Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tote Bag - Success (with a little big of failure!)

Erin Gilbey of Dog Under My Desk has written some of the best patterns for purses and tote bags.  Her instructions are terrific and the photos accompanying each step demystify the process.  As I've mentioned before, one of my favorite aspects of her patterns is her insistence that no exposed raw edges be left in the finish product.  The resulting bags are just so much nicer and so much less "home made" looking. 

As always, spiral bound for ease of use during the project and storage later. 
Last week, I tackled the Outta Time Tote for the third time, this time sticking exactly to the dimensions stated in the instructions.  I've made it twice before, both times modifying the size to suit my purposes.    (Did I mention her patterns are easily modified for size and, in this case, dimension?)  Anyway, for this one, I stuck exactly to the pattern for the dimensions, creating a bag which is taller than it is wide. 

Finished dimensions: 14" tall, 12" wide, and 3" deep.  Really nice size.
As you can see, the bag came together beautifully. 
Structured enough to stand on its own when empty!
 For structure, I followed Erin's instructions and used SF101 woven interfacing, but instead of batting, I used Bosal Fusible Foam.  Pellon makes a fusible foam, too, which is nice for when I run out of my Bosal, as my source for the Bosal has been exclusively Amazon and running out is annoying.  The floral fabric is a Mary Engelbreit fabric, the straps are black webbing (instead of fabric), and the lining is just inexpensive cotton.   The zippers are #5 zippers of my spool of zippers by the yard.

My favorite part:  Black piping running up the panels and added to the zipper as well. 
I fell in love with this fabric, but my favorite part of this bag is the addition of the black piping.  I am especially glad I decided to add it to the zipper installation on the front pocket.  The piping just frames everything so elegantly.

Embroidery fail:  poor color selection ruined the whole thing.
What I didn't love and actually deemed a fail was the embroidery I added to the front pocket.  I picked the wrong color and the embroidery doesn't really show at all.  I should have gone with black instead of picking a color which matched the lining and coordinated with the outer fabric.  Unfortunately, until the bag was completely together, I couldn't see the problem.  Next time,  I must remember:  Contrast, NOT coordinate!   So, while the embroidery is technically well done, I deem it a fail.

Terrific overall bag, but the embroidery disappears...sigh.

On to the next project...


Tutus and Choo-Choos said...

What a cute bag! Looks like a great size too!

Erin said...

Thanks so much! It is a good size...kind of a Goldilocks size...not too big and not too small.