The Everyday Tote
March 20, 2009
The Everyday Tote was the second project I made from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. As far as bags go, this one is pretty straight forward. I had this great Lotta Jansdotter fabric that Leslie sent me that would be perfect for this bag and was ready to start cutting until I realized I was going to need way more than 1/2 yard (42" wide) to get this one done. When I talked to her, Heather mentioned that the pattern should read that you will need 1 yard of each the outside and lining fabrics. So now you know.
Back to me and my dilemma....remember, I rarely have any cut fabric bigger than 1 yard? The Denyse Schmidt gold and green polka dot was in my stash - I had 1/2 yard (54" wide) which was just enough after washing to lay the pattern piece on it side by side, instead of on the fold. I did add 1/2" to my traced pattern to make up for the seam allowance I had to put in the bottom. Follow? Same goes for the lining. Because the Heather Ross print I chose is directional, cutting it on the fold would have given me upside down flowers on one side of my bag. That wasn't going to cut it, so I cut 2 single pieces instead.
The straps and the strap linings are cut on the bias. The pattern has you cutting them from the same two fabrics you are using for the outside of the bag and the lining. Well, I had no large polka dots left, so I went back to the stack and pulled out a coordinating Denyse Schmidt print from the County Fair line. And of course, I didn't have enough of the lining to line the handles so I chose another Heather Ross fabric from the stash that coordinates perfectly - the green horse print (from the West Hill line - can't find a good link). I also cut the pocket out of the horse print. I measured the pattern piece and then cut a rectangle twice as high so I could fold it to double it and make it a bit heftier.
I sewed the bag exactly as Heather describes except I had to add the bottom seam. No big deal. All went well until the handles. I could not wrap my brain around the written directions in conjunction with the illustrations and the photo. I really think this is not Heather - it's me. I couldn't get quilt binding out of my head, so that is basically what I did. It doesn't look anything like the photo so I know it's wrong. I considered ripping it out, but then realized that it looks fine and my time wasn't worth it. When I make the next one - yes, there will be more - I'll try something different.
I think it is super cute. And as I told Heather, I love that I can fold it flat to stick in my purse or maybe even a suitcase. The shape is fantastic, too. I might even shrink the pattern down a bit to make a smaller, kid-sized version. The thought of my girls carrying their own stuff to the pool just makes me smile.
Questions? I'll answer them in the comments again. Monday, it's the yard sale wrap skirt. Until then, have a great weekend.
I think it's great! I'm heading into my own Weekend Sewing binge. Tracing as we speak!
Posted by: Sarah Jackson | March 20, 2009 at 12:38 PM
Looks like a great project, thanks for sharing the changes you made!
Posted by: Kirsten | March 20, 2009 at 12:40 PM
Oh that bag is CUTE!!!
You may just persuade me to break out the machine. I've been neglecting her something awful!
Posted by: stefani | March 20, 2009 at 12:44 PM
so nice! I want to make one now too!!
Posted by: Lee-Ann | March 20, 2009 at 01:08 PM
It's SO darling! My only fear is that the way I load up my bags it would be too much strain where the straps meet the bag... it looks a little fragile there. (Maybe I just need to not load up my stuff.)
Posted by: Julie | March 20, 2009 at 01:19 PM
It's not just your with the tote edging. I couldn't get them either,
Posted by: laura | March 20, 2009 at 01:32 PM
Thank you for the clarifications. I love your fabric choices. I agree that this would be perfect for pool wear.
Posted by: dani@little fists | March 20, 2009 at 01:45 PM
Erin, you do such a good job on your tutorials and notes. They are thorough and clear. Thank you.
Could you share the source of your House on Hill Road labels? I tried poking around for the answer to this question on your blog but I only found more inspiring projects.
Posted by: Suzanne | March 20, 2009 at 02:04 PM
oh it looks so great in a print...that is what i needed to like it! Thanks for showing what you did to modify to fit on less yardage. I always do that and usually the results work out just fine. love the prints you chose!
Posted by: susaninfrance | March 20, 2009 at 02:16 PM
I love this bag so much. I am gonna have to buy the book, I think.
Did you take a picture of you holding it? I'd like to see just how big it is.
Posted by: Lisa | March 20, 2009 at 02:20 PM
i love it erin, and i love that horsey fabric inside--but you probably already knew that.
Posted by: molly | March 20, 2009 at 02:32 PM
i love this bag so much, I'm on a quest for a simple pattern that doesn't involve interfacing and is just plain easy- it really makes me want to go out and buy the book for just that bag...and I'm sure the rest of the book is fantastic too.
Posted by: carol | March 20, 2009 at 02:39 PM
Cute as it can be. The fabric's perfect. Put me in the mood to sew. Imagine that...
Posted by: The 6 O'Clock Stitch | March 20, 2009 at 04:48 PM
Posted by: Susie | March 20, 2009 at 04:52 PM
you are amazing!
Posted by: Molly | March 20, 2009 at 09:15 PM
I love this bag!! Great job!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: RisaJ | March 20, 2009 at 09:34 PM
Your bag turned out great. I think I need to go out and get that book!
Posted by: Liz | March 20, 2009 at 09:56 PM
I got my copy of the book in the mail yesterday. Such a treat! I think I'll start with the headband - a quick and simple poject to get me going. Thanks Ering for your notes and pics. The bag looks great!
Posted by: doubletee | March 21, 2009 at 08:24 AM
so SO cute.
maybe i will try this after i make a brown polka dot skirt. :)
Posted by: leslie | March 21, 2009 at 09:11 AM
i love your handwriting, drawings and of course the spring colours of the pretty bag!
Posted by: lucy | March 21, 2009 at 05:49 PM
this is awesome. I think you are the most clever and helpful crafter ever!
Posted by: Kelly H | March 21, 2009 at 11:51 PM
That is one cute bag!!
Posted by: mary smith | March 22, 2009 at 12:53 AM
I love it! And I love your tutorial!
Posted by: tiennie | March 22, 2009 at 06:49 PM
Posted by: Kathleen | March 23, 2009 at 07:58 AM
Ahhh. So cute, o I want one. So tempting to buy the book.
Posted by: Mary-- The Yellow Door Paperie | March 23, 2009 at 02:07 PM
i adore the fabric combination you chose. so so good.
Posted by: amisha | March 31, 2009 at 11:30 PM
Hmm, I didn't care much for the bag in the book but looking at yours makes me think it may be worth trying.
Posted by: Casey | August 28, 2009 at 03:59 PM
I just made this bag out of Heather's book, too, and it is AWESOME! I am a mother of two and I take this bag everywhere with me. It fits everything. I could probably carry both my kids in it if that was a safe way to travel. :)
Posted by: Caila Murphy | October 01, 2010 at 12:40 AM