Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A New Super Tote

I caved about a month ago and started a new Super Tote. I wasn't intending to to make a new bag, but I really wanted to give it another go. I don't use it all the time, but it's a great large back for certain occasions.

It was also a bit of a test run for my new machine. Because I used quilting cotton on the exterior, this bag has layers and layers of interfacing. My machine handled it like a champ! I again used faux leather on the gusset and strap. This certainly complicated things a bit, but I love the functionality of this material. It's easy to wipe clean and holds up so well.

One of my greatest frustrations with the first bag I made were the interior pockets. I followed the pattern and disliked how they came out. They are puffy pockets with elastic at the top (similar to those in many diaper bags). It wasn't functional for me. I found all they did was hide the bottom of the bag and make it difficult to find anything. They also got in the way when I attempted to put larger items like a binder or my laptop in the bag. This time around I chose simple panel pockets and cut them the same shape as the lining pieces. They are approximately the same height as the pattern pockets. I like these pockets so much better! I sewed dividers in each panel to fit my personal needs--pens, lip gloss, phone. etc.

I used all Cotton & Steel fabrics, with the exception of the lining. I've found I prefer a simple, light colored lining fabric for large bags. It's hard enough to find things in a deep bag, but it's even harder against a busy, dark background fabric. Everything seems camouflaged. I used Essex linen in flax for this lining.

I added a couple pops of color inside like this green zipper and green key fob (neither of which are included in the original pattern, but I find them completely necessary). 

The evening I was working on the front pocket snap, I realized my stash of magnetic snaps was depleted. Luckily, I had one pink one left from a previous project. I wouldn't normally have chosen this, but it really worked out perfectly!

I was working only with fabric and materials I already had on hand to make this bag. I had exactly 1/2 yard of the outer viewfinder fabric. I would have preferred extra fabric to match the fabric pattern better. Next time I will order extra to allow for this.

Love it! It's already been used multiple times.


  1. FANTASTIC bag! I especiallly love the green zipper and key fob to give the inside of the bag a bit of pop! Also, love your idea of using a lighter shade for the interior - I can never find anything in my big bags either. That Essex linen was a great choice!

  2. what an awesome bag! it looks like a Mary Poppins bag! its huge! i wouldnt find enough items to put in here! Im the same with the inside fabric colour, its like putting your hand in a tunnel!! xxx

  3. Your new tote looks fabulous! :)

  4. I need you to teach me my own personal bag class! I like making bags, but am never fully satisfied with how they turn out. I love your messenger bag and keep coming back to it as my purse time and again (as in every time I switch bags, I go back to yours after a couple days). I need to learn which interfaces I should use.

  5. Your bag is fabulous. Love the colors you used and the added accessories to make it more functional. Wish you were my next door neighbor so when I ran into trouble making purses and bags, I could knock on your door for help. I really need a bag like that!

  6. Love this and your pocket modifications!