to play RPG games on PlayStation. An avid blogger since 2007.

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