Last week I fell in love with the functionality of Noodlehead’s Super Tote pattern & bought it. Best purchase of the week!
My sister has been asking me to make her a “teacher bag” for the longest time. I knew a “teacher bag” meant lots of space and lots of pockets so I’d been putting it off…until Sew Caroline’s Super Tote in progress on Instagram caught my eye. Now that looked like a bag big enough to function as a teacher bag, travel bag, conference tote, beach bag, diaper bag, cat carrier–oh, the possibilities!
So, I did what any trained researcher (#DataDiva) does and started stalking Noodlehead on all social media platforms (including browsing the #SuperTote hashtag on Instagram to see how other people’s version of the bag turned out). Upon my research I discovered this pattern would be well worth the $8 and moved forward with making this my next project.
It was nice to give my brain a rest from designing and just follow someone else’s pattern. I have been struggling with zippers and I really liked this bag’s recessed zipper — it might be my new solution to zipper-top bags!
I’m a very slow, methodical artist (but I heard that “Slow Design” is a real thing now so I’m in luck) so this bag took me two weekends to complete. I was also being very diligent about following the pattern (and taking breaks to reheat my coffee).
I started with cutting the pattern pieces and taping them together while watching TV with my Mom on Mother’s Day (I can’t sit still for very long so this was my best compromise to “relaxing together”).
Tip: Pin the paper pattern pieces to the cut fabric pieces to keep track of which pieces are what. This will save you time later when you’re shuffling around fabric pieces trying to figure out which one is the back exterior vs the front pocket.
I have a fabric hoarding problem that worked in my favor for this — I had enough fabric lying around to make a pairing that made me swoon!
The floral pattern fabric on the left is a vintage scrap from Butterfly Vintage. It matched perfectly with some mint upholstery fabric I picked up at Fabric 101‘s warehouse sale this past winter (I think I got a flat of almost 3 yards for $5! If you’re local to Columbia, keep up with them on Facebook so you’ll know when their next sale will be so you can stock up). The brown pattern fabric on the right is also from Fabric 101. I had intended to make curtains out of it for my kitchen, but as most of my fabric does, it became a bag instead.
Have you seen my new labels?! I’m slightly obsessed. A friend (and local machinist) makes them by etching my logo into metal scraps. Since the labels are metal now (instead of cloth), I have to hand stitch each one. They’re well worth the effort because they’re so chic!
Also obsessed with how perfect the mint accented the floral pattern! I decided to buy brown piping instead of attempting to make my own. Perhaps next time I’ll give it a try, but the store bought stuff gave the top of the front pocket a professional feel 🙂 I also used a magnetic clasp to hold the front pocket shut. The magnetic clasp and lining of the front pocket were optional, but I recommend both.
I had a hard time capturing pictures of the inside of my bag so you may want to refer back to Noodlehead’s post for better interior pictures of the pattern.
Here’s a shot of the inside of my Super Tote:
I used some light-weight pink cotton scraps for the interior pockets.
One thing that wasn’t clear in the pattern was whether top of the pocket fabric (over the elastic) should be laying flat or if it should be cinched. I stitched mine flat at first and went back and cinched it. I think the cinching was supposed to be implied, but I’m not great at reading between the lines 😉
See the pleats on the side? I love the feminine touch it gives the bag!
Until my dogs evolve to having opposable thumbs, I settle for the Hubs as my informal photographer. That being said, my photographer made sure to include my wolf shirt… (yes, I am way too old to own a wolf shirt from a tween clothing shop, but whatever. Sometimes you just need a wolf shirt).
I hope you like the bag! This pattern would make the perfect summer project! If sewing isn’t your thing, I am planning to make more to add to resliced’s shop on Etsy. If you’re interested in placing a custom order, you can do so on this page – we can work together to pick out colors and patterns for your Super Tote.