Monday, October 18, 2010

New Tote

You know, I probably made this bag a month ago. At that time I was fed up with my birdie sling. Although I appreciate the large size of the birdie sling, the shape of the bag is the issue. If I need a pen, I like to be able to keep the bag on my shoulder, reach in, and get my pen. The incredibly deep bag and narrow opening made it quite difficult to accomplish this.


While desperately searching for a new pattern, I had my eye out for something that was still large enough to carry a few books plus the ordinary purse items but was more shallow and wide at the top. Thankfully, I found the Pleated Tote by Jen Gidden's on Etsy. It's fantastic! Not only is the bag the perfect size and shape, the pattern is concise and well written. Each step is explained well and is not full of extraneous information.


The pattern calls for the bag to be interfaced using duck cloth. This is my first time using it and I am very pleased with the results! The duck cloth holds its shape very well and gives my bag more structure. The pattern recommends using bottomweight or home dec fabric for the exterior to help it hold its shape. However, since I had this pretty Nicey Jane print already, I decided to just interface the exterior as well. I don't think the structure of the bag suffered at all from using a quilting cotton plus duck cloth for the exterior. In comparison to the lightweight plus fusible fleece interfacing used in my birdie sling, I would say this is a superior way to interface. The only downside is that it was a little difficult to sew through all of the layers at the straps. I used a denim needle and just took it slow and steady.


I opted to deviate from the pattern with the interior pocket style. In the past few bags I have made, the pockets have been simple squares or rectangles sewn to the lining and I don't find them very functional. I decided to go for a full width series of pockets sewn into four smaller pockets. After using this for several weeks, I am finding that the slightly extra planning was certainly worth it. The series of smaller pockets hold my pens, keys, phone, and iPod much nicer than a simple catch all pocket.

All in all, I am very happy with my new tote. It is functional and very cute.

7 comments:

Chicken Julie said...

Totally cute - love the Nicey Jane with this. Thanks for the link to the Etsy seller. Have been looking at and then away at that Birdie sling for a long time for the reason you mentioned. I've marked this bag as a favorite - when I finally have time, I'll buy the pattern. Always glad to support Etsians...

Leslie said...

this is beautiful. that is one of my favorite nicey Jane fabrics

Sunshine said...

Thanks for the review of the pattern. Your version turned out great!

Jen said...

Thanks so much for the lovely words about my pattern -- your bag turned out GREAT! I love that fabric, I might have to find myself some...

I'm bookmarking your blog! Love it!

Jen

d said...

ooh look at those pockets. someday, when i can sew a straight line i will attempt this. :)

Rebekah said...

Adorable bag! Your pocket insert is perfect and I love the fabric you used.

April (Polkadot Sparrow) said...

I just made my sis the Birdie Sling for Christmas. She requested it. But I really like your new bag, too. And that fabric is really pretty!