The Crafty Traveler Blog Hop
Hi friends! Welcome to my turn on The Crafty Traveler Blog Hop. Today I share the blog hop with a super talented woman - May Chappell, so be sure to stop by her blog today as well!
Jennifer at Ellison Lane is pretty much the only person that can get me to make a bag - I am terrified of patterns, searching for interfacing and working with linings. I had the extreme joy of making something out of my first ever pattern and bag for that matter when I tested Jennifer's South Park bag, one of my favorites to this day! When she contacted me about this blog hop - I had to join in, travelling is in my blood - or at least what pays my bills.
I work on an airplane for a living and when the opportunity came to try out a bag pattern and review it based on traveling handmade I knew exactly which bag I wanted to make - The Super Tote by Noodlehead. I have always had my eye on this one for many reasons:
- The size - when I am travelling by airplane I need a bag that can hold my books, magazines and whatever crafty item I am working on at the moment. It also has to be small enough to fit under the seat in front of me and still leave me with a wee bit of leg room
- The shape - I am a huge fan of any bag I can wear close to my body, and this bag does so very comfortably. When travelling in different cities it is always nice to have a bag you feel comfortable with and that you feel will not get swiped too easily.
- The amenities - I love pockets! This bag has some huge inner pockets, a large outside pocket that you can stow magazines in and has the option of adding a zipper to secure all of your goodies away.
(My husband and I renewed our vows in Vegas on Valentine's day - I was able to take this tote to Sin City, schlep all of my stuff around and feel pretty cute at the same time)
My opinions of making the tote: (a review by a person who does not make bags)
I honestly think anyone with some medium sewing experience (I am a quilter and know very very little about following patterns) can make this tote. Yes you will at one point become very frustrated, yes you might want to stop making the tote at the beginning because you curse constantly at turning the handle right side out. Friends - just stick with it, there were only two points making this tote that I told myself that I would never do this again - they didn't last long and OMG I am so happy I stuck with it. I LOVE this freaking tote!
The price of the tote was low considering you have the pattern and the license to sell on a home based production scale. If I were to sell these, no one would buy them because I would literally charge way too much - making this took a bit of time.
Materials were not too costly - especially if you use fabric you already have and can find a Joann's coupon to score some interfacing. I chose to use some higher end fabrics because well lets face it - you will use the heck out of this tote and it takes so long to put it together you will want to make it worth your time.
Fabrics used on this tote:
- Linen Mochi Dot in Black, for Moda Fabrics
- Lush Uptown Paint by Numbers Birds in Unpainted, Erin Michael, for Moda Fabrics
- Newspapers in Vintage, Objects line for Robert Kaufman
The zipper looks SO SO SO difficult, I can honestly say this design was genius and I plan on using it on a future idea here and there - it was the most enjoyable part of making the tote.
The most frustrating parts (for me):
- Figuring out what fabrics to put where and what part of the pattern to use. I am honestly not a pattern person so that is where my confusion sets in - severe ADD also allowed me to become very distracted along the way - look squirrel! I also probably spent more time on The Super Tote Flickr page searching for fabric ideas. In the end I love what I went with.
- The straps - they literally might have been designed by the devil. Ok, it could also be the fabric that was used or my lack of turning inside out knowledge. It took me forever to turn those darn things inside out...so much I am leaving it at that because I hate to think about that point in my life anymore :)
- The gusset pieces - I chose to use a quilting cotton instead of a heavier fabric on the gussets and in doing so chose the route of layering two types of interfacings under the cotton. I believe I followed the directions carefully, but good golly that thickness was difficult to work with around the curved bottom edging and also gets a little crinkly looking and not super smooth. **note to self - use heavier fabric all the way around.
Would I make this bag again - Yes. Would I make it for someone as a gift - probably not. Would I do anything differently next time - I would use heavier fabric for the entire bag. Would I always add the zipper - Yes.
(Note- the only change I made to this bag was to not add a magnetic snap to the large outer pocket.)
I hope you enjoyed this review or at the very least got a little bit of knowledge on the difficulty and then the sheer happiness this tote brought me. I highly encourage anyone out there to make it - and let me know if you do.... because I want to see it!
The Crafty Traveler Blog Hop: Feb 3- March 12
- 2/3: Patchwork Posse & Fabric Mutt
- 2/6: Random Thoughts Do or Di
- 2/10: Golden Willow Quilts
- 2/13: Between Quilts & The Sewing Chick
- 2/17: May Chappell & Modern Handcraft
- 2/20: Bryan House Quilts & Love By Hand
- 2/24: Petit Lyons & Sew Many Possibilities
- 2/27: Owen’s Olivia
- 3/3: Old Red Barn Co. & Go Go Kim
Link-up your travel handmade project March 6-12 for a chance to win one of three great prizes! (US only)