Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sew Spoiled Weekender Travel Tote

I have just finished a new tote bag.

I first saw this bag on the cover of the Feb/March issue of Sew News and thought it was so cute. I bought the magazine for this pattern. However, as I was considering making it I decided to check the website of Sew News for this pattern to see if any helpful comments had been left by others who had made the bag. Link It turned out that people had had trouble with the instructions given. Apparently, measurements given for some of the pieces for the bag were incorrect and the instructions were a little unclear. However, the designer of the pattern provided a pdf with some of the pattern pieces to help sewers and provided the correct measurements. I printed out the pattern pieces but I put the project on hold because I was a little unsure of the pattern. A few months later I stumbled across the blog of the designer of the pattern, Leah Williams, Sew Spoiled and found that she had posted a 19 page pdf with the pattern and detailed instructions. It was very nice of the designer to provide this for free. It seems that with all of the troubles with the pattern in Sew News she wanted to clear everything up. I really appreciated this because the bag is so cute and I really wanted to make it.

The review below is for the pdf pattern provided by Leah Williams on her blog Sew Spoiled.

Pattern Description:
From Sew News: Hit the road with a roomy pleated tote that's perfect for a long weekend or last minute road trip. Stow your camera, cell phone, cosmetic bag and other essentials in the handy interior pocket.

Pattern Sizing:
One Size. Finished measurements: 20"w x 13.5"h x 4"d

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, very much so.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were easy to follow. I glanced at them occaisonally after reading through them once. If you have made a bag before you will only need them for creating the front panels.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Style - not just a boring rectangle tote.
Size - it is very generous, you could fit a lot of stuff in it.
It took forever to cut out all the pieces. There are sixteen pieces that need to be cut out (not including the interfacing). However, once the pieces are cut and interfaced, it sews up pretty quickly.
There is some waste when cutting the front panels to the correct shape. You have to sew three pieces of fabric together then bring the two outside pieces to the centre to form the pleat and then cut this into a trapezoid shape. There is quite a bit that you have to cut off.

Fabric Used:
100% cotton denim from Fabricland and Amy Butler cotton print from her Daisy Chain line. I interfaced the exterior, lining and pockets with heavyweight non-woven fusible interfacing from Fabricland.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I only used two fabrics instead of the five suggested.
I added a zippered pocket and more pouch pockets to the lining.
I added a swivel hook for attaching my keys to so they don't get lost in the bottom of the bag.
I used top stitching thread for all of the top stitching.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don't think I will sew it again. I would recommend it to patient sewers who don't mind cutting out a lot of pieces.

Roomy tote that is easy to sew.