Monday, December 30, 2013

Sewing Circle Tote - Part 1 (Or is it a Cutting Circle Tote?)

Oh my! Sometimes at the beginning of a project, I wonder if I have bitten off more than I can chew. After reading the 28 pages of directions involved in Elizabeth Hartman (of Oh, Fransson!)'s Sewing Circle Tote, I had more than a moment of trepidation!

But I had agreed to make it and already had most of the required materials, so off I went to Adrienne's studio. That's Adrienne of Chezzetcook Modern Quilts in case you hadn't guessed. I do love her studio - all that beautiful natural light, those cubbies filled with lovely fabric. I could stay there all day... and I typically do once I get there!

Here's what I chose for fabrics...Red Rooster's Dressmaking Collection with a the yellow, green, and blue small prints thrown in for a little more colour. The exterior of the bag is a mostly a dark denim that I found in a very unfamiliar aisle of my local fabric store. We bought so many unfamiliar things for this bag - interlining, fusible interfacing, stabilizer, elastic, yikes!
Ade's fabrics are some gorgeous Essex Linen and prints from Denise Schmidt's Shelburne Falls. If you ask nicely, maybe she'll show you on her blog! Regardless of what fabric you choose, there's a LOT of complicated cutting to do for this one. Three pages of cutting instructions to be exact!
In a hilarious twist, Ade and I both went for a Kona for our linings. These were NOT purchased together. Ade had her's in her stash and I bought mine at the last minute when I realized I didn't have any exterior or lining fabric. Clearly, my cold/flu induced haze has not fully receded.
On the left - Jenn's Caribbean. On the right - Ade's Oasis.  Totally different colours, right?
This monster stack of cutting took.....
4 hours!!!
But then we got on to the sewing! The directions in this pattern are really clear and well written. I love that there are pictures for virtually every step. Well worth the $12.50 price tag! First part to make - the straps!
They are super sturdy - probably the sturdiest I've ever made. Pins just wouldn't do to hold them together - out came the WonderClips! With four layers of fabric, two layers of interfacing and cotton webbing, they're going to stand up to use!

Next, the exterior pockets and my first foray into "quilt as you go." I was pretty excited to try this out - it's one of Adrienne's favourite techniques. It reminded me a lot of a stitch and flip style of piecing - only with this you end up with finished quilting!
Et voilĂ ! Two quilted pockets! Just two more to go and all the exterior pockets will be done!
By the time I left for the day (roughly 9½ hours later), we had each finished two sets of straps, two pockets, and the bag bottom. And we'd assigned ourselves homework and set a due date/date for a Sew Day! We need these glorious creations finished for our first Maritime Modern Quilt Guild Sew-in in January!



  1. I've been wanting to give this one a try, i'll have to follow you and Ade along to see how it goes. Then make my decision!
    Your fabrics are perfect as are your first two pockets!

    1. There's weird phenomenon happening with this fabric - I cut into it, but the pile doesn't seem to decrease. I feel like I've used it for a number of projects, but I still have ½ metre cuts of each of the four main prints!

  2. I think we should be very proud of how far we got yesterday, and think the rest will be a breeze! Ha! I crack myself up! Can't wait until next Saturday!

    1. Me too! My homework is already done. If I had been this productive in school, I might not have had to pay for university!

  3. Can't wait to see your creations!

  4. I loved seeing this. I bought this pattern several months ago but haven't gotten around to starting it yet but I do recall there was a lot of pages to it! I look forward to watching your progress.


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