Now that Princess Peach is done a ready for C2E2, I decided to tackle the one main issue I face each year: how am I going to carry all my crap?
In the past, I’ve generally had an easy time using what I already had at had as a bag, and it would fit with the theme of my cosplay well enough. With Peach, though, I had no accessory that would be a suitable purse, and there’s no good place to store even a phone. So for the first time, I decided to make my own bag that was on brand with the Super Mario universe: a star tote!
Oddly enough, I’ve never made a tote bag before, so I’m not sure if the technique is 100% accurate, but I didn’t think it’d be too difficult to figure out, so I pretty much winged it. However, I did make note of my process and steps, which I am going to share here today! So, if you’re looking for a cute accessory to take along with you to a convention, or you’re in need of a new nerdy bag, keep reading!
From Your Utility Belt, You’ll Need:
- 1 yard of 60″ satin (preferably sparkly)
- 1 yard of 60″ yellow broadcloth for lining
- 1 1/8 yards of medium weight fusible interfacing
- 1 package of black double folded bias tape
- Poster board, tracing paper, or tracing interfacing
- Sewing pins or clips (I used clips)
- A ruler or yeardstick
- Marking utensil (pen, Sharpie, pencil, etc.)
- Tailor’s chalk
- Iron and ironing board
- Black and while fabric paint
- Paint brushes
Step 1: Create Pattern
So this took me longer than it should have because I was being silly and thought I could draft a star patter on my own (I can’t). This is what I did:
I enlarged a picture of the star from Super Mario (this is the image I used) so that one half of the star took up two sheets of paper. I then printed this out, cut out the shape, and taped the two parts of the star together.
Next, I took a piece of tracing interfacing (about 3/4 of a yard of it), folded it in half, and then traced the half star shape onto the fold like a valentine heart. I added an additional 1″ around this shape for seam allowance and extra room (my general seam allowance was 5/8″).
I then cut out this shape again, unfolded it, and I had my star pattern!
Step 2: Cutting Out the Fabric Components
With right sides out, I took my folded fabrics and stacked them on top on each other, including the interfacing.
You are going to need two of each: two broadcloth pieces, two satin pieces, and two interfacing pieces.
Pin your pattern on top of this stack, and carefully cut out your pieces. You should have something like this:
Step 3: Paint on Star’s Eyes
You don’t have to if you don’t want to, but it makes the star look super cute, so I highly recommend.
On one of your satin pieces, paint on its eyes using black fabric paint as a base, then white for the highlight. I cut out the star’s eye from the template I printed off, and traced around the shape onto the fabric using tailor’s chalk. Let dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Step 4: Iron on Interfacing, Pin, and Stitch
Now we’re going to create two star shapes. These will be the front and back of you tote.
Iron on the interfacing pieces onto the wrong side of your satin pieces, trimming any excess. Cut bias tape strips between 15″-20″ depending on how long you want your tote straps to be. Topstitch them closed so you can no longer open them up by the fold.
Next, pin the broadcloth piece to the satin piece, right sides facing each other. Be sure that you have the strap on the inside of the star shape, with the ends facing out. Stitch with a 5/8″ seam allowance, and clip corners and excess. Make sure to leave an opening in each star shape for turning.
Turn your star shapes out and press with iron. Take your shapes to the sewing machine and topstitch all the way around with a 3/8” seam allowance.
Step 5: Joining the Two Pieces Together
From here on out, I will refer to the two star shapes we just created as the “front” and “back” of your tote.
With right sides facing one another (meaning satin side of stars facing each other), stitch 3/4 of the way around the front and back pieces , leaving an opening between the ends of each strap. Make sure you reinforce. Clip corners once again, and turn out.
Step 6: Press and Enjoy!
Press out your tote, and throw it over your shoulder! You’re done!
Again, I may have done this completely wrong, but it worked out for me just fine! It’s not the biggest tote, but it’ll provide more than enough space for snacks, my wallet, a water bottle, and a mini cosplay emergency kit.
All in all, I love how this turned out! It makes me want to make more themed tote bags for future cosplays, and adds a nice touch to the overall look!
In total, this project took me a few hours to make, so it’s definitely a project you can easily throw together the week of a convention without too much commitment.
Let me know what you think of this project, and if you are going to try it for yourself! Make sure you tag me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter if you do! And stay tuned for the next installment of C2E2 Week!
Life was meant to be lived nerdily, so what are you waiting for?