Made by me / My makes

The Vanja tote goes mod

The decidedly 70’s vibe corduroy Vanja bag has gotten a 60’s style cousin. This time I wanted a practical tote that could withstand both rain and snow as well as internal assaults from things like leaking ball point pens and melting chocolate. Therefore this Vanja version is nothing but plastic fantastic. The outside is faux leather remains from the Stoff och Stil bag I did last year and the lining is made from a vinyl table cloth scrap that I found in a department store sales bin.

Strictly for winter use. I suspect the air tight plastic lining combined with summer heat will turn this bag into a portable sauna and bring all it’s content to the boiling point. But for the autumn/winter season it’ll be perfect.

Sewing with faux leather is both easy and difficult. Easy because the fabric is very stable and easy to sew on a regular sewing machine with a leather needle. Difficult because it’s stiff and doesn’t hold a press well, so it’s almost impossible to fold faux leather. I had to use a combination of glue and gentle ironing to keep the straps folded long enough so that I could top stitch them.

The closure is magnetic snaps, which is my new favorite thing – it’s incredibly practical. Although I got a bit nervous about them last week when I read about a women who had bought a diaper bag with magnetic closures that had demagnetized her credit card! Then she got a new bag from the manufacturer and the same thing happened again! It’s the first time I heard about it though, so hopefully that diaper bag closure was unusually strong.


  • Meg
    February 1, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I can’t believe you made that bag, it is fabulous!

  • katherine h
    February 1, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    fabulous bag! The magnetic closures on my purse wiped all my cards…they all stopped working within a week of each other. The lady at the bank told me that it is common for magnetic clasps to wipe cards
    (so why do they put them in purses??)I have a couple of larger bags with magnetic closures and I try not to pass my purse too close to them too often.

  • Johanna
    February 1, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    >>Meg: Thank you! 🙂

    >> Katherine: Oh no, what a bummer! I agree, why do they put the snaps in purses if it's a well known fact? I feel a little bad now, because I've given away two totes with magnetic snaps. Hopefully the risk is bit less with bags since the cards will be farther from the snaps. But this still means I'll have to rethink my use of magnetic snaps…

  • Lori
    February 1, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Great tote.

  • Nancy W.
    February 7, 2009 at 1:56 am

    Cool looking bag – I like it!


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