I started making canvas totes in the 7th or 8th grade. I had given up on backpacks (until recently, but that’s another story) ’cause I felt they were too sporty and I was desperately trying to look grown up and feminine. Since then I’ve made them in a variety of colours and prints, for myself and friends. I usually prefer short straps and a proper gusset but after receiving a “flat” Marimekko canvas tote I’m starting to reconsider my gusset obsession. There’s something about how the corners look when the tote is filled that annoys me.

Anywho, I was thinking about a gift for a friend of mine who helped me move (and recently celebrated her birthday) and decided on a canvas tote. I remembered that her favourite one had been stolen a while back. Seriously, who steals a canvas tote?

Unlike me, my friend prefers subtle colours and prints so it felt safest to go for a black and white colour scheme. After an hour of fruitless hunting for a wide striped fabric, I turned to the checked fabrics and found one in black and white. However, the checks were quit small so I decided to buy some plain black fabric and make a “duo” tote a la Céline. This is a great idea if you don’t want a plain tote, if a print is too strong or you can’t decide between two fabrics!
The fabrics and ribbon I used were all 100% cotton.

Wrapped and ready for the recipient.

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