I bought the Super Tote pattern from Noodlehead last year but never got around to actually sewing the bag.
So I changed that last month. I'd been dreaming of making my own handbag that would fit my water bottle. I always lug a water bottle around otherwise I simply forget to drink. It's easy to get dehydrated in the Aussie summer. I just carry it in my hand as it doesn't fit my compact handbag, but as a result I keep leaving it behind whenever I put it down somewhere.
So this Super Tote design, which not only looks fantastic, would be big enough to fit my drink bottle.
The bag was not too difficult to sew, however I have made quite a few bags by now so I think that experience did help. I remember the first time I made a clutch that was lined. It took me forever to figure out how I was supposed to put it all together at the end, when you have to put the outside part inside the inside part etc. Now I just know how that step works, I don't have to think about it anymore.
I picked 2 fabrics from the new Soft Cactus collection, that I knew would work perfectly together as they are designed as part of the same colour set.
I used 1m of the Blowballs Rusty Orange, and 50cm of the Rhythm in the Rain - Dark Steel Blue fabric from the Soft Cactus collection. I combined this with jeans.
And of course it includes a bit of orange piping!
The biggest job was cutting the fabric and applying the interfacing. Since the instructions suggest interfacing only available in the US, I set about finding the right alternative. (thank you Sewing Groups on Facebook!) I headed to spotlight.
The interfacings required are Pellon SF101 and Craft Fuse 808.
From my research, an alternative for the Pellon SF101 would be Vilene G700 or Legacy SF101. Unfortunately Spotlight was out of the Legacy SF101 so I settled for Formfuse 1600 instead which is said to be a bit stiffer. They only had the grey one, but that didn't matter, it didn't affect the colour of the white/orange fabric I had picked.
Then I used Vilene H250 as an alternative to the Craft Fuse 808.
In addition to what is suggested in the pattern, I also added H250 interfacing to the recessed zippered pieces to add some stiffness there.
To add sturdiness to the bag, I applied the Formfuse 1600 (20 sec on wool setting with steam) to all external pieces, and then added Vilene H250 on top of that. I was concerned everything was going to end up too stiff but it turned out perfect.
The only thing I would do differently if I could travel back in time is the interfacing of the straps. I doubled up on the interfacing there as well and that was not necessary, so the straps are a bit stiff. I think just Vilene H250 alone would have been sufficient.
I added a thin strap with a clip to attach my car keys so they become easier to find.
The bag has some nice design features that I love, like this pleat on the sides.
And my water bottle? It fits perfectly inside one of the pockets however it is not featured in the photos as I left it at a coffee shop yesterday! I guess the bag did not solve my absent-mindedness!