Project

Starry Night Tote

As usual, first there came the fabric... and eventually an item that would fit it to my taste! I fell in love with this Starry Night print, and bought a few yards in case I didn't see it again. I have learned since that this is a commonly available design, but I didn't want to miss my chance when I first encountered it. I was recently going through my fabric and pattern stashes, looking for the right match of size, material and print for a purse suitable for travel. I wanted something roomy enough for my tablet, phone, wallet, a few other essentials and my travel documents, with plenty of pockets to stay organized, and a material that was interesting to look at but that would allow for easy care if I got it dirty putting it under an airline seat or treated it not-too-gently. I'm very happy with the results. I opted to treat each vertical panel independently in terms of matching prints, so that each pocket continues the print of the panel it's attached to, but the print is not matched to contiguous panels. I ended up with a slight imperfection when attaching the main zippered pocket panel to the front of the bag, because I let a bit more of the zipper tape show that I first intended to, so my exterior panel ended up longer than its lining and had to be trimmed at the bottom, which offset the design by about a half inch. It doesn't bother me too much for this first try of this pattern, but I will make a note to allow for that on my next go-round. The pattern was very easy to follow, all seams except for the dropped yoke are straight, so this is a great pattern for beginners to attempt, although I would suggest additional steps to trim material in the corners to reduce bulk, and clipping along the curved yoke to ease tension in the seam before turning it right side out, that were not mentioned in the pattern. A more experienced sewist would not need to be told this, but a beginner might find it helpful to have these tips pointed out in the instructions. I will definitely make this pattern again, and may even experiment with enlarging it slightly, although this size is perfect for my current purpose. The pattern called for decorator weight fabric, but I used quilting cotton backed with fleece, and am very happy with the amount of structure my bag turned out to have. I think heavier fabric would have made for extremely bulky seams.

Project Description

As usual, first there came the fabric... and eventually an item that would fit it to my taste! I fell in love with this Starry Night print, and bought a few yards in case I didn't see it again. I have learned since that this is a commonly available design, but I didn't want to miss my chance when I first encountered it. I was recently going through my fabric and pattern stashes, looking for the right match of size, material and print for a purse suitable for travel. I wanted something roomy enough for my tablet, phone, wallet, a few other essentials and my travel documents, with plenty of pockets to stay organized, and a material that was interesting to look at but that would allow for easy care if I got it dirty putting it under an airline seat or treated it not-too-gently. I'm very happy with the results. I opted to treat each vertical panel independently in terms of matching prints, so that each pocket continues the print of the panel it's attached to, but the print is not matched to contiguous panels. I ended up with a slight imperfection when attaching the main zippered pocket panel to the front of the bag, because I let a bit more of the zipper tape show that I first intended to, so my exterior panel ended up longer than its lining and had to be trimmed at the bottom, which offset the design by about a half inch. It doesn't bother me too much for this first try of this pattern, but I will make a note to allow for that on my next go-round. The pattern was very easy to follow, all seams except for the dropped yoke are straight, so this is a great pattern for beginners to attempt, although I would suggest additional steps to trim material in the corners to reduce bulk, and clipping along the curved yoke to ease tension in the seam before turning it right side out, that were not mentioned in the pattern. A more experienced sewist would not need to be told this, but a beginner might find it helpful to have these tips pointed out in the instructions. I will definitely make this pattern again, and may even experiment with enlarging it slightly, although this size is perfect for my current purpose. The pattern called for decorator weight fabric, but I used quilting cotton backed with fleece, and am very happy with the amount of structure my bag turned out to have. I think heavier fabric would have made for extremely bulky seams.

Q&A with AndieG

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Skill Level

Beginner