Sewing: Totebag

Tote bag with blue bottom, brown straps
I realized that I needed several tote bags. I go to several events each month; there’s a ton of stuff that I’m expected to bring to each event; and I keep grabbing the wrong bag for the event, and winding up with the wrong stuff at the event.  So I figured, time to learn a bag pattern.

I found a tutorial online, which has both a blog post with the measurements of the relevant pieces, and a video tutorial of the steps. IF you want to add in the extra zippered pocket, there’s a separate tutorial.

There’s quite a lot of cutting:

  • two (2) 14″x16″ rectangles of main fabric
  • two (2) 14″x16″ rectangles of lining
  • two (2) outer pockets measuring 7″x14″
  • one (1) inner pocket measuring (20″x16″)
  • Two (2) 6×16″ panels of denim, four (4) 2″x42″ strips
  • Fusible Interfacing
    • two (2) 14″x16″ panels
    • one (1) 7″x7″ panels
    • one (1) 10″x16″ panel
    • two (2) panels of fusible fleece, 13″x15″

Interior, with pouch pockets no zippers.And… this is what resulted.  It’s not what I need, nor what I really want, which is something more utilitarian.  I’m glad I learned this pattern, but it’s not quite what I expected, either.  I need a larger and deeper bag, fewer pockets (and maybe a secure/zippered pocket in each bag (I skipped that part of the tutorial)? Decisions, decisions.

Kudos to Mathew of Mr. Domestic, of course, for the design.  I’m glad I executed this design in some of the upholstery fabric that I’ve wound up with over the years, as an experiment; but I have to say that the orange/maroon knit for the lining was too thick and bulky compared with the shell (this heavily textured beige fabric), and the choice of blue and gold and black on the outside as accents doesn’t really match the fire-red on the inside and the houndstooth/gingham.  Everything feels too bulky, too hefty. A good design, but poorly executed on my part.

Sometimes we make choices in a project that haunt us later on.  The end is in the beginning of the work, as well. You will produce a bag made from the fabrics you cut.


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