Maker’s Tote- Lining

Hello, Lovely Makers,

Hope everyone is having a lovely 4th of July in the U.S. Mine has been filled with making, house work and laundry…all good! I’m truly not into fireworks and rather dislike them since I have a wonderful Weimaraner which is disturbed by loud noises. Plenty of houses setting off bottle rockets and other fireworks right now!

I hope you have found my tips on the Maker’s Tote helpful and I have continued today and it is as far as I can go without the special zipper which I ordered for this one. Yes, I ordered a Riri, separating zipper. If you are not familiar with this Italian made zipper, you should check them out. It is a splurge on my part and partly because of the beautiful fabrics I’m using on this Tote. All this being said, my zipper may not come. Oh yes, I ordered it a week ago and yet it still has not shipped. It’s not as if they had to MAKE the zipper and in fact, it was marked in stock, but after a hefty shipping charge, no shipping, no response…crickets! So, I have written and asked to cancel my order….crickets! Anyway, thanks for listening. For now, until I hear, I will halt the construction of the Tote. But before I do, I have managed to make the Lining with all the pockets, interfacing, binding and zipper bands…all ready to go.


I know, when you purchase a pattern, measurements are given for cutting the lining. Personally, I tell ALL my bag classes, not to ever cut the lining pieces until the exterior of their bags are done. Why do I do this? Everyone sews a bit differently. I find in my classes, there can be up to 3/4″ difference between what the exterior of a bag SHOULD measure and what a student’s bag ACTUALLY measures. My instructions are this…work on your bag exterior, then when  you are finished, measure your exterior pieces, note the measurement and cut your lining to those measurements! Believe me, I have found 2″ discrepancies in pattern instructions between exterior and lining measurements. There is no hurry to CUT your lining pieces…truly! And better to be safe than have to go out and purchase new lining fabric, right?. So…with my exterior piece measurement in hand, I cut my lining pieces and began to interface, make the pleated pocket, pieces for another recessed zipper interior pocket instead of the fixed pocket the Maker’s Tote pattern calls for. The gussets where also part of the list…done! After all, it’s my Tote and I am free to customize it for best and highest use. I even add a fabric tab with a silver lobster clasp, for key management. I also use this clasp for yarn management if I am using my Tote for a knitting project bag…or to hold my scissors or notion bag. Lots of options for this little addition.  The binding is prepared and ready to go…feels great! Just wish I had had that separating zipper!!!


For some tips:

  1. Don’t cut your lining until you have your exterior pieces, complete. That means, interfaced (Foam or other). Make sure you write down the measurements (pin measurements to the exterior pieces if you are going to walk away)…sometimes I forget…but I know you won’t!
  2. If you like an interior recessed zipper, learn how to make them and use them often. I like to zig zag across the end of the zipper (polyester zippers is what I use for the internal zipper pockets) so it doesn’t separate as I am trying to install.
  3. Customize the interior of your Tote/bags just for you! If you enjoy organization, then add those features which will make your creation one you will use over and over. If you prefer an interior you can just throw everything in with plenty of room and pockets are not your thing…don’t add them.

Well, folks, tomorrow, starts Grammy Camp for the rest of the week, so until the weekend or until my zipper arrives…or other. I am taking a short break from the Maker’s Tote blog. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #makerstoteclub2017 on Instagram to show off your Totes. Sure hope you have decided to join the Club!

If you have any questions along the way don’t hesitate to email me,  message me on IG @mariaelenabliss or leave a comment below! Thanks, and have a great rest of your week!

ps. I will post on IG once I start to put the Maker’s Tote together!


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