What are you most proud of? I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am NOT an accomplished sewist. I take lots of pride in my knitting, but I'm working on improving my sewing. Having said that, I'm extremely proud that the tote turned out so well! What advice would you give someone starting this project? If you haven't taken Kristin's Bag-Making Basics class, I encourage you to do so. I've been able to take what I learned and apply it to several of my own modifications of the design. For this tote, I started with a wonderful free embroidery design from smartneedle.com. After hooping the medium weight tear away stabilizer along with the felt, I floated another piece of stabilizer under the hoop and stitched up the design. For the tote, I mostly followed Kristin's class instructions. I enlarged the pocket to a 6 x 6 inch square and sewed it to the lining so that it would be in the back of the tote. I also added a strip of hook and loop tape to the lining; both were done before sewing the seams of the lining. Oh, and I fused the backing to the wrong side of the lining fabric. before I added the pocket and tape. My best advice is to encourage you to use a walking foot on your sewing machine! My foot handled the thick layers very well and it kept the stitching even. In fact, I keep the walking foot on my sewing machine and use it for most of my stitching. I get great results from using it! If you don't have an embroidery machine, you can get something like my Brother 770 for a fraction of the cost of the fancier machines. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of high end machines, but it does a good job and I think it's a great value for the money. I also have a Brother 950D embroidery machine and prefer to use that when working on 4 x4 inch designs on lighter materials, such as the toilet paper I recently did. But that's a personal choice and although the Brother 770 comes with a 5 x7 inch hoop, you can buy a 4 x 4 inch hoop for the machine.