I’ve been wanting to make this bag for a long time. I keep pulling it off the pattern wall and wandering around with it at the store trying to figure out what fabric to use, but up until now, nothing had inspired me, so back on the wall the pattern went. Last week we got a small collection of fabric in at our Williamsville location from fabric designer Julia Rothman called “Type”.
This little collection of fabric lit the fire under me to finally get my professional tote made! When I told Barb my plan- she asked if I would be willing to make one for the store at the same time..”Making two won’t be any harder than making one” she said. I had always heard that the Professional Tote was a bit tedious to make, so needless to say I looked at her like she was nuts, but as she so often does- Barb convinced me!
The Professional Tote when finished is 18″Wide x 15″ Tall x 5″ Deep and has a zipper closure at the top. I bring my laptop to work everyday, and traveling between our Williamsville and East Aurora locations means that all of my files and reference material has to travel with me. I am always hauling bags full of stuff back and forth, so I had high hopes that this pattern would be the perfect size for all of my stuff! (It did not disappoint).
The pattern calls for Decor-bond as the interfacing, but I already knew that I wanted to use Soft and Stable to stabilize the outside of the bag as well as the center zipper pocket so that my laptop would have a nice cushy home.
The Soft and Stable is PERFECT for this tote. It stands up on its own without being too heavy, and my BERNINA sewed through 3 layers of decor bond and 2 layers of Soft and Stable like a champ. I used a Shmetz jeans needle once I got to the steps that involved that many layers, and lengthened my stitch length to 2.7 on the really thick stuff, but overall I had no issues sewing through all of the layers. I just took it slow.
Most people who have made this bag say the same thing, it has MANY pieces, but the designer provides you with numbered labels for all of the pieces, and the instructions are very clear and well written. Once you get through the cutting, the sewing is not difficult, but if you are afraid of zippers, there are 3 in this pattern…so…GET OVER YOUR ZIPPER FEAR:).
On each outer side of the tote there is a pleated pocket to hold a bottle of water, of maybe your coffee mug, or and umbrella The pattern calls for store bought cording for the drawstring, I know people who have used elastic in the place of cording in this step, but I decided to just make my own coordinating “cording”. I just took 2- 1″xWOF strips and folded them like bias binding and cut them to size. I like the way it looks…what do you think?
Inside there is a pleated pocket with a velcro secured flap, as well as patch pockets- plenty of organizing space for people who are always losing thing deep inside their bags (like me).
The back of the bag has a large pocket that runs the whole length of the back which also has a velcro closure, great for a newspaper, or the folder that you know you’ll need to access quickly.
I am so happy that I decided to make this bag, and (as usual) Barb was right- making two at the same time was no big deal, and I’m glad I did, because although I might make another one someday, I think it might be a while till i do.
This bag will be great for travel, and a perfect everyday bag- I would highly recommend making one (or two)!
**Due to customer interest, we’ve added this tote as a class! Find out more HERE**