The Noodlehead Makers Tote
Posted on Saturday the 22nd December 2018 by Wanderstitch
Sarah from Wanderstitch here again, and this time I bring you something completely different!
I love the look of some of the Quilting Fabrics that are available, but I'm wary of making clothing with them because I've had some disasters in the past! So recently I've been looking at patterns for bags and accessories and seeing what takes my fancy, to figure out what I could use these lovely quilting fabrics for.
The Noodlehead Makers Tote is quite a popular bag (check out the hashtag on Instagram - there are loads of 'em!), and I chose to make this one to store all my knitting things in which were currently without a home to call their own (and in various states of disarray in the living room). I decided that I would make myself a tote to keep everything nice and tidy.
I was drawn to the Art Gallery Quilting Cotton Packs, because I knew they would be good quality and have modern designs in them. I chose the geometric pack, because I liked the colour scheme better and it didn't have any florals in it! As some of the pieces of the Makers Tote are quite large, I went for the half yard pack (the same prints also come in a fat quarter pack, if you're making smaller things). There's a huge selection of packs, all with different colour schemes, so you're bound to find one that you like. Art Gallery fabrics have an excellent reputation for quality and I wasn't disappointed.
When it arrived, I spent time looking at each print and deciding which ones went best together, and which one I wanted for the main outside of the bag (as this would be the focus). Once this was chosen, I picked everything else out around it - orange for the inside, the whites for the pockets. The pink got chosen for the binding by a process of elimination, as it was the last fabric left! I didn't pre-wash my fabric as the tote bag (hopefully) isn't going to need to go into the washing machine. This meant that I could get sewing straight away - yay! (I *always* pre-wash my dressmaking fabrics though, in case there is any shrinkage).
As well as your fabrics, to make this tote you're going to need a couple of zips (one separating, one non-separating), and some Foam Interfacing.
You use the foam interfacing for the main body of the bag, to give it shape and strength. I've not used this type of interfacing before, but it's simple to use. The pattern called for fusible foam interfacing, but I used this non-fusible one instead and it worked fine - I just basted it at the edges rather than fusing it to the fabric (I suspect that basting it was much quicker anyway, and I didn't have to worry that I was going to melt the foam with the iron!)
I used fusible interfacing on the end gussets, and they've gone a little bit wrinkly which is frustrating... either I didn't fuse them properly, or all the folding/creasing/rolling it up to get it through the sewing machine has just peeled the layers apart a bit - I'm not sure. It's not too noticeable though, and I'd consider using a sew-in the next time around.
The construction method is really simple, and I'd say that an experienced beginner could tackle this project. The hardest thing is getting the binding around the bottom corners, so if you've got some experience with using binding then you'll be fine!
The instructions were really clear and easy to follow, and even though it feels like it's going to take you ages to work your way through the whole set of instructions (it's a full booklet!) the tote doesn't actually take *that* long to make. I will definitely make another one -my one is full and in use already and have so many ideas for fabrics to make more! Not sure how many totes I *really* need, though...
Noodlehead do a whole range of other patterns too, go check them out!
I hope you like the tote as much as I do :)
See you next month with another make!
Sarah // Wanderstitch