I had to do some selfish sewing yesterday to keep my mind of my horrible cramps and pounding headache (the joys of being a woman!), so I made a new tote to take to Quilt Market in October!
Overall this bag was fairly quick and easy to make, but it did take me all day because I was figuring most of it out as I went. If I were to make another it would probably take half the time, if even.
The design is based off the tutorial by Sara Lawson (Sew Sweetness) for the Sawyer Bag, which you can find here. I changed the size, interfacing/lining and added a front pocket (specifics below).
I wanted something big enough to hold my camera, a bottle of water, food for the monster (my belly), as well as whatever else I pick up along the way, but I didn't want to carry a beach bag on my shoulder all day. This bag ended up being about 13.5" square by 4" deep.
I cut my main panels 18"w x 17"h and increased the corner seam distance to 2" for a slightly deeper bag than the original. I cut the lining panels to the same width but 1" shorter on height so it wouldnt be bunchy inside.
I wanted it to be strong and sturdy so for the main outer panels I fused fusible fleece to my body fabric (robert kaufman rustica chambray) and then basted it to a layer of canvas. I used shapeflex interfacing on the lining and used a piece of peltex in the bottom of the bag.
My old necchi handled the bulk like a champ, so as long as you have a machine that can handle thickness, it was easy to sew. No tricky corners or awkward maneuvering, just long straight seams. I'm very pleased with how it came out and would not change anything about the lining or interfacing next time.
I made the straps slightly wider and set them in 3.5" from my outer edges before assembling the bag. I wanted to see a little more body from the front (the original has the straps at the edges of the bag.) I also adjusted the length to my preference.
I only added an outer pocket on one side, mostly because I wanted to finish the bag in a day, but I also like the simplicity of it without a pocket. Realistically I'll always have one side against my body so wouldn't use it much anyways.
I had the metal rings on hand and love how they look but you could use different shapes (such a D rings or rectangle rings) or even leave them off completely and make one long strap without the split for the ring.
I used two fat quarters I had on hand (fabric is Harmony by Jessica Swift) for the lining and added a divided slip pocket. If I had more time or patience I may have added a zip pocket on the other side of the lining, but for the purpose of this bag, I don't think I'll miss it.
I'm just in love with this chambray. I want to make all the things out of it and a skirt is definitely next on the list. The outer pocket fabric is from the Botanics line and the strap is Indelible. The combination of patterns and textures just makes my heart sing.
What do you think?
Have a great week friends!