Last summer I tackled a bag pattern called the Super Tote by Anna at Noodle-head. Her bag patterns are fab and I’ve made most of them over the last 3 years of sewing.
I had a little trouble with my bag which I moaned about at the time. Despite it being a tricky make and me making a bit of a pigs ear of making it, I did use it all summer.
So as winter approached I threw it in the wash and unfortunately it went in with something very blue….which sadly ran into the lovely yellow of my bag – making it a kind of muddy grungy green colour. Very sad. I tried lots of colour run removal washes and in the end decided on some weak bleach to try and lift the colour out. This did help a bit but it just doesn’t look very good any more.
So…..time for another Super Tote I thought. My sew-jo has been flowing well over Christmas so just after new year I thought I’d give it a try.
The fabric I used was all from my stash. The main body is inside-out denim (left over from my Dad’s apron and my ovenglove-a-thon) with some lighter denim for the straps and zip bits. I cut into a very precious fat quarter of Kokka linen for the main pocket.
Here are some of the things I did differently this time: (skip this bit if you aren’t intending to sew one!)
* read the pattern properly! last time I didn’t realise I had to stitch the straps to the top of the bag outer, which meant it was all a funny shape and flopped over. In my defence it’s easy to miss this bit in the instructions.
*I chose the same fabric for the bag outer all the way up (and behind the straps) – last time I had 2 different fabrics, which meant when the bag was picked up you could see the different fabric poking out from behind the outer pocket.
*I did a front pocket with a facing piece rather than a fully lined pocket and I added piping this time, which I love the look of. For some inspiring piping see Mary’s Super Tote
*I added a zip pocket inside the front pocket (confused!?). I used the front pocket a lot for my phone last time but found the little slip pocket that I added was too high up and when I bent over my phone fell out! So this time it’s nice and secure and it’s a lovely text-print lining.
*I added a zip pocket inside the main lining. Again I didn’t bother with the elasticated pockets as per the pattern, as I knew it would be very unlikely that I’d take the time to put things in the right places. As it’s a big bag I decided that one pocket would be useful for lip-balms and other small items to cut down on rummaging time.
*when attaching the gusset I clipped the curve on both pieces of fabric – the gusset and main lining piece, this made it WAY easier to attach. Last time I just clipped the straight piece.
*I interfaced the main bag body and straps with fusible fleece. This was quite bulky to sew but gave a much better and more sturdy finish than the woven interfacing I used last time. Its a heavy bag and it needs a lot of structure to make the shape work.
So in conclusion – it’s worth having another go at a tricky pattern. I totally love and am very happy with this one. Here are some photos.