Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sewing Circle Tote

I made myself a new bag.

It is called the Sewing Circle Tote. The pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman and can be purchased by following the link in the previous sentence, just click on the pattern name to go to Elizabeth's online store.

This is a sturdy, roomy bag. It has four exterior pockets.

It has three zippered pockets inside plus five gathered pockets.

The finished bag is large, about 13" tall by 19.5" wide by 9" deep. I made it for carrying supplies to retreats and classes.

My next guild retreat is coming up toward the end of this month. I made it in anticipation that it will hold everything I need for all of the projects I plan to work on. I'm doing something different this time - not taking a machine. I will only be working on hand sewing projects which means I don't need to take as much stuff. I did a test, as pictured above. Yay! I believe this one bag will hold everything I need to take for all of the hand projects I plan to work on.

Brief pattern review: The pattern is very well written and quite thorough. At no point did I have to try to figure out what to do next. The pattern is so clear with tons of pictures. It is really more like a tutorial (in that there are very clear photographs of each step) than a regular pattern. There are also no templates. Everything is cut with a ruler and rotary cutter.

I purchased the pattern as a PDF and put it on my iPad. I like to use my iPad for patterns for two reasons: (1) I'm less likely to lose my iPad and thus will not lose the pattern; and (2) I can enlarge the print and photos as necessary to really see what I need to do for each step.

This is not a fast bag to make. It took me two full days last weekend to make it. My husband was impressed with the finished bag but did comment, "Now I know why I didn't see much of you this weekend." A couple parts of this were a bit tricky. The bag is big so once you start putting the parts together it gets more difficult to wrangle it through the sewing machine. You just have to understand that and go slowly. There are also a lot of layers to sew through in places. The pattern does suggest that you use a 90/14 needle and I recommend it as well. I also used a walking foot for most of the bag construction.

I did leave out one element that the pattern calls for. The pattern calls for short handles in addition to the long handles. I decided that I would not use the short handles enough to warrant adding them. Other than that, I followed the pattern exactly. I highly recommend this pattern if you need to make a large, sturdy bag!

Disclaimer: I purchased this pattern with my own money. I was not asked to write a review nor am I being compensated for doing so. I simply like the pattern and wanted to share that with my readers.


West Michigan Quilter said...

Love that bag! I have a weakness for bags and this is a must have. I like that it is big and can carry all your project boxes to class! You were smart about the handles. I made both sizes on one of my bags but never use the one size. What a waste.

Denise in PA said...

Great tote, Lynn! It sure does hold a lot. Let me know how you like just doing handwork at retreat. We've got a retreat coming up next month. I've already got about 5 projects prepped (PLUS handwork!) - I'm always afraid I'll run out of things to do - LOLOLOL!

Mama Pea said...

I know you needed a new bag. ;-) I love it. I have seen this pattern and have thought about making it, but I haven't taken it on yet. I really like how yours turned out. I was at my retreat the other day, and I had the sewing machine cover you made me on my machine. Everyone was admiring it and complimenting me on it. I love it. Thank you so much! This bag kind of reminds me of it...similar colors. :-)

Mama Pea said...

I like this bag, and I'd like to make it sometime, 'cause you know I need another bag. Great job on yours!