Paying It Forward Sewing – The Tohoku Tote

A good friend of mine that lives in Olympia asked me for a favor. Would I sew something to donate for her son’s preschool. Each year they do a silent auction to raise funds for the next year and general maintenance. I said yes and asked what she thought would be a good donation item, she asked for a bag.

I had no idea which pattern I would do. I bounced ideas of Kristy from Hopeful Threads and then saw Katie from the Littlest Thistle’s review of the Tohoku Tote as part of Purse Palooza this year.  I fell in love and knew this was the tote to make. The pattern and tutorial are by I am Momma – Hear Me Roar.

At Anne’s birthday party I had my friend pick out the main fabric and went from there.

Tohoku Tote & Wallet - https://www.sewbittersweetdesigns.comI usually don’t sew with such busy prints so this was a bit of challenge for me, especially when it came time to match up with print in the pleat. I decided to make a little wallet to go with it. Sweeten the deal for whomever wins the purse.

Tohoku Tote Added Pocket - https://www.sewbittersweetdesigns.comThe tote didn’t have a zippered pocket in the tutorial but I added one because I always like a secure place to store my keys when I’m out. I thought the winner might appreciate that.

LittleWallet - https://www.sewbittersweetdesigns.comI used A Valori Wells Designs sewing card called “Little Wallet” that I picked up 3 years ago at Sew Expo to make a matching wallet. The best part of the whole purse and wallet set was that I had ALL of the supplies in my stash, right down to the pearl snaps and the pop of color zipper I added to the pocket. I love when I can avoid a trip to the store and sew with what I own. I even had all of the interfacings I needed!

Tohoku Tote - https://www.sewbittersweetdesigns.comFinally a simple picture of the tote hanging up. I am very pleased with how it turned out and I hope it fetches a good price for the preschool. In October the school was struck by lightning causing over $10,000 worth of damage, they need every penny! If you are local to Olympia, WA, the auction is this Saturday, Dec 7th, and I can get you more information!


About Melissa Dunworth

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14 Responses to Paying It Forward Sewing – The Tohoku Tote

  1. Kristy says:

    This turned out so beautiful Melissa! What a nice gift!

  2. kaholly says:

    She will be delighted with your donation! What a wonderful thing to do for a friend.

  3. Vera says:

    Looking good! Well done.

  4. Oh how gorgeous! I’m sure the women will flock to be the new owner!

  5. Snoodles says:

    Awesome job! I’m sure it will sell well, and make money for the school!

  6. Susan says:

    How sweet of you to help out. What a beautiful bag that is, too. I love how you take things and make them your own with your additions.

  7. Katy says:

    Very cute, you did a great job on it! Now you can tackle bigger bags :oD

  8. rosa says:

    Fabulous.She will be delighted!

  9. Andrea Franklin says:

    Totally fabulous! I’d love one myself! You did a great job for a good cause.

  10. Vicki says:

    This is so beautiful! I love the fabric!!

  11. Kristin says:

    I love it!! Such a great pay it fwd! Love the pattern! Love the colors you chose, too!

  12. Michele says:

    Love that bag Melissa! Great color choices too!

  13. Lisa L. says:

    What a great bag! I hope they do well with their auction! I bet your bag will help a lot! 🙂

  14. This purse is so cute! I would bid on it. You are such a kind and generous friend to donate this bag for the auction. I think I’d want to keep it for myself.

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