For the longest time, I’ve been carrying my sewing gear in whatever was on hand – a old black duffle bag, old totes – none of them pretty.
When Sew South came along, I decided it was time to have a nice tote to lug my stuff to the retreat.
I decided to make the Elizabeth Hartman Sewing Circle Tote. I started it four days before the retreat. I cut and sewed like a woman on a mission, but alas dear reader, I did not get it done. There were too many steps (88 in all!) and not enough time.
It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I got back to work. I stitched in bits and pieces of time and finished it yesterday.
It’s made from Essex yarn dyed linen in black. The pocket panels are made using a “quilt-as-you-go technique” in my favorite colors: pink and orange.
There are lots of pockets on the inside – eight in all.
Three are zippered and the rest are gathered with elastic.
I did a few things differently than the pattern. One thing was adding a layer of interfacing and a layer of fusible fleece. The pattern didn’t call for them, but someone told me she had seen the bag and it looked a bit floppy. I figured it couldn’t hurt to add the extra layers to make it a bit sturdier.
The other thing I did was add a recessed zipper. The pattern didn’t call for it, but I figured that on occasion, my sewing gear may need some privacy. It was my first time installing a recessed zipper. I found the video tutorials from So Sew Easy and A Fate So Twisted helpful.
I also went with just one set of straps, rather than the two sets instructed in the pattern.
If you ever work on this pattern, give yourself plenty of time to make it. It’s well written and pretty straightforward, but there are a lot of pieces and a lot of stitching involved.
I can’t wait for my next sew date so I can try out my new tote!
Linking up to Finish It Up Friday!