I'm a tote gal. I have accumulated many bags over the years and I prefer totes over purses. I love having enough room for the essentials [wallet + keys + cell phone + sunglasses] as well as other goodies [sketchbook + notebook + pens + water bottle + hand lotion + dinosaurs + cars + snacks]. I've been wanting a new tote for a long time. I was coveting this tote, but after trying it on in person [over at Pin Me], I realized the handles are too short to go over my shoulder. I know many totes have short handles, but I like them just long enough to slip over my shoulder [I do have two hands I have to hold when I go out.]. I was not keen on the idea of making my own tote since I don't like to deal with thick interfacing. But I like totes with substance + structure, ones that don't just "flop" once you sit them down. I actually love this tote that I received as a baby shower present. We use it to carry library books, which handles the 12-15 large + heavy dinosaur books we check out every week very nicely.
Anyhow, last week I was in Bolt, and found a nice blue/grey brushed canvas + [my new favorite] raindrop stripe print [I'm using it on everything and anything that comes out of my studio these days]. The raindrop stripes reminded me of Orla's beautiful peashoot print [if you flip it upside down], which gave me the idea of making myself a tote. I saw a tote in Lotta's sewing book that had a side pocket to hold a water bottle, which I knew I wanted to incorporate into my new tote. I would like to say that I followed a pattern for once in my life, but in reality I just sketched out a design and cut away. Good idea? Not really. There are several things I would change about this tote, but I won't point out every flaw [there are many], since I am trying to enjoy + appreciate my work.
I started working on the tote the night before we left for Seattle. [Why do I always have the strong urge to craft right before we leave for a trip?] I really thought I could finish it up in one night, but did I tell you I lined each piece with thick denim [in lieu of thick interfacing]? Oh yes, mistake #1 [not that I'm counting]. It wasn't the best idea and after 3 broken needles + using my seam ripper way too many times on this project, I decided to get some shut-eye. Fast forward one week. It is finished and it is "good enough". Now on to the things I like about my new tote.
:: plain Jane on the outside and a bright + cheery on the inside :: just like me [hee hee] ::
:: large enough to hold all my stuff :: 17"x13.5"x4.5" ::
:: quilted handles ::
:: two side pockets ::
:: perfect for holding water bottles ::
Now I feel the need to make a slightly smaller, more fashionable tote. That's the funny thing about sewing, it's quite addictive.
Gotta go catch some snowflakes in our mouths right now. It's snowing!