Project: Maker’s Tote by noodlehead
Materials: Yuwa Cotton Linen Floral Canvas, Maker Maker Squares Linen, Cotton + Steel Sienna WIldflower in Ink, Cotton + Steel Zephyr in Whirlwind in Dust, Janome AMH 100M Sewing Machine
I’m a quilter - with all the straight lines and invisible seams that go along with it - so taking on the Maker’s Tote was daunting, to say the least. All the detail, the zippers, the finishing that will actually be seen! Plus, bag making has never been my forte, so why not dive into the deep end? And guess what? It turned out great.
The noodlehead Maker’s Tote pattern includes detailed instructions and plenty of diagrams for visual learners that accompany each step. I made the large tote, which is a more than generous size. I can easily fit tools in the pockets with my current project & extra fabric in the middle. It would be great for multiple small knitting projects or as a catch-all at a quilting retreat!
This wasn't my first bag, but it was the most detailed and structured tote that I have ever made. Having never used fusible foam before, I noticed that some others’ totes had a wrinkled finish from the bending of the fused fabric and foam. I chose not to fuse my exterior fabrics to the foam, but probably made inserting the zippered pocket harder on myself. In hindsight, I might have wanted to fuse the lining and foam to try and avoid some of the sagging that resulted on the inside when I sewed it to the side gussets - although that is not a pattern step, so she probably has a good reason!
With very little practice inserting zippers, the two in this pattern had me frozen in fear. I went through the instructions carefully before cutting or sewing - this bag is technical, but not impossible. For the inset zipper, I think pressing very well was key, and fusible tape would have been a lifesaver for the main zipper - #thethingsyouwishyouknewbeforesewingzippers.
My biggest tip is to go slow for a good finish and try not to push or pull the fabric through the machine - which was my instinct because of the thickness. I did appreciate returning to my quilting comfort zone for hand stitching one of the last steps, the binding!
One of the most impressive parts of this project for me was sewing it on the AMH 100 machines that we have in our classroom at the shop. These girls may be little, but they are mighty- sewing through at least 8 layers of linen and interfacing on the doubled handles with ease!