Vintage Tablecloth Tote Bags For The Family - A Collab Between Me and Grams

A couple years ago, TheMisterT’s aunt offered some of her mother’s table cloth & napkin sets. I chose this one, then asked if it would be OK if I turned it into something else. She didn’t object at all.


I got the idea to make bags for all the women in the family! Luckily, I had this cool pattern that I got from @mellybelly81 (I think?) in the Use it Or Lose It thread! I did a modified version of View A.

Cutting the printed area of the cloth into 6 equal parts was just about the right amount of fabric to do the main body of the bags. I got really lucky to find the checked fabric after I had given up and was walking out of JoAnn! The shades of blue, green, pink, and burgundy in the print just aren’t the ones available in quilting cottons around here. But this stretch twill had a blue that was soooo close as to basically match. YEY!

There are two bags with the flowers across the whole front and four with the flowers on the edge of the front (2 left, 2 right). A similar distribution on the back with the ribbons and flowers. The pattern calls for making handles with upholstery vinyl, but the available selection around here is verrrrry small and I can’t imagine color matching that (even with white) would exist at all, let alone be possible via online sources. So, I decided on this green strapping material. That also helped these look less like handbags and more like a market tote or shopping bag.


Instead of covering the print by putting a pocket on the outside, I use the napkins to put a pocket on the inside. It has 3 sections, two that would fit a phone (one my size and one for the bigger models) and a pen pocket. I made a label to describe a bit about how these came about: Grams and me (Irene + Tara) with laundering directions.


We’re taking a family vacation in June and I will be giving them while we’re there. Because they all look pretty much alike, I used the last little scraps of the floral print to make tags with everyone’s initials in their favorite color. I used the same fusible interfacing as for the bags, then cut the circles and the letters with my Sizzix. The letters are glued with FabricTac and then stitched. All the letter fabric and the ribbon used to make the loops are from stash.


The backs are the check.


I think they turned out so cute! I know they aren’t everyone’s style, but I think that all the women in the family (TheMister’s mom, aunt, sister, 2 nieces + me) will appreciate that Gram’s table cloth set became other useful items. They all truly appreciate handmade things, too.


And… whew! I enjoyed this project most of the time, but it was a lot, so I am glad it’s finally complete. That said, I already have the materials to make another one for myself! :woman_shrugging:


What a fabulous cutting job you did to make use of every inch of that tablecloth! Each is unique and yet tied together. Good call on the handles…they add a modern look to the vintage fabric.

Love the little pocket detail. The family is going to love them!


Aw, thank you! I’m glad I found a use for the napkins, which were, of course, more stained than the tablecloth. Between folding them in half and adding that big label, there’s not much stain showing.


I’m so happy my bag pattern was used to make such a lovely family gift set!


Oh what a lovely gift for the family!!


These are so lovely and the love and care that went into them makes each an extra special family heirloom!


Thanks, friends! I’m excited to give them next month! And also to get them out of my house.

These are wonderful!! That checkered blue matches perfectly. It totally gives off modern and heirloom vibes.

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These are great, and your attention to detail is always so impressive

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Aw, thank you so much!

@Abbeeroad I felt so lucky with that checkered print! The colors, the scale, and the checks themselves all really made it work.

@Edel That really means a lot coming from you!

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Wow, what a genius idea! They turned out so cute, and I love the little tags as well as the label inside.


These are so lovely! What a great family-memory project.


Thanks so much, y’all!

They’re folded, tied with ribbons (in colors to match the initials on the tags) and ready to be packed for the upcoming trip!



What a wonderful and thoughtful gift!

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Thank you!

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Wow, these are so cute and fun! And that checked fabric is PERFECT with the tablecloth print!

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This was such a sweet idea, and you executed it perfectly. It’s nice that you have a group in your family that appreciates your craftiness, too!

Thanks, pals!

@gozer I am so, so grateful that pretty much all of our family appreciates handmade! The only drawback is I think sometimes they are a tiny bit disappointed when a gift isn’t handmade!


:sparkles: :shopping: :blue_heart: Congratulations! Your Vintage Tablecloth Tote Bags are a Featured Project this week! :blue_heart: :shopping: :sparkles:

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Awww, thank you!

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