Today I have something pretty cool to share...the professional tote!
The pattern, made by the Creative Thimble, can be found here. The pattern for this tote was one of the many goodies I brought home from Paducah. The great joy of not having a current big intimidating quilt in progress is that this year I was actually able to dive right into my Paducah projects while I was still excited about them! (I'm pretty sure I still haven't made any of the patterns I brought home from Paducah last year...)
When I saw the samples at Paducah, I was blown away by how, well, professional this bag looked! It could easily be mistaken for something storebought. And I had just been thinking that I really needed a new tote for myself, so this fit the bill perfectly.
In the center, with the blue zipper, is a laptop sleeve. You can also see a little key fob on one interior pocket. There are interior pockets on both sides, one has a velcro enclosure.
On the outside, this side pocket has a magnetic snap to keep it secure. On the other side (shown below) there is a small zipper pocket with another pocket behind.
On each edge we have water bottle pockets that can cinch up.
And of course the top zips shut too, for added security! So basically this is the world's most useful tote bag :P
Ah...one more aspect that really made it seem "professional"...the bottom! The bottom is made of a nice sturdy canvas, and I added purse feet to it to keep it clean. A number of the samples the creator had sewn up had faux leather bases...it made them look so cool!
When I was picking my colors, I really wanted something that could pass as storebought, so I chose pretty mellow colors for my regular taste. I actually bought both the grey and pink fabrics at Hancock's of Paducah, thinking they could go together. And go together they do! I love that it's a demure grey but has those pops of bright magenta. :)
At the booth in Paducah, the husband of the pattern author mentioned how many times he hears that her patterns are well written and easy to follow, and I have to agree. Sewing anything that isn't a quilt is NOT my strong suit. These instructions were great though, and I only had to rip things out a few times (mostly because I didn't read closely enough).
One aspect of the instructions that I loved was the inclusion of pre-printed labels to apply to your pieces.
You can see all of my pieces cut, fused, and labeled here. Oh, I must mention the interfacing too. Per the pattern recommendation, I used Pellon decor bond. I am really impressed. It was super easy to sew through and work with, but the finished tote is nicely stiff and sturdy.
She has many other cool purse and tote patterns too, so I see many more pattern purchases from the Creative Thimble in the future!
As a side note, Rosie was being a total obstructionist during the construction of this tote!