New Tote Bag

I made a tote bag on Saturday!

I had been wanting to make some larger items for a long time but it seemed kind of daunting…so, I kept it simple.

(Click the pics to enlarge them. The flash made the bag look shinier than it is in “real life”.)

Musette Tote

Musette Tote

I used 5 tubes (I think). I sliced the tubes lengthwise once, then again so the pieces would stay flat. Then I measured a musette bag and cut the pieces 3 or so inches longer than that. Then I sewed all the pieces together till the piece was the correct height. It measures 13 inches wide by 15 inches tall with a 40 inch strap.

I used a tube for the strap which makes the bag fun and bouncy, if not quite as sturdy. I’ll probably make the next one with a piece of twill tape inside it so it won’t stretch and it will be stronger, but I really like this strap though.

Lycra jersey lining

Lycra jersey lining

Once I had 2 big pieces for the sides, I cut the edges straight and sewed them, right sides together. Then I cut up a cycling jersey(!), using the pocket for inner pockets in the tote. I sewed the jersey on my home machine since I don’t have my serger set up yet.

Then I popped the jersey inside and sewed it into the bag. I LOVE the jersey lining. Now to collect old jerseys… more project. So, DON’T THROW THOSE OLD JERSEYS OUT! GIVE ‘EM TO ME! You will be rewarded!

I left the strap long on both ends and added a swivel clip on one for my keys and just a twill tab for the other end. Next one I’ll probably use contrasting thread.

Strap with swivel clip

Strap with swivel clip

I took it to the Boulevard Cup cross races on Sunday and it worked great and I got some good feedback from a lot of people. You never know when you are hunched over a sewing machine wrestling with all this rubber whether you’ll end up with something useable and nice looking so all the input from bicycle riders is invaluable.

I’m really happy with it. It came out great and I will definitely make more. I think it turned out swell! What do you think? Please comment and let me know your thoughts.



  1. Hector Soto says:

    How can I donate old tubes? Have a mailing address? I’ve held onto a bunch of tubes over time because I hate the thought of throwing them out in the trash.

  2. i’ve been interested in sewing with inner tubes for some time, but have held off because i don’t know how the rubber affect the machine. do you find that sewing with rubber wears harder on the machine than fabric?


    • Henry,

      The heavy-duty industrial machine I use (Pfaff 561) doesn’t seem to mind it. You definitely need to use a teflon foot or the rubber will stick under the foot and go nowhere. I change needles fairly often but that’s standard.

      I bougth my machine from my old employer, a huge jeanswear maker, so it’s made for heavy denim. It doesn’t like a needle that’s smaller than an 18, altho I’ve sewn my bags with a 14 needle on a different machine with no problems.

      So, no, I don’t think rubber is any harder on a heavy duty machine than fabric. But, that may not hold true for a light-duty machine.

      Give it a try!

  3. Joe should be contacting you soon about this! It is a good looking bag and I love the jersey liner. I want to see it again in person! Maybe over some tear- inducing Thai food?

    • So glad you like it! I carry it everywhere…even on my bike.

      As for Thai food…you are on sister! Call me!

      I’ll meet with Joe asap to make him the custom man purse of his dreams!

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