I finally got a chance to take clear photos of my new tote yesterday, and here they are for your viewing pleasure 🙂.
The finished bag is approximately 13 3/4″ wide, 11 7/8″ high, and 4 3/8″ deep; a big bag (bigger than my handbags) and will be a workhorse as Kathy of Sewing, etc described it in her comment on my previous post. It’s big enough to take a whole jumper, together will several balls of yarn, which is good because I wanted a bag this big to avoid having to cast on a commuting project when a WIP grows too big for my current bag.
After reviewing several pictures of finished bags online, I finally settled for the following features for mine.
- Three yarn feeders using eyelets, the pocket to which these are attached can take unfolded A4 papers (landscape) or folded A3; perfect for storing patterns and doubles as a large pocket.
- Four smaller pockets for bits and bobs.
- Elastic band to hold water bottle/umbrella/sunglasses/whatever-catches-my fancy ☺️.
- Invisible magnetic clasps to close the bag.
For the size of the bag, I think I should have made the pocket to which with the eyelets are attached higher. I’d made a mistake in cutting one of the side panels, but I didn’t want to waste the lovely fabric, so I used it as is. Luckily, it was just short of the width of the bag.
The other features I added are:
- Outside zipped pocket – for my stitch markers and darning needle tube.
- Snap buttons on top edge of the red canvas panels for added security. Truth be told, I prefer a tapered top tote but I wanted the option of fully utilising the full capacity of the tote, or reducing it by closing the snaps if there’s not a lot in it. I searched high and low for how to make the top part of the red panels narrower without cutting with no success. Then one afternoon on my commute back from work, this lady got on and sat beside me on the train and voila, she had a fabric bag with snaps at exactly these positions. What a coincidence!
Since I wanted it to be able to sit/stand on its own but not rigid, I used Decovil I Light this time around for structure. It gives it a nicer look which I think is better than using Vilene H630 (fusible fleece). As advertised it does feel like leather, and I really like not only how the bag can sit/stand when empty, but also it’s flexibility.
For days I don’t have a jumper size WIP to carry with me, the snaps will come in handy as it makes the bag less voluminous. I’ve taken it on the train to work thrice already this week, and have put the yarn feeders to test, and they passed 👏 👏.
There’s one thing I’d do differently next time though, and that’s using stronger invisible magnetic clasps as the ones I installed don’t attract without my help; or use another type of closure altogether.
Before I used it the first time, I applied two coats of Scotch Gard multi-purpose spray in and out and left it to dry overnight in between coats. The pictures above show my test of its water repellent characteristics. They water just formed droplets and didn’t soak the fabric. I noticed however though that the outer canvas fabrics performed better than the lining in that department. The stain resistant claims will have to wait until it meets with an impending crayon accidents from my boys.
Today marked its third day of use. And apart from my Orkney and yarn, it housed my shoe bag and a pot of yoghurt. I’m happy the idea to double the polypropylene straps popped into my head in time for me to do so (I usually have ideas when it’s too late 😁), because it makes the bag feel more substantial.
I largely followed Debbie Shore’s tutorial in making this bag. You should check her out if you’re interested in making fabric bags because she sometimes does full videos of her makes, and they’re really good. I’m thinking of another project bag, possibly with dividers this time (YouTube to the rescue!), because one just won’t do 😉, and I have an orange canvas fabric in my stash that will just be good for the coming darker days.
That’s it for this post, and have a great weekend.