I finished up this Spice Market Tote for my Mama this weekend! Love the metallic silver damask print we used! The lining is the Bouquet Pink print from Riley Blake’s Anne of Green Gables Collection. My Mama loves her some pink and florals, so when I saw it, I knew it was perfect! The straps are a solid pink to match.
Man, these bags take a long time to make, although it may just feel that way since I was running to work on it during a baby and 3 year old’s naps. Between the fabrics and interfacing, there’s a lot of cutting and prep work before the sewing machine even gets turned on. They are fun, though! And the multi-step process gives lots of opportunity to correct mistakes as you go, which is helpful for a beginner like me!
On this project, I attempted piecing some fabric scraps together to make the pocket, and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out! My sister-in-law is a master at this, so I used some of her work as an example. I measured and cut out a piece of paper the size of the pocket panel and then just cut my fabric to fill it in.
There were a few mistakes made. I’m not sure if the yardage I bought of the lining wasn’t quite enough or if I cut it the wrong way, but I didn’t have quite enough for the lining to be the size the pattern called for, so I then had to trim my exterior panels down to match. I thought I’d save time by cutting 2″ off one side instead of 1″ off two sides, but doing that flipped the pattern so that the damask runs horizontally rather than vertically. With the straps on, I don’t think it’s a big deal, but note to self for next time to think those things through…
I also need to work on cutting straight lines over longer pieces. The straps are each 65″ strips of fabric that are supposed to be 6″ wide. After cutting the first one, it was 6″ at one end and closer to 5″ at the other end. Oops! So I trimmed that down, and they are now slightly thinner than the pattern calls for.
Thankfully, none of my mistakes turned out to be a huge deal, and I still ended up with a lovely and functional tote! I have another one of these to make for a co-worker of mine, and it should get easier each time I make it! I also have a few other tote patterns to try out. I do love bags. 🙂
Here are a few more pictures of the finished project.