25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen

AUG 29, 2020

“Lovely texture…”, “Holds color beautifully…”, “Softens as you work with it…”, “My favorite fabric to sew with!”

These are just some of the ways members from the Spoonflower team have described our newest fabric, a luxurious 100% Belgian Linen™. Made from the finest flax in the world, this medium-weight linen fabric is a top-of-the-line offering for decorators and makers interested in unmatched elegance on upholstery, bags and home decor. To celebrate this exciting launch, 25 Spoonflower employees were given 1 yard of Belgian Linen in the design of their choice and asked to create their take on our popular Everyday Tote Bag. From custom additions like embroidery or beadwork to hacks that transform the tote completely, the results are stunning, to say the least!

Ace L. | Sewing Team

We love Ace’s take on The Everyday Tote as a book bag and with the matching mask, it’s a MAJOR moment!

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Broken Stripes-Desert Sunset by lapetitelecour

Sarah B. | Customer Service

I really enjoyed sewing with our new Belgian Linen! I zigzag stitched the edges prior to washing to avoid fraying. Then, once I started working with the fabric, it softened up a bit more with a really nice texture. I also noticed it finger-presses very nicely.

Regarding the tote pattern on the blog, the instructions are written for a uni-directional print. Because my print had a definite direction, I had to alter the pattern a tiny bit and put a seam into the bottom of the outer shell. Basically, I followed the same instructions as provided for the lining. I ended up having just enough fabric left over to make a tiny zippered pouch. I’m quite happy with the fabric and this opportunity!” – Sarah

Sarah’s tip: Go slowly and use a brand new heavy-weight needle when sewing through multiples layers.

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Wild Sea by nacaca
25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog

Katherine P. | Operations

This fabric is a lovely texture, held the color beautifully, and worked well with both my serger and sewing machine! It’s so dreamy!” – Katherine

Featured design: Girls, Girls, Girls by drawpilgrim

Bhavani J. | Operations

I loved working with Belgian Linen! It was easy to cut through and very easy to sew with. The color was very bright and crisp. The structure holds really well too but it is not too stiff.” – Bhavani

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Emotion Stones by robinskarbek
25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog

Fran F. | Sewing Team

Working with the Belgian Linen was fabulous. It was heavier than I was expecting and sewed beautifully. It has a really luxe feel, which I thought came through in the finished product. It LOOKS expensive. I decided to serge the edges of the pieces before I sewed them together; I’m not sure that I needed to do that for this bag, but if I were making something that would be washed more often I think it would be advisable.

I decided to use cork fabric for the handles and tassel. I thought that the design I chose in this beautiful fabric needed no further embellishment, so I did no quilting or anything else that I had thought of. My “embellishment” was some really nice simple hardware that gave me a spot to clip on a mask or other things. I was really hoping to have enough fabric left over to make a hat but there wasn’t enough. I think this fabric would be wonderful for all kinds of hats and caps.” – Fran

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Palo Verdes in Bloom M+M Yolk by friztin

Michelle B. | Human Resources

“Linen is my favorite fabric to sew with.

I love how it takes color, how it evolves over time and its wide variety of weight and textures. The Belgian Linen for this project was the nicest linen I have ever sewn with! It is so soft and luxurious and easy to work with. I look forward to future projects with this beautiful fabric.” – Michelle

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: French Linen Grid White by holli_zollinger
25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Adobo_Multi by holli_zollinger

Kate K. | Operations

Kate from Operations customized her bag with a zippered pocket inside and we couldn’t be more impressed!

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured designs: Divination in Black by spookishdelight and Crystal Healing Stars by sugargrave

Nikki L. | Operations | Modeled by Banshion S.

The Belgian Linen was very nice to work with! It softened up with washing and even more after handling it for a while. It does fray and shrinks a bit in the wash, but I think a gentle cycle/hand washing and air drying would help!” – Nikki

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Abstract Orchard by yesterdaycollection
25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog

Meghan D. | Operations

The perfect bag for the season, Meghan has created something truly special and unique—we love the choice of studded handles!

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Forest Witch Pattern by crowcouncil

Megan S. | Product Merchandising

“I was very excited to work with this fabric and it did not disappoint! It has a good medium-weight, a great texture, and the perfect balance of structure and drape for this project. Mixing the sophisticated vibe of the Belgian Linen with a fun swimming design and my stash of old competition bathing suits made for an everyday bag with a little class. It’s been my favorite Spoonflower fabric to work with to-date!” – Megan

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: On Your Marks – Light by figandfossil
25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog

Raynia C. | Operations

I absolutely loved sewing with the Belgian Linen! The texture is beautiful and it really made the print pop. The fabric was also surprisingly soft, even though it felt very strong and durable. Definitely one of my favorite linens I have ever worked with! – Raynia

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Magic Jellyfishes by rebecca_reck_art

Emily G. | Operations

The Belgian Linen was amazing to work with. I was a bit taken aback by the shrinkage but it was an excellent substrate for adding bead embellishment to and just gets better the more it is worked. It feels very durable and I am definitely going to be making some extra pouches with the leftover pieces. – Emily

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Chauvet Cave Art on Umber by thinlinetextiles
25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog

Anitha K. | Sewing Team

With just one yard of Belgian Linen, Anitha was able to express herself by creating a matching zipper pouch to go with her tote in this popular design by Ashley Summers. We approve!

