I was so excited when Sara invited me to participate in Purse Palooza. I’ve sewn my fair share of tote bags and zipper pouches, but I always hesitate when it comes to trying new patterns. But ever since Christina at The Sometimes Crafter published her pattern “Amanda’s Knitting Bag,” I’ve wanted to try it! I’m not a knitter but I know a lot of people who are, and I thought this would make a great practical gift.
Fabrics and Interfacing
When I sew bags, I like to use heavier weight fabrics along with quilting cottons to give them more structure. I had just received some Essex Yarn Dye Linen in “Flax” from Robert Kaufman before I made this bag, so it was a no brainer to include it! It’s similar in look to linen but a lot more stable since it is a cotton blend, and it sews up so nicely. I paired it up with one of my favorite Echino prints and an older Michael Miller print from my stash for the linings.
I used Pellon fusible fleece for the outer interfacing, and Pellon SF 101 woven interfacing to line one of the pockets.
There are quite a few pieces to cut at the beginning, but it isn’t overwhelming because Christina lays out the cutting instructions in a way that is really easy to follow. The hardest thing for me was determining which fabrics to use for various pieces, as I used more than just an exterior and lining fabric.
The pattern relies on illustrations for each step versus photographs. They are professionally done and really make construction easy. The instructions are broken down into various stages and easy to follow. I am VERY pattern-challenged. I have a hard time focusing and tend to do things out of order. My advice (if you’re like me) is to read through the pattern a couple of times before you start so you can understand the construction a bit better.
I didn’t feel the need to make any modifications to this bag! It was fun to include the panel of Echino on the side without pockets. In the first version I made back for my mom for Mother’s Day, I chose to add a second large pocket on that side instead. There is a lot of flexibility to add extra pockets if you think you might need them.
This pattern would be great for a confident beginner who has sewn a basic tote bag before. This is the first bag I’ve made with separate pieces for the sides and bottoms, and it was really fun to learn a new method of construction other than the basic boxing of the corners. You’ll also learn how to install a zippered pocket if you’ve never done one before! They’re easy!
Make this bag! It’s the perfect gift for someone who knits, crochets, or does a lot of hand sewing. There is a ton of room on the inside. The pockets are so versatile that I could see it getting used as an artist’s tote or commuter bag as well. Christina has designed a very professional pattern that is easy to follow and produces a beautiful end product.
Thank you for having me, Sara!