The Everyday Tote was the second project I made from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross.  As far as bags go, this one is pretty straight forward.  I had this great Lotta Jansdotter fabric that Leslie sent me that would be perfect for this bag and was ready to start cutting until I realized I was going to need way more than 1/2 yard (42" wide) to get this one done.  When I talked to her, Heather mentioned that the pattern should read that you will need 1 yard of each the outside and lining fabrics.  So now you know.

Everyday tote_1_1

Back to me and my dilemma….remember, I rarely have any cut fabric bigger than 1 yard?  The Denyse Schmidt gold and green polka dot was in my stash – I had 1/2 yard (54" wide) which was just enough after washing to lay the pattern piece on it side by side, instead of on the fold.  I did add 1/2" to my traced pattern to make up for the seam allowance I had to put in the bottom.  Follow?  Same goes for the lining.  Because the Heather Ross print I chose is directional, cutting it on the fold would have given me upside down flowers on one side of my bag.  That wasn't going to cut it, so I cut 2 single pieces instead.

Tote layout

Tote lining

The straps and the strap linings are cut on the bias.  The pattern has you cutting them from the same two fabrics you are using for the outside of the bag and the lining.  Well, I had no large polka dots left, so I went back to the stack and pulled out a coordinating Denyse Schmidt print from the County Fair line.  And of course, I didn't have enough of the lining to line the handles so I chose another Heather Ross fabric from the stash that coordinates perfectly – the green horse print (from the West Hill line – can't find a good link).  I also cut the pocket out of the horse print.   I measured the pattern piece and then cut a rectangle twice as high so I could fold it to double it and make it a bit heftier.

Tote pocket2

 

I sewed the bag exactly as Heather describes except I had to add the bottom seam.  No big deal.  All went well until the handles.  I could not wrap my brain around the written directions in conjunction with the illustrations and the photo.  I really think this is not Heather – it's me.  I couldn't get quilt binding out of my head, so that is basically what I did.  It doesn't look anything like the photo so I know it's wrong.  I considered ripping it out, but then realized that it looks fine and my time wasn't worth it.  When I make the next one – yes, there will be more – I'll try something different.

Everyday tote inside

I think it is super cute.  And as I told Heather, I love that I can fold it flat to stick in my purse or maybe even a suitcase.  The shape is fantastic, too.  I might even shrink the pattern down a bit to make a smaller, kid-sized version.  The thought of my girls carrying their own stuff to the pool just makes me smile.

Everyday tote

Questions?  I'll answer them in the comments again.  Monday, it's the yard sale wrap skirt.  Until then, have a great weekend.

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