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Black Lives Matter by ashleysummersdesign

Allie T. | Product Merchandising

“Working with the new Belgian Linen fabric was delightful! It was easy to sew and the beautiful texture coupled with the weight and hand makes it perfect for a range of applications! I am already picking out designs for a few other projects and can’t wait to stitch up additional items using this lovely fabric!” – Allie

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Dandelion, Rosehips, and Eucalyptus by amy_maccready
25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Lining design: 1 in Grid by atate

Nathalie B. | Operations – Berlin Team

Berlin team member, Nathalie added rings on the sides of this bag to allow for an over-the-shoulder option when needed. And with such a walkable city like Berlin, this will come in handy!

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Matisse Leaves – Bold by alicemoore

Holly A. | Operations

“I added embroidery and applique to customize my tote—the texture of the Belgian Linen is really wonderful for embroidery and it was a dream to sew with! Not to mention it looks smart when finished.” – Holly

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured designs: Artic Tern by ottomanbrim
25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog

Theresa R. | Marketing

The Belgian Linen was so lovely and easy to work with! The colors are vibrant and the texture has that soft, linen-y feel that’s durable yet sophisticated and casual enough for everyday use. It really elevates the quality of this bag and now I want to make 10 more for holiday gifts!” – Theresa

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Heron White by holli_zollinger

Beckie M. | Sewing Team

I really enjoyed working with the Belgian Linen fabric. It has such a fantastic texture and feels quite luxe. Being linen, I know it will also age beautifully. I added glass and crystal beads, along with wool, silk, and alpaca yarns that I think will highlight the linen fibers as they soften with use.– Beckie

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: The Sea and the Sky by ceciliamok
25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog

MaryAshlyn T. | Product Merchandising

The fabric was a breeze to sew, and I was able to sew through four layers with ease using a sharp, size 90 universal needle.

Belgian Linen is easily one of my new favorite fabrics. I opted to pre-wash my yardage, and the linen softened up wonderfully while retaining its bright color!

Due to the structure of the weave, hems and seam allowances will definitely need to be finished to prevent unraveling; so if you choose to prewash your fabric, I would recommend using a zig-zag stitch or serging along the raw edges before laundering. The fabric was a breeze to sew, and I was able to sew through four layers with ease using a sharp, size 90 universal needle.

I opted to cover some belting I had on hand with a faux suede fabric to create the straps, and I used the remaining faux suede as binding along the top edge. I enjoy how the contrasting textures of these fabrics create fun visual interest.– MaryAshlyn

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Abstract Study in Gouache – Curves in Motion by maryashlynthomas

Marianne G. | Performance Marketing

Large birds have become a super popular motif recently—that explains why we love Marianne’s tote bag so much! And, the handles she chose polish things off to create a bag that is elevated, practical and beautiful.

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Exotic Birds in the Rainforest by olgasoi007
25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog

Michelle S. | Customer Service – Berlin Team

If you saw our recent Brightly-Colored Reptiles Design Challenge, you know that the Spoonflower community is loving snakes. This cute design by anda proves it too; we just love how from a distance, this bag looks like an abstract pattern but once you get a closer look, it’s all about the playful snakes!

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Graphic Snakes on Olive by anda

Liz W. | Operations

“Belgian Linen is very stiff when fresh off the printer, but I embroidered the entirety of the bag and by the time I was done, it had softened up considerably and felt lovely. It’s a very heavy fabric but still quite flexible—the weight of it makes the tote bag feel very nice. This was also my first time using heavy-duty denim needles, and it made sewing through multiple layers of stiff fabric super easy.” – Liz

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured designs: Witch Supplies in Pastel by spookishdelight
25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog

Drew E. | Engineering

Spoonflower team member, Drew, enlisted the help of his wife, Lindsay, to create this beautiful floral take on The Everyday Tote Bag. The pink handles were the right choice, Lindsey!

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Aurora-Floral by crystal_walen

Gina S. | Engineering

Our new Belgian Linen is lovely—it hits that sweet spot between sturdy and soft. The texture and quality are delightful as well—it has just enough slubs to make it feel lived-in, but is absolutely sophisticated enough to make high-end home decor!– Gina

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Abstract Grafitti by lapetitelecour
25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog

Megan P. | Operations and Sustainability

The Belgian Linen was super easy to work with and I love the texture. It seems to have great colorfastness and I’m curious to try it with other projects! – Megan

25 Ways to Customize The Everyday Tote Bag Featuring Belgian Linen™ | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: Musical Flight Large Bird by pange

Inspired to create your own Everyday Tote Bag? Get the free pattern with step-by-step instructions here. And while you’re at it, take a closer look at Belgian Linen by watching this video.

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  • Where are the directions and the material to make the totes with the “plastic” looking bottom (waterproof???)
    Thanks

    • Hi Paulette, Thanks for your interest in our tote bag project! Everyone featured in this post started with our Everyday Tote Bag instructions as a base and then use various other materials and their skills to further customize the bag. While we don’t have specific instructions on how to make a waterproof bottom, you could start with our tote bag instructions here and then use waterproof material to create a portion of the outer fabric pieces.

      Best of luck with your project!
      Amy
      Spoonflower

  • Patricia Boynton

    I’ve used your fabric for many a tote’s, would love to send a picture as my bags look a lot nicer than the ones above (sorry). Haven’t used this new fabric yet and would love to but too expensive for me to purchase.

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Beautiful work!
    This is a suggestion:
    Would like to see a few models wearing a suit, professional dress.
    There are many city slickers this will appeal to if presented right.