The Totes Ma Tote Bag Pattern

7/03/2014 10:06:00 AM

The Totes Ma Tote bag pattern has taken a loooooong time to arrive. Almost 1 year, in fact.  I carried my first prototype for this back in September of last year!  What happened?  Life, bag hardware, hockey games... The Bag of the Month Club. All kinds of things happened, but I'm happy to say that it is HERE and I can't wait to show it to you.

This is a fantastic bag to show off large prints or even get creative with patchwork. As one of my testers said, "It's like a blank canvas."  And it ready for you!

I won't waste a lot of time with chit chat, because I really want to show you the pattern tester's gorgeous bags. Wow they make me look so good!! These bags are gorgeous.

The details in a nut shell:

  • Zipper opening
  • Straps with buckles, attached through grommets
  • 3 internal pockets, including a zipper pocket and LARGE pocket
  • Purse feet
  • Sturdy bag that stands up on it's own
  • Style
  • Style
  • Style
  • You will love this bag!

Here are a few that I have made:

And here are the bags from the pattern testers:

Veronica, from SewVery made this gorgeous bag in linen. She says, "I used Echino linen/cotton blend for the exterior and some of the interior pockets and duck cloth for the lining.  I used ShapeFlex on the exterior fabrics and the interior pockets made of the exterior fabric, and I used the headliner fabric on the two exterior panels.  I think this combination worked well.  The bag has great shape and stands up on its own, although with the straps attached, they do pull the top over a little.  I lined the straps with shapeflex as well but not the full width." There are some VERY gorgeous photos on her blog post HERE! 

Amy S. from Stitched by Starlight, made this grey lovely. Wow!  She made hers in some very striking quilting cottons, and says: "I thought your pattern was great!  Very well laid out, clear instructions and the bag is Fabulous!!!"

Catherine J from Crimson Cuttlefish used a combination of linens, cottons, and red vinyl for her tote, and the addition of those bird buttons create such a gorgeous, professional bag.  I love it!  She used bra padding fabric to keep her sides nice and stiff. Great alternative!

This bright lovely is from Cindy of Raspberry Sunshine. So summery! She used a mid-weight home decor fabric, by Annies Soft & Stable and Shapeflex to create a very sturdy bag. You've done it again, Cindy! See more pictures here!

This pretty bag is from Cyndi F from The Nosy Pepper. She used quilting cottons throughout her bag, interfaced with Shapeflex and Soft & Stable. Read the blog post and see more pictures HERE!  Cyndi says: "I am not exaggerating when I say that I think the exterior of the bag came together more professionally than any bag I've ever done. It was absolutely spot on with the measurements and instructions, yay! It made it a little nerve wracking putting the grommets in because I was so afraid of messing it up lol, but it was a breeze :)"  Thank you, Cyndi!  

I was so hoping that someone would try this in patchwork, and Daryl from Patchouli Moon Studio did. She used all quilting cottons for the exterior of her bag, and since she didn't have grommets for the straps - worked her own magic and created this ideal strap attachment.  Love it! Read all about her bag on her blog post HERE

Lisa Z of Odd Perfection makes the most gorgeous items for sale and this is no exception. I love this large flower feature. So striking!  She used: "home décor for the exterior fabric, outdoor fabric for the facing and zipper gusset and quilting cotton for the lining.  The tote bottom is faux leather.  I used Pellon ShapeFlex SF 101 fusible interfacing for the exterior, lining, pockets and straps and then the amazing Soft and Stable for the main exterior fabric." 

Maria from Mia's Creations always makes the most professional looking bags and this one is just perfect!  She created her own striped pattern out of home decor fabrics and incorporated her own method of strap attachment as the grommets were not available to her, giving the tote a very modern and trendy look. Love it!  See MORE gorgeous photos HERE.

This floral beauty is Wendy's, of WD Handbags.  I love the use of one of the "Handcrafted - Made in Canada" labels that I designed. This is just what I had in mind for these.  I get all gushy when I see it. Seriously, the bag is gorgeous though!

Owls!!! Lovely adorable owls adorn Norma's bag. She creates lovely work over at Norma's Bag Boutique. I LOVE the side trim she put on her bag, it's perfect!  She says, "This Tote is quite spacious and the internal pockets help a lot with organization. That large pocket with tab will fit all kinds of electronic gadgets, like my tablet. The hardware, even when I didn't used the ones recommended, create a professional and sophisticated bag, great for those executives, or office women. As you can see in the pictures I used leather straps and grommets. I just love the combination of canvas fabric and leather handles." See the rest of her photos on her blog post HERE!!

This is so summery and cute!  This is Nerissa's, from Nissamade, she always tries something new and pushes boundaries. She used some vinyl for her straps and attached them with rivets.  It turned out gorgeous. And you can read all about her straps, rivets, and more, and see more pictures HERE.

Okay, this is to die for. Natalie, from Carry Hers By Natalie, used a combination of orange vinyl and quilting cotton called "Zombie Facts" by Riley blake. It turned out super cute!  You can see more pictures and read all about it on her blog HERE

Marilyn, Marilyn! Her business name, Shades of Bold, is so fitting. The bag speaks for itself. You can read all about it and see more photos on her blog HERE!  She used my recommended interfacings and says, "I used quilting cottons for my exterior fabric, accent fabric and lining and was pleased with the results.  I used my favorite interfacing, Pellon Shapeflex SF 101, Pellon Peltex for the bottom, and by Annies Soft and Stable  (I have used other things in the past but never get as good of results)."

I have several pictures of each of these bags and it was so hard to not show ALL of them!  I will leave that to the bloggers though. Check these sites, above, for blogposts and photos so you can see all of their work. 

Now, if you are interested in this new sewing pattern -

Thank you to the pattern testers, and thank you for reading.

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  1. Wow, these are all beautiful! Can't wait to try this one out! Everyone needs to list what fabric they use so i don't go crazy trying to find it, lol.

  2. Congrats Janelle on a great new pattern and way to go testers!!! A-Mazing totes!!! I had the best time making this tote and love to see how everyone adapted the pattern to make it their own :) xo Cindy

  3. Wow!!!! Everyone's bags are amazing. I loved testing this tote and am looking forward to making more and now I've seen the other testers bags I'll be a bit more adventurous with my fabrics.

  4. Great Pattern Janelle. I love seeing all the other tester bag. They are amazing bags, with great choices of fabric. I can see myself making a few more of these, as I enjoyed making this so much.

  5. So great to see all the versions! Really love them all! There are some great fabrics out there just waiting to be showcased like the ones used here. Really love the pattern! Congratulations!

  6. They are all so fab!!! I can't pick a favorite! Congrats on the release of another awesome pattern! Thanks for letting me test for you, this was so much fun to sew!

  7. LOVE this pattern and the fabric choices are divine! Thanks for sharing. I will definitely be making a couple of these, I think they will make a fab teacher gift for the end of year, they are such a great size. Cheers, Sasha.

    1. Thank you Sasha! Glad to hear that you like it too!! Janelle

  8. Excellent info. Many thanks intended for offering us this kind of helpful info. Maintain the excellent do the job along with carry on offering us a lot more top quality info every once in awhile.The Best handbags


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