I’ve had the Noodlehead Super Tote bag pattern for a while but couldn’t quite decide what fabrics to make it with. After browsing the Minerva Crafts website I found a gorgeous peacock feather print with some lovely denim which made the perfect combo. Unfortunately this colour has sold out now at Minerva, but there are two other colours to choose from. The denim was fairly lightweight so didn’t add to much weight to the bag.  

As with most bags the preparation, cutting out and interfacing, was the most time consuming bit. It took around 2 hours to get it all ready to sew. I realised after adding the first layer of interfacing (the pattern calls for 2) that it wasn’t going to be as firm as I liked so I decided to add some fusible fleece from my stash to give it a bit more structure instead of the second layer of interfacing. I used the Vilene H640. The pattern had suggested a medium interfacing but in hindsight it probably would have been better with a heavy weight interfacing.

I added the fusible fleece to the front and back panels, the gusset and the straps. I often carry books around so I wanted to ensure the straps would not cut into my hands. I also double stitched the handles at every stage to make sure they would be able to carry a lot of weight. I went with two line of top stitching down each side of the strap as I thought it looked nice.

The fusible fleece does add extra bulk to the seams so I trimmed the fleece back around the seams. It also meant the fabric doesn’t move smoothly through the machine. I found it was best to hold the front with one hand and the back with the other and guide it through at an even speed.

For the internal pockets I decided to make 1 large gathered pocket (from the pattern piece) and then a couple of smaller rectangular pockets that I just made up myself. I followed the instructions for the gathered pocket but for some reason mine wouldn’t gather when I pulled the threads. So instead I just pleated the bottom randomly to give it a gathered looked.

For the front pocket I used pre-made chambray denim piping cord in turquoise. I also decided to add Velcro inside so the pocket doesn’t gape open as I read a few people had experienced that with their Super Totes.

It was my first time sewing a recessed zipper but the instructions were easy to follow and I loved the finished look. It’s definitely something I’ll be doing again as I don’t like open topped bags. Too easy to spill stuff out of them. The chunky zip was perfect for a bag of this size, I think a more delicate smaller one would not have looked so good.

All in all I was rather impressed with my finished bag. It looks great, it keeps its shape well and it should be good for carrying even heavy loads. This is definitely a pattern I plan to make again.

If you don’t have the Super Tote pattern you could always try Noodlehead’s Trail Tote which is a free pattern for a bag of a similar shape and size.

  

 

This is my last post for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network for a few months as I’m running a quilt along on The Sewing Directory so will be busy quilting for the next few months. Do feel free to come and join me. I’ll be back here Spring/Summer 2017.