And here's a taster of what you'll find!
Toots Totes Website Shop
You can now shop direct from my website. I am gradually winding down my Etsy shop, due to their fees not being viable for a small hobby based concern. So please explore "Shop" in my top menu or if you've seen anything you like on Social Media that's not there, contact me direct to purchase at email@example.com. Thanks!
And here's a taster of what you'll find!
Stylish Toots Totes designed zip top “Rosa” tote shopper handbag in Skinny laminx fabric
Beautiful top handle zip top “Rosa” handbag, shopper tote bag in ‘Tree Poppy’ fabric
I'm trying to do my bit in the quest for more sustainable living. I seek out sad wicker baskets that I can clean up, refurbish and pretty up with a lovely lining. The latest was a little big to use as a handbag, so I decided to make it into a sewing basket.
I used some preloved William Morris "Briarwood" fabric and with padding and pockets a-plenty, I think it works quite well.
I will be taking it to the Vintage Day Out in July, but it is listed on Etsy if you'd like to purchase it first!
A perfect title for this time of year! I haven't made a Toots Totes "Blossom" for quite a while but it seemed to me to be a perfect design for the upcoming Vintage Day Out.
The first one, made with some delightful floral handles and a pretty floral lining, sold in a flash when I posted it on Facebook, so I've made another!
The second one involved some piping around the top band. I won't be doing that again-it was soooo fiddly! But the end result is pretty but smart, don't you think? It had to have red leather handles and a red vintage button finished it off nicely!
I'm having great fun sourcing vintage and vintage style fabrics for the upcoming Vintage Day Out. It's the perfect excuse to buy and those of you who are fabric addicts will know what I mean!
Jacqueline Fleming, an expert and very knowledgeable vintage fabric stockist based in Woodbridge, who supplied some wonderful complementary pieces when I was working with Henry Moore designed fabrics, found these beautiful kitsch kittens for me.
I used the 1952 Vogue pattern to make a Toots Totes "Daphne" bag and I'm rather pleased with the result!
The lining is a pretty floral cotton that adds to the vintage feel and I added modern haberdashery to make it more user friendly.
I had a lovely pink leather strap, which co-ordinated well, that came from Ukraine with some others, at the beginning of the conflict. They took a while to reach me but it felt good to have gone a little way to helping support a small business to keep trading in such difficult times.
I had thought about adding a big pink bow to the flap for additional kitsch value, but a straw poll on social media quashed that idea! And I think they were right-it was a step too far.
A Vintage Day Out Essex
1 JUL & 2 JUL AT 10:30 – 16.00 A Vintage Day Out Essex
Event by Helen Rollason Cancer Charity
Cressing Temple Barns and Gardens
So pleased to be selling at this event this year!
Please put the dates in your diary and come and say hello!
Tree Peony...Take Three!
Yep I made another-I'll tell you a secret-I'd already cut it out for my client who ordered one for her conference (see below), but then decided it wouldn't be deep enough to hold her papers, so abandoned the pieces I'd cut out to make a bigger version.
I rather like this one now completed in its own right, with the additional cream stripe that frames the 'Tree Poppy' fabric nicely along the top, and the pretty lining that echoes the colours of the outer.
Available on Etsy or a little cheaper if you buy direct from me: firstname.lastname@example.org 😉
Markshall Estate Christmas Market
Most honoured to have been accepted to exhibit at the Markshall Estate Christmas Market, which is on Dec 3rd and 4th. I'll be there with my bags on Saturday 3rd. Come and say hello!
The Arboretum will be opening to the public that weekend, free of charge, so everyone can get to see the stunning grounds and beat the winter blues!
Tree Peony…take two!
Then a second client fell in love with the Sanderson Tree Peony fabric and requested a summer backpack. I didn’t have sufficient fabric to make the straps but the plain red worked just as well. Any more requests?
And a hairband
I met a lovely lady at the Textile Fair in Braintree who fell in love with this Sanderson Tree Poppy fabric and asked if I could make her a bag. So here it is: a Toots Totes “Rosa” (and matching hairband) commissioned to be large enough to hold papers for a conference and to include a pocket for a water bottle. That was certainly a first! She was very pleased with it and asked if I made dresses too as she needed a new one for the conference! Sadly not, my dress making days stopped when fabric became more expensive than ready-made clothing, and I am seriously out of practice. Unless she wanted a zip top dress with leather handles she was out of luck!
In preparation for a long awaited visit to family in France, I decided to make three little bags to take as gifts. Rather than making them one at a time I decided to do the production line thing, which I've found in the past works quite well and saves a bit of time. I chose two William Morris fabrics: 'Strawberry Thief' and 'Snakeshead' (named after the fritillery not the reptile!) and a 50's reprint of a classic mid-century modern design 'Mobiles'.
I cut out two "Poppy" cross body bags and a variant of that design that allows for the cross body strap to be clipped on the side along with a partner strap the other side, to convert it into a backpack. I sewed the zipped pockets onto each front and then tacked wadding on to each piece.
Next I sewed the side and bottom seams, attached some plastic mesh to strengthen the base, and turned them right side out. Eight fiddly loop holders were sewn and attached to the top sides of each bag with two extra at the bottom of the backpack.
Just the linings to do now with their inner pockets and a zip top closure!
Update: Now back from our french holiday I can now report the bags were well received!
Hello, I'm Ruth Overton. My nickname as a child was 'Ruthie Toots' which is how the name