With QuiltCon coming up (in less than 2 weeks!), its been great motivation for making a bunch of stuff that has been in my head for a while, but never got around to. My favorite of these projects so far is my new 241 tote! My old purse has been falling apart for quite a while, but I’ve never made a bag before and, well, they intimidated me. QuiltCon finally motivated me to make a go, and now I want to make all of the bags. I even used some of my very treasured Lizzy House constellations print on the front!
I used the 241 tote pattern by noodlehead, and it was a great beginners bag pattern. I made a test bag just because I was nervous about it, but the practice bag actually turned out so well that I ended up finishing it off to give to my mom. I can’t leave anything well enough alone, so made several changes to tweak the bag to my preferences, but I love the look and shape of this pattern! One of my first changes was to add piping along the top of the side pockets and the sides of the main panel. Since the front and back main panels are different prints, I also added some piping between them. I made the piping (and the straps) out of the same Michael Miller ‘stitch in sea’ print I used for the background of my mom’s quilt.
I added 1.5″ to the center of each main panel for a little extra room. I also like my bags to have a secure closure, so I put in a zipper across the length of the top instead of just the magnetic closure discussed in the pattern. Maybe I’ll put up a brief tutorial for how I did this in the future? I used Breeze from Carolyn Friedlander’s new Doe line for the lining – it is my new favorite print to use with my favorite blue fabrics. I have a few more projects made with it coming up soon
I also added a clip in one of the outer side pockets for my keys. I love the look and accessibility of those pockets, but since I couldn’t even handle the top of the bag not having a full length closure, I wasn’t about to put anything important in them for long. With the key clip, I can have my keys easily accessible and not have to worry about them falling out.
The pattern includes instructions for a 26″ long shoulder strap, but I usually like cross-body bags, so I used some hardware from Jo-Ann’s to make mine with an adjustable strap. I followed the pattern directions for the strap, but made 2 pieces 8″ long and 1 piece WOF (about 44″ – I included selvages because they just got folded in on the ends). I folded the two short pieces around some square hardware and sewed them into the side of the bag as the pattern directs for the shoulder strap, then attached the long strap piece with slider hardware to the two square hardware pieces once the rest of the bag was complete.
I changed the inner pocket dimensions so it would just fit my phone, and tucked one of my labels in the side. I ordered some custom label fabric from spoonflower recently, and have been loving sewing them into everything lately!
I wanted just one zipper on the back, so instead of doing it at an angle, I just put it straight across on the back. I used an awesome atom print from Mod Geek for the back because I couldn’t justify using my out of print constellations print for the back of the bag.
Pattern: 241 tote from Noodlehead.
Modifications: 1.5″ added to width of center panel, added piping, included zipper on top, made a longer adjustable strap to convert to cross-body, and added key clip to inside of one of the side pockets.
Size: Roughly 15″ wide and 14″ tall.
Fabric: Constellations and Pearl Bracelets in Ice Skate by Lizzy House, Honey Hive in Turquoise from Emma’s Garden by Patty Sloniger, Breeze in Sky from Doe by Carolyn Friedlander, and Stitch in Sea by Michael Miller.
Made for: me! Motivated by QuiltCon.