I found several inexpensive 18" by 28" tea towels at Target ($4.99 AUD for a set). They were, as many others I've seen before, too pretty to just use in the kitchen. Most of them were paired like this one...
Being a coordinated set like this really just made things easier for me. I purchased three sets and got to work right away. The best thing about using tea towels is that there is virtually no fabric waste (yes, seams included). I used the tutorial I mentioned earlier but changed a few things. For one, I had to take the embroidery into consideration. My idea was to make the squares the focal point of the bag front. Secondly, I wanted a more sturdy construction (not floppy) and a different type of closure.
These are the two bags I've completed so far...
(Click images to enlarge)
I lined the main bag with fusible fleece and the inside with woven interfacing. The bags ended up really thick and cushiony. And because I had used fusible woven interfacing (which is basically fabric that can be ironed on), the lining remained soft. As you can see from the photo above, the bags close with magnetic snaps.
I'm sorry if you had expected me to make another tutorial for this one...the one I used is fantastic as it is and I am quite sure you can make your own following that. Do adjustments depending on the design of your tea towels.
This bag would be a great present to give anytime. And it's so much better than store-bought, commercially-made totes!