I’m always looking for ways to recycle or reuse things. I had a dishtowel that I loved the print on but hated the way it felt when I used it to dry things. It wasn’t 100% cotton, my preference. It was one of those cheap $1.29 dishtowels made from a synthetic fabric. But, still, I loved the palm trees and sailboat scene on it so I turned it into a beach tote bag for my iPad. It took about 20 minutes to complete.
Start with a dishtowel and cut a front and back – same size, and two straps as shown in the photo. I made mine large enough to hold an iPad.
I used a scrap of off-white cotton to add to the back of the straps. I also used a scrap of yellow cotton to line the bag, cutting one large piece and folding it in half to match the size of the dishtowel front and back of the tote. (In retrospect, I don’t think it’s necessary to line future tote bags and it will save lots of time – see photo at bottom.)
Turn under and hem the top edges of the lining and the top edges of the dishtowel tote bag pieces.
Sew your straps together and topstitch. You can also use canvas strapping material if you don’t want to make the straps yourself and save some time.
Put right sides together of the dishtowel tote bag outside and sew together on the sides and bottom. Put right sites together of the lining fabric and sew sides together.
For a box shaped bottom, pinch the corners of the dishtowel tote bag to form a triangle and sew across it about an inch from the tip to create a squared bottom. Do the same with the lining.
Place the lining inside of dishtowel tote bag with right sides of the lining and the right sides of the dishtowel facing together. Slide the straps in between the right sides making sure the straps do not twist and pin the four loose ends in place.
Sew around the top leaving a 3 inch opening so that you can pull the right sides out. It’s a bit bulky when you pull it through. The final step is to topstitch around the top of the bag.
It’s a great way to re-purpose dishtowels that don’t match your decor anymore!