Hula Competition Tote

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My Baby (the oldest of my babies) is going to a hula competition this summer with her halau (hula school or group).  I put together a tote for my Baby Girl (my second baby) to take with her to writers conferences and so, of course, I want to do something similar for my Baby going to hula competition.
small zippered pouch made from Hawaiian flower print fabric on outside and green fabric on inside.
My Baby has to carry specific items to each and every competition practice and eventually to the competition itself.
They wear kupe’e on their wrists and ankles.  These are sturdy but it’s easy to loose 1 in a large tote bag so I made a zippered pouch to hold the 4 kupe’e together in one place.
three black kupe'e bracelets and anklets.
It all started with a floral tank top that my daughter outgrew but I loved the cheerful tropical pattern.  I also had that green thrifted napkin that I was unable to bleach (lesson learned – not all fabric types can be bleached).  The fabrics coordinated together perfectly.
Hawaiian flower print tank top shown cut into pieces in preparation for DIY project.
I cut the tank top to match the napkin in size for the pouch.  I followed my favorite zippered pouch tutorial at Noodlehead {here}.  The only thing I did differently is that I did not box the corners so my pouch turned out flat like a pencil pouch.
The kupe’e fit perfectly and won’t get lost in the bottom of her tote bag.
closer view of Hawaiian flower print tank top cut up for DIY project.
 Since I had more than half of the tank top left (and if you know me at all, you know I couldn’t just throw it away). I decided to make a bag to protect her ipu.

I simply sewed across the bottom of the tank top twice to reinforce the knit material (and because I have no idea if you’re supposed to do something special when you sew knit fabric). I did box the corners this time (just follow the step for boxing the corners that I omitted above in the Noodlehead tutorial).

fabric from Hawaiian flower print tank top with new stitches added and piece of cardboard.
I added a piece of cardboard to the inside bottom of the bag to give it some more stability.
And ended up with a cute little tote bag.  It would make an adorable summer purse, but I had another job in mind for this bag.
hand holding small DIY tote bag made from Hawaiian flower print tank top.
The ipu fits perfectly and it will help protect the fragile gourd during the miles and miles traveled to practices and eventually to competition.
gourd instrument for hula shown inside DIY Hawaiian flower print tote bag.
I found the perfect canvas tote bag for her to put all her practice items in and it’s large enough to carry everything she’s responsible for carrying to competition.  Drop back by on Friday to see both the hula tote bag I found for my Baby and the writer’s tote back I found for my Baby Girl.

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  1. Love the bag and the tote! WHat a great way to repurpose a favorite piece of clothing!

    Great job!


  2. Susan, I love it! I love the mini tote bag with the straps being the handles. Now I really want to learn to sew better!

  3. Awe…what a great idea to repurpose clothing! I love all the items you made. Good luck to your daughter in the competitions!

  4. You know I love this bag!Thank you for linking to the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party! I look forward to seeing what you bring next week!

    Cynthia at

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