When I started teaching bag making classes, I heard from so many of you expressing a desire to attend one of my classes, or at least writing to me to let me know…”if I am ever in your area!” I took these requests to be very heartfelt, so when two wonderful ladies (@bazyquilts and @bobbypinbandit) ,I follow on Instagram, decided to have a Sew Along for the Maker’s Tote, a blog on my part was a close second to you being in one of my classes! I sure hope you will purchase the Maker’s Tote pattern from Anna Graham (noodle-head.com) and maybe one of her lovely leather handles (although leather handles are optional), dust off your sewing machine, gather some great fabrics (cuz you want to make this really special) or purchase new fabrics, and join the CLUB! The hashtag for this endeavor is #makerstoteclub2017.
Now, I have made quite a few Maker’s Tote in my day! It is a wonderful bag with so many uses…make the smaller size, and you have a great project bag (great for any maker and makes) or make the Larger version and you have an incredible carry on, overnight bag, and an extra large project bag! I won’t lie to you, you need some sewing skills for this one and a general understanding of bag making, however a great listener (adventurous) beginner will be able to make one…and hence this blog post! With respect to Anna, the tote designer and pattern writer, there will be no measurements given, and only some techniques which will make sure you can join along and make one at any time. What you will get in this blog is my experience, tips and tricks to be able to make this Tote along with the pattern. I will show you how to get great rounded corners, make your binding and lots of other tips which will get you a finished Tote with a professional look, even if this is your first. In addition, there is also a wonderful video by Anna Graham addressing extra tips and tricks (YouTube Maker’s Tote Video). How can you lose?
It will be a progressive blog over a few days, so we can ALL pace ourselves. I hope you comment to this post, to let me know you are on board. I have a small gift for your NEW Maker’s Tote once it’s done, tag me on IG (@mariaelenabliss) with your progress photos and don’t forget to use the hashtag above!
So, first order of business:
- Purchase pattern (link above)
- Choose the size Maker’s Tote you will be making
- Pick/Buy some wonderful fabrics and notions necessary
- As you can see in both photos, I usually choose Canvas fabrics for the exterior of the Tote, but it’s not necessary, I think Canvas fabrics are great to use for durability. I do shy away from fabrics that fray easily. If you do choose a fabric which frays and you have a serger, you certainly can serge all outside edges once you make your first cuts.
On the Maker’s Tote which I will be featuring in this blog, I am using Essex Linen accents in the color Berry and the main exterior fabric is a Linen Cotton Blend from a NEW fabric line which will be out soon by Erin Dollar (@cottonandflax). There are 45 prints in this wonderful line…45!!! I wish I had a yard of each print in this one. My lining fabric is from Anna Graham’s Rain Walk collection for Cloud 9 (organic). You can still purchase some of the fabrics in this line on Etsy…just search for Rain Walk fabrics.
That’s it for the first blog on the #makerstoteclub2017. Tomorrow, I will give you some tips on what I do to make this Tote a bit easier and tailored. We will address piecing the exterior and use of Foam Interfacing (I use fusible). So, don’t forget to comment, follow me on Instagram (@mariaelenabliss) and make yourself an amazing Maker’s Tote!