Friday, July 4, 2014

The Totes Ma Tote Bag

I've been dying to show you this gorgeous bag design I tested for Janelle at Emmaline Bags.
I knew as soon as I saw Janelle's that I wanted to make a blue bag but unfortunately the blue I used wasn't enough so I made it in three colours.
I didn't have the same hardware that Janelle used on her bag so I modified mine slightly. Janelle used nickel grommets in her bag to thread the handle through and the straps have buckles. It gives it a beautiful finish. Make sure you check out all the other testers bags HERE they're really amazing.

Janelle's pattern is really easy to follow with well written instructions, illustrations and photos.   Finished Size:  Width at Top: 17” (43 cm), Width at bottom: 13” (33 cm), Height: 12” (30 cm), Depth: 4” (10 cm) and is an intermediate pattern. If you'd like to make one for yourself you can buy your pattern and the hardware HERE.

This is my version.

I love the strip of fabric down the side of the bag. It finished off the bag perfectly.

I used the nickel zipper tabs on both ends of my zipper. Janelles design only calls for one end of the zipper to be longer.

There's a main recessed zipper closure to keep everything safe.

I just thought I'd add some zig zag stitches to the center piece to add a bit more interest.

And I also stitched the bottom. Janelle's pattern has purse feet but I didn't add those.

This bag may not have pockets on the outside but inside there's plenty to keep things organized. On one side this large pocket with a magnetic button on the flap to keep things secure.

On the other side there is a zipper pocket and two slip pockets.

Just before making this bag as luck would have it I cam across this fabric for the lining. I don't have a clue what it's called. It's stiff but very pliable, can't be ironed because it melts and feels like paper but isn't. It's extremely strong and doesn't tear and it doesn't need interfacing but best of all is that it's a fraction of the price of fabric. This stuff is fantastic.

I bought it from the man who makes bags here locally. He uses them in all his bag. Only drawback is that it only comes in dark brown.

 Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
~ Maria ~


  1. As wlways, perefctly sewn!! Love the teal :-)

  2. Maria it looks amazing, love the zig zag sewing, that was a nice touch. Great choice of fabric , as well great find for the lining of the bag. I love this pattern too, Janelle designed another great pattern.

  3. I love the color block look. It is really fun to see all of the different looks from all of the testers. I love a bag that can look entirely different just by changing a few things..

  4. Great version Maria. Those zig zag stitches were a great add-on. Very chic as usual. Love it!

  5. I crown you Queen of the Bag Testers- all hail Queen Maria! :D Nice choices in fabric and notions, and especially, lovely sewing job as always! That lining fabric sounds pretty cool :D

  6. Your version is wonderful! I love all the textures in your bag and I'm totally crushing on those zipper ends!

  7. Love it so much, Maria!! Your stitching is perfectly perfect and I love those zipper tabs. Thank you so much for linking to the pattern. Beaufiful!

  8. Good morning Maria,
    another wonderful Tot you made!
    Happy weekend,

  9. what a gorgeous bag! It's amazing, but the zigzag sewing in the centre really does add something to the bag, but is so simple (well OK, it's not that simple to stitch straight lines, but you know what I mean!). For the not-fabric fabric that only comes in brown - could you dye it?

  10. Fantastic bag. I love your color choices and textures. Thanks for sharing! You did an excellent job!

  11. Beautifully done as usual Maria! I think I was the first to finish this bag as a tester and so my inside pockets were made the way Janelle wrote it and then she realized that she had meant for the slip pocket to be over the zip pocket, whereas how I read it the large pocket went over the zip pocket. So of course mine turned out differently than the others. Still that's fine with me. You can arrange those inside pockets any way you want.

  12. Wonderful bag, I love those fabrics, and the lining is great, you're a lucky girl to have that shop near you.

  13. Beautiful Bag!!! Love the colors, it looks Perfect! Nancy


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