This year, I decided not to sew handmade Christmas gifts. Instead, I did most of my shopping on Cyber Monday–without even leaving the house! Feeling super accomplished and stress-free. Which is a foreign feeling at this time of year because I like being a busy elf, tinkering here and there, feeling like I’m contributing to the magic of Christmas. My new zen outlook has me thinking I’ve been making work for myself.
With shopping (mostly) done, I had time to make myself an early Christmas present–a Noodlehead Super Tote! I’ve been eyeing the pattern for a long time and I finally settled on a fabric combination to make one.
I chose a metallic pleather in champagne. So pretty. The fabric has some stretch, so the Pellon Craft Fuse 808 that Anna recommends really helped stabilize the pleather. The pleather was a pain to sew. To make it slightly more manageable, I followed these tips and used wonder clips, put 2 pieces of transparent tape under my presser foot and took it s-l-o-w. One wrong stitch and the puncture in the pleather lasts forever!
The Liberty of London Wild Flowers in tana lawn is my splurge of luxury peeking out at the front, inside the straps and the recessed zipper. The fabric is backed with a lightweight interfacing. I used a 12″ separating zipper instead of a closed zipper for a more polished look.
For the lining, I used the print Brush Bear from the Timber and Leaf collection by Sarah Watts. The neutral colours of the print coordinate well with the champagne. The backside of the lining has 2 expanding elasticized pockets.
I made 2 tiny modifications: a pocket for my iPhone 6 and a key loop. The only thing worse than a misplaced phone in your bag are misplaced keys. My bag can seem like an abyss at exactly the moment the phone starts ringing or when I’m in the parking lot with a cart full of groceries and squirmy kids.
I had to change the inside pocket to accommodate my modifications. I eliminated the elastic casing and made a shorter, flat pocket with some pen slots and a wider slot to fit my wallet.
Here’s the bag with everything inside:
There’s enough room for my iPhone, keys, wallet, pens, makeup bag, mini markers, snack bag (black polka dotted zip pouch), sunglasses, seeing eye glasses, wet wipes, tissues and a notebook. Before having kids, I never realized how important it was to have a snack bag lined with nylon–it’s a lifesaver. It’s just the right size for apple sauce pouches, a handful of almonds, crackers, clementines and emergency
bribes candies. The wrappers and peels can go right back into the snack bag to contain the mess!
There’s room to spare for my camera and some reusable grocery bags (not shown). The front pocket is perfect for paper: school notices, preschool artwork and Macy’s coupons. You never know when you’ll need those coupons!
I’ve been using my super tote for about a week and so far, it’s a huge improvement over my previous tote bag. While I loved the simplicity of that bag, I was getting fed up with collecting all of my things when they slid out without a zipper to hold everything in. I love the compartments of my super tote! It somehow makes my life feel uncluttered.
The one thing I’m not completely happy with (oddly enough), is my choice in fabric. While the metallic champagne adds a touch of fancy to my casual style, the pleather is a bit sticky, or clingy, to be more accurate. If there are any stray hairs on my shoulder before I “wear” the bag, I will most likely pull the hairs out of my poor scalp. A small price to pay to have a lightweight, waterproof bag.
Otherwise, I love my super tote! The size is perfect. The pockets are awesome. The zipper is indispensable. The handles are just the right length. I would highly recommend the pattern if you’re looking to graduate from a diaper bag, but still need all the mommy essentials that won’t fit in a cute little purse.
This marks my last sewing project of 2014! I still have a birdhouse to paint with Froo & Boo, but my sewing machine will be taking an indefinite break. 2015 is promising to be very full–I’ve never been so excited to start a new year!
Thanks for visiting!