What I’m Working on…Hidden Treasures Tote

I suppose the heading of this post should have been “What I was working on” since I’ve finished it, but oh well. Anyhow, I just finished making the “Hidden Treasure Tote” by The Creative Thimble.

Hidden Treasure Tote

Hidden Treasure Tote

Barb asked me to finish this bag as a store sample since she knew that I had made the Professional Tote which was also designed by The Creative Thimble. I happen to really enjoy making The Creative Thimble’s bags, because the patterns are challenging but very well written. This purse was no exception. There are a lot of pieces to cut and fuse, but as long as you take your time and use the provided labels to mark each piece after it’s cut, it’s not a big deal at all! And as always, the finished product is very professional looking and so stinking cute!

Hidden Treasure Tote Front

Hidden Treasure Tote Front

Professional Tote Back

Hidden Treasure Tote Back

This bag features three outer zipper pockets, as well as a magnetized flap to keep everything closed, but the best part is the “Hidden Treasure” inside!

Hidden Treasure Tote Inside

Hidden Treasure Tote Inside

This bag has a bag inside! You actually make two bags using this pattern, the large tote, and a small cross body bag that attaches to the inside of the larger bag. So you can keep your money and important necessities in the small bag and when you don’t want to carry a large purse, you just un-velcro the little bag and off you go! Genius. I also made one adjustment, I added Soft and Stable to the two outer pieces of the big tote only to give it more body…it makes such a difference! I also used Ruthann Stilwell and Susan Rooney’s new Fabric “Breezy Blooms”…we are so proud of those ladies and we LOVE the fabrics!

Mini Purse Back

Mini Purse Back

Mini Purse Front

Mini Purse Front

This bag will be taught at our East Aurora Location on Saturday, December 6th and 13th from 9:00 am -11:30 am by Diane. If you’d like to attend, please call 716.652.2811 and we can sign you up over the phone.Blog-Sig


Professional Tote Review

CTT105 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”.type2
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.

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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:).photo 2-1

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?

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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).

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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.

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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)!

photo 3So have any of you made this bag? I’d love to hear what you thought…let me know in the comments!


**Due to customer interest, we’ve added this tote as a class! Find out more HERE**

Featured Friday…”Soft and Stable”

If you’ve ever been disappointed after spending hours making a purse, just to have it look a little…lifeless when it’s completed, Soft and Stable is the product for you.  Soft and Stable is a firm yet resilient 100% polyester foam with a soft fabric lining on each side, Soft and Stable is  lightweight and very easy to sew through but it gives great lasting body and stability to projects. Look what a difference it makes in the samples below.


More than a few customers have said that it gives their bags the feel of a “Vera Bradley” bag. This versatile  stabilizer can also be washed and ironed with no problem- which makes is perfect for use in your everyday bags.Soft and Stable has a soft, slightly napped fabric on each side of the foam, so it hugs your fabric, preventing it from slipping and sliding as you sew. The fabric facing on the Soft and Stable also moves easily against your feed dogs, preventing the problems of the foam catching on the feed dogs. And because Soft and Stable is made of a fairly dense foam, it doesn’t stretch or get wavy as you stitch. You’ll love using it for placemats and table runners. They will hold their shape and look new wash after wash. In purses and bags, use Soft and Stable as you would batting, though you only have to use it in one layer (outer or lining) and can eliminate any other interfacings. If you have several seams together, you may want to trim the Soft and Stable in the seams. Using Soft and Stable in a purse gives me a bag that holds it shape beautifully. It has with clean, smooth lines and isn’t wrinkly or slouchy. Yet, it is very lightweight. The bag is also soft and comfortable to touch — not hard and stiff as it would be if made using some of the other products designed to give stability to projects. Try using Soft and Stable in your purse or bag handles, too — that soft, cushiony feeling is wonderful for shoulder straps or handles.

Doreen has been making the popular “Charming Plus Sized Tote” with Soft and Stable instead of the multiple layers of fusible fleece that the pattern calls for, and she likes it so much that Janet the purse designer is considering re writing the pattern to include this great product!

plus sized tote

Come pick up some of this fabulous product, now through Friday February 15th , all forms of in stock Soft and Stable are 15% off!

So tell me, have you used Soft and Stable? Are you as big of a fan as we are?