Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fashion Hacking: Avon Crusade Tote by Marimekko

I KNOW YOU WANT TO OWN THIS BAG. I got all glittery girly sparkle eyes when I saw it too. I don't even remember ordering it really, it was all just a blur of giggles and stories of how we met and how everyone else in the room just disappeared when we locked eyes...
This lovely is the Crusade Tote from AVON and its part of the Avon breast Cancer Crusade campaign. 100% of the net profits are donated to breast cancer research and patient care.
Style be damned, don't we all love doin good deeds? OH BUT LOOK AGAIN AT THE PICTURE! It's chic and philanthropic! AND ONLY TEN DOLLARS?!?!? Seriously like, what more could a stylish girl who wants to save the world ask for?

This is what the Avon lady dropped off a short week later:

Upon inspection I yelled out in my most Renaissance festival sounding accent, "This be not my beloved Crusade Tote! Nay, I say, this crumply heathen be an imposter swathed in the gloriousness that is Marimekko!"
Yes, well, at some point the voice of better sense and character dropped a, "For $10.00 what were you expecting?" bomb and an equally stinging, "This is for charity biatch. deal wit it."

Damn you voice of better sense and character and your righteous, sassy in-your-face-ness.

But because the voice is usually right and it is for charity and it was only $10, I couldn't give up on the tote. I figured it just needed some reconstructive surgery... of The Swan proportions...
Dunn dun duunnnn Dun dun dunn dun!!<- dramatic Fashion Hack entrance music


I wanted my tote to be used as a knitting bag for travel, so it was important to me that it be soft but still rigid enough to stand up on its own, so all my expensive wooly shizz wouldn't end up dirty expensive wooly shizz. My plan was to add a layer of heavy interlining between the fabric and lining to give the bag more structure, and also to keep it from looking like an extra on Golden Girls.
First I checked out the insides. All handbags have an internal turning seam, usually at the lining's bottom seam. This bag was no different.

I opened up the turning seam with a seam ripper, turned the bag inside out and took measurements of the width (side seam to side seam) and height (from opening edge to fold for bottom). I didn't cover the bag's bottom because there was already a thick pad there and I really wanted it to be able to stand on its own (again due to fear of owning dirty shizz). Having the interlining's end at the edge where the bag sits gave the body extra stability.

I purchased the 2nd heaviest fusible available at Joann's and some hot pink thread. I cut out the front and back pieces using a rotary tool (so much faster and easier and cooler than scissors).
I undid the edgestitching along the top edge, scooted my fusible up to the bag's opening edge, fused it to the body and resewed the edgestitching (catching the fusible so it would stay in place even if the glue decided to die at some point in the future).
I turned the body right side out again-- which took patience and finessing since the body was more rigid, and resewed the lining turning seam.
After steam pressing the outside body and handles...


The bag was the perfectly perfect vision I had envisioned!!! I use it all the time now and it works perfectly for my needs!
SO very great when projects like this work out. Now I can lord over everyone with my charitable goody-goodyness with a fabulous looking bag.

So in conclusion, please order this bag from AVON! Haha, ok ok, I know this post has been anything but a gleaming testimonial, BUT I don't work for the company or anything, I just think it's a good deal on a tote that donates to a great cause. In a perfect world everyone benefits no?

Again, I truly don't want this post to be a deterrent from buying this product, but actually an example of what can be done to improve it if you are crafty and looking for a rigid tote bag to protect yo shizz.

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