Sunday, September 30, 2012

Travelling Handmade - the 241 Tote

Travel Handmade with The Sewing Summit

Did I tell y'all about the lovely stomach bug that hit all three of us last week? The one that came in the middle of the High Holidays? The one that hit me like a ton of bricks? No? Let's just say it was nasty. I feel so behind as a result: at work, at Sewing Summit preparations and at photographing and blogging my finishes. Kivi and Levi are out right now picking up the rental car for our visit to London so I'm seizing the moment to quickly share my latest finish: Noodlehead's 241 tote!

Front view
There is so much to love about this bag! The two pockets in the front, the side pockets, the size, the pattern itself.

Zipper detail

Side view

The back

Flipped inside out

Lessons learned and things I'll do a bit differently next time around

  1. First off, the pattern was really well written and easy to follow. I'll definitely buy more of Anna's bag patterns.  
  2. I used quite a thick interfacing which made sewing the side curves rather difficult. It does make the bag sturdy though. I think next time (and there will be a next time!) I'll make sure to cut the interfacing smaller so that it's not captured in the seam allowances. I think things will go much smoother that way. Is that kosher? Do people ever do this?
  3. I'd like to make the bag a bit bigger so I'll be increasing the size of the centre panels next time.
  4. I love the length of the strap, but I might try and make an adjustable one next time so I can wear it across my body.
  5. The magnetic clasp I used is REALLY strong. Too strong. Even though I added interfacing to the lining where the clasp attached, I'm afraid the fabric will still rip. Next time I'll use a different clasp. Maybe velcro or a simple snap.
  6. I need more inside pockets. I'll add a second one on the inside and split it into two sections.
  7. I might add a horizonal zipper to the back next time. The vertical zippered pockets look terrific but are a bit fiddly.
  8. My topstitching isn't beautiful. I struggled with it a quite a bit. Not sure how to improve this, but I sure want to. I think only I will notice the wonkiness.
Oh! Here come the boys! I better go feed them. 


  1. I'm so sorry to hear you've all been sick. Ugh!

    Cute bac - love the tips. Especially the one to cut the interfacing a bit smaller so it doesn't end up in the seam allowance.

  2. This bag turned out great - don't go over it with a magnifying glass - that's what makes it hand made! Can you post a picture of you wearing it? I've often wondered how it sits on the body (just when you've got time in your busy schedule of course).

  3. Your bag looks so cute! You never get enough bags. Lovely mix of fabrics, too! I look foreward to see the next, and " improved" one!

  4. This is absolutely wonderful! Good job. I found my tote was way too small, i like your ideas of making it different next time round.

  5. If someone comes up to you and says "oh, I have the best magnetic clasp ever" then you can say "that's not a magnetic clasp. THIS is a magnetic clasp." And then the magnetic clasps can have a magnetic clasp fight and yours will win.