Hello! Stephanie here again today from Swoodsonsays. Bags are so much fun to sew! Fall has started so I’m trying to get a jump start on handmade gifts for the holiday, the Stitch-along Tote caught my eye because it is designed for knitting projects. I haven’t knitted in years (and only got as far as scarves, in high school, when I did) but my Mom was working on my daughter’s Christmas stocking last time she visited. When she dug everything out of the bottom of her big tote bag, I made a mental note to find a solution! I chose to sew the small version of the Stitch-along Tote, which measures 15″ W x 12″ H x 4″ D, there is a larger one as well, shown below in Betz’s pattern photo.
I have only sewn a couple bags before, but I found this pattern very easy to follow. I like that there were provided pattern pieces (except for the straps) instead of measurements or instructions for creating the shapes, it made it easier to use up fabric I had on hand instead of buying new yardage. I used coordinating prints for the interior pockets & bottom, and the same solid for part of the lining and straps, squeezing out the whole bag from my stash. The color blocked aspect of the pattern makes it ideal for scrapbusting, too!
As mentioned, there are two interior pockets in the pattern. The purse closes with a magnetic snap, which I found much easier to insert than I anticipated! I used Peltex 72F (a double-sided fusible) for the base and just used muslin fused to the ‘wrong side’, since I had a scrap that fit.
The bag stands up really well on its own, using a combination of fusible interfacing and batting. I did baste the batting to the purse sides instead of pinning. The added stabilizer in the seam allowance is so clever, I had never seen that detail in a pattern before. The cuff is designed so it flips down easily, holding its shape and providing easier access to projects inside. When sewing, I was glad I had my walking foot on and used my tailor’s ham to really press the seams well but preserve the curves.
I did add one detail – a grommet! I had seen a knitting tote with a grommet to pull the yarn out and thought it was so cute. Hopefully it will be useful too, I know my Mom’s cats love to fiddle with her yarn so maybe it will keep them out of it. It was a little tricky inserting the grommet once the bag was assembled, but using some washi tape to hold each side in place while I hammered worked out well.
The construction details on the bag are so fun! The shaping and construction really take it up a notch so it looks and feels like something special. Hopefully my Mom finished my daughter’s Christmas stocking before I give it to her, but I like to think it will make a happy hope for her next project!
This post is part of the Betz White Sewing Collective series. Content is written by compensated contributors expressing their own views and opinions.