I’m not a bag maker. Ironically, a bag pattern was my first quilt shop purchase (Amy Butler’s Swing Bag from The Needle Shop!). It was probably my first Work in Progress that was never finished, though I did re-use the scraps and officially put a stop to it. I’m not sure now why I didn’t finish it. I’ve made one bag since then, from the BurdaStyle book. It had an oval bottom piece, so my first time doing that was a little strange, and I didn’t really enjoy the experience. Probably didn’t help that the purse was not interfaced (it didn’t call for it though I used mid-weight linen/cotton, and I didn’t know better) and it’s kind of a slouchy mess so I never use it.
Anyways, despite knowing tons of bag-makers and even bag-pattern-makers, I have been needleshy.
And yet… I hate buying purses. I’m really a tote kind of gal. I just know that I would be happier with one of my own making. One thing that has scared me off was how dirty my purses get, and I would hate to see a beloved fabric get dirty and beat up. We’ll see how that goes.
tl;dr version: I needed a bag, didn’t want to make one, did anyway.
So I made Noodlehead’s “Go Anywhere Tote” with some trepidation.
Which was completely unnecessary. Unlike my issues understanding the Divided Tote (still not finished, and probably more to do with my insistence on sew-in interfacing complicating things), I had NO problems understanding or making it. It probably took less than 2 hours, including cutting and fusing.
Fabric Used: Tomotake Muddy Works canvas for exterior pockets & straps; Andover chambray in black for exterior; On the Grid for the interior and Arrows for interior pockets, both by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cotton+Steel. SF-101 interfaced everything.
Since I’ve been using this bag for about two weeks now, I can comment a little on the wear. The exterior front pockets called for a little triangle to be sewn where the top of the exterior pocket meets the body (dividing the exterior pocket), and despite my triangles looking very nice, one has already been ripped away from the body and needs re-sewn. I used my standard Gutterman Mara poly. Next time I would use a top-stitch/thicker weight thread and I think it would look nicer and show off the stitching.
I also wish I used something thicker than the chambray, which is starting to have a really worn-in look; perhaps Essex linen next time. The chambray/bold print combo is a very popular combination for bags, so thanks blogosphere for the constant inspiration. And thanks, Noodlehead, for making such a wonderful pattern. She was even kind enough to leave a nice comment on my Instagram, something I know is very hard for busy people and people who get tagged constantly to do, and I appreciate her taking the time to touch base with customers.