Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Butterick 5658 Tote Bag

Apart from kitty litter, the other thing I wanted to get on Black Friday was some sewing notions at Hancock Fabrics while they were on sale. They also had all their patterns on sale, so I looked through them to see if anything caught my eye. Since I have a thing for bags, I naturally looked through the bag patterns. Very few interested me except for Butterick 5658 . I haven't really used these types of patterns much, but since it was on sale, I figured I would give it try.

Butterick 5658
Anyway, with my love for bags, I couldn't wait to start on this one! It didn't hurt that I got some new fabric from my quilt shop in Georgia on Small Business Saturday! Since this pattern came with instructions for four different bags, I decided to make bag D first (it is very similar to bag C).

On the left are fabrics from Eden (on top of the canvas) and the right are fabrics from Elizabeth.
The print with lotuses and tigers on it is left over from my USA Quilt backing, so I only had limited amounts.
I wanted to do more than just a canvas shell, so I decided to use some of my beloved Tula Pink fabrics. All the printed fabrics used came from her Elizabeth and Eden lines. I also some plum colored canvas. Since the canvas has a lot of body to it, it didn't need any lining/interfacing. I have used interfacing before. However, it is not my favorite, so I lined the Tula Pink fabrics with unbleached cotton cloth (thicker than quilting cotton weight but not as thick as canvas). So far this seems to have provided the structure I want, but time will really tell!

First distraction occurred before I could even cut the pattern!
This bag took me about 2 full days to complete. It probably could have been faster if I didn't have distractions (i.e. pets) and if I didn't choose to alter the pattern. While the pattern was very good, I knew I would want more interior pockets, a zippered top, and a different handle.

Thus, I made the outer shell first, since that would not have many changes (except for on extra pocket on the back). I used Tula Pink's Astraea in Plum from her Elizabeth line as the main print. The plum colored canvas came from JoAnn fabrics (their canvas colors vary by dye lot of the bolt, so there was great variation in the colors they had under the same name). I wanted to fully assemble the outside, so I knew what size zipper would best suit the bag. 

The zipper pressed and waiting to go in. I cut it extra wide knowing I could trim excess off later.
On the inner linings, I added my zipper where the pattern made two different fabrics meet. I ended up using a 14 inch zipper (18 inch was way too long, 12 inch would have worked but I didn't want that big a gap at the top). I wanted my zipper to be able to lay flat in the bag when opened, so I only sewed the long ends into the bag.

A close up of one interior side. I wanted to focus on the tiger since this is the only place it appears
I also added two zipper pockets (one on each side, one is 7 inches in teal and the other is 9 inches in purple) and two slip pockets instead of the one smaller pocket the pattern had. I also made my pockets a little decorative since I knew I would have this bag for a while!

Finally I was ready to assemble the whole bag! Once assembled, I decided that the handles were not to my taste, so I altered them to a style that better suited me. This was great because it also allowed me to add a hook for my keys!

Interior view of the bag. Key hook shown in top left
This bag turned out a lot bigger than I expected, but this is great since there is room for everything! I haven't utilized the outer pockets much, but I expect they will be great for a water bottle or umbrella.

The view of the back of the bag, complete with extra outside pocket
Overall, this is a great pattern to follow. I had no problems with the directions and it was easy to make my modifications.

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