Handmade Birthdays: Two Super Totes (pattern by Noodlehead!)

We’ve been following Anna’s blog for a few years now; she’s a wonderfully talented and creative mamma (to two adorable little girls) who has designed some pretty fantastic patterns.  One of the first online tutorials I ever followed was her gathered clutch tutorial (here is a picture of one I made).

My parents both love to travel as well as do yoga, so I figured that Anna’s latest pattern – the super tote – would be perfect for them.  I know it may seem a bit cheesy (hopefully my parents don’t think so!) but I made them both super totes.  My original intention was to make one for my mom and then a different tote for my dad. . .but after I made the first I knew I had to make another!

So here they are: First, for my mom.


The exterior fabric is Joel Dewberry sateen in Notting Hill Pristine Pop Midnight.  To be perfectly honest when I saw this fabric in the store I wasn’t sold, but as soon as I got it home I fell in love with it!  It’s heavier fabric, but lighter than home decor weight fabric.  It feels fantastic and was wonderful to work with.

The gusset fabric was actually a vintage linen that my mom gave me as part of a de-stashing effort a few years back.  It was a bit shifty so I ended up interfacing it twice, once with lightweight interfacing and then a second layer of Pellon craft fuse. Also, the handles were made from home decor weight scrap fabric I had in my stash – it actually has a slight pattern to it, but you can’t really tell in these pictures.


I did opt to put in the optional recessed zipper.  This was my first experience inserting a recessed zipper, and all-in-all it was MUCH easier than I thought it would be.  Since the exterior was so busy I decided to keep the interior simple and used a coordinating red quilting cotton.

Next, who says handmade tote bags can’t be manly?


I had a lot of fun designing this bag, probably more than is normal :)  I based my fabric choices around the Moda bicycle fabric that I purchased at our local fabric store, Five Eighth Seams (Little Things Organic Cream Mustard).  My dad is big into biking, so I thought this would be perfect for him!

The exterior part above the pocket and the handles are both cotton twill and the awesome plaid gusset fabric is a something I found in the discount bin at Hancock fabrics.  Honestly I’m not sure even what it is made of, but it looks and feels like some sort of suiting material.



The interior of the bag and zipper panels are also made from the same Moda bicycle fabric, however unlike my mom’s bag I decided to add a bit of color and make the pockets navy blue (it’s another vintage blue fabric I scored when my mom de-stashed).

I would highly recommend this pattern to anyone – the end product is fantastic and the pattern is really well written and easy to follow.  It’s not the quickest sew, but it is completely worth it.

Now I just have to make one for myself!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>