sewing

More Explorer Totes!

Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

Thanks so much for your excitement over the new pattern, the Explorer Tote. I’ve been eager to release it for so long that it feels really great to be able to show off some of the samples I’ve made along the way. So I’ve got a lineup of quite a few to show off, hope you don’t mind seeing a few more Explorer Totes.

Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

These are a couple of the small size available in the Explorer Tote pattern. Again, it’s not a small tote, but rather one that’s great for everyday. I think this size is perfect for students and anyone who has to carry items to and from the office. I’m personally excited to use mine for taking along in the car when we go on short trips as I love bringing a sketchpad and a few small things to work on.

Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

Anyway, the gray and black is all waxed canvas on the exterior which I absolutely love. It’s so rugged and durable. I had made myself a super simple version of this same tote about 2 years ago that just wears so well. I kept the insides simple on this version and left out the optional top recessed zipper plus I didn’t do any interior pockets. And it makes for such a quick sew!Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

The other is made with a beautiful cotton/linen canvas by Ellen Luckett Baker, from her collection Charms. I’ve always loved Ellen’s designs and the cotton/linen canvas is my absolute favorite for bags. I know the collection is a few years old so finding this particular print might be hard to come by, if you know a shop that still has some in stock let me know in the comments and I’ll add it here. She does have newer collections that have the canvas as well, Parallels and Rough Cut and Monochrome. So check those out as well!

Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

I did include the recessed zip on this version. And I’d like to mention that you can totally use separating zippers for this pattern. Sometimes they’re easier to come by, so for sure use them if you find them more readily available!

 


Pattern: Explorer Tote (small)
Fabric: Waxed Canvas from AL Frances Textiles,
Charms by Ellen Luckett Baker
Leather: from my shop (natural and medium brown)
Turn Locks: both from buckleguy.com


Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

sewing

New! Explorer Tote Pattern

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

I’m very happy to introduce my newest pattern today, the Explorer Tote! I’ve been working on this pattern on and off since the end of 2015, whew that’s a long time, and I’m glad it’s finally ready to share. A couple quick notes about the Explorer Tote pattern:

  • two sizes to sew! The large size is great for traveling and overnight trips and the small is ideal for an everyday bag
  • one front pocket (covered by flap) and back exterior pocket divided into 3 sections (large) or 2 sections, large divided interior slip pocket
  • open top or recessed zipper closure option, flap with closure provides extra security for both

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

Click here for more details and to purchase.

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

I felt really strongly about making this tote bag a highly functional and useful carry all. I went through so many different versions of this bag before ultimately deciding that these two sizes and styles were the most optimal for all uses. I do like the large size for use as an overnight bag or a carry-on or if you just like carrying a large bag, whereas the small size (which isn’t small necessarily) is a great everyday tote that will even fit a laptop in it’s case (and more!) – making it ideal for taking to school or the office.

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

The optional zippered top was a huge factor for me in this design – it was a must-have. I personally don’t prefer to carry bags with zip tops, but will make this an exception because this zipper when it’s not in use, is not in the way at all. So, when I use my Explorer tote for an everyday bag I can leave it open, but if I’m traveling I can zip it secure. Instructions are included if you’re not in need of a recessed zip as well!

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

A special feature of this pattern is the waxed canvas. I can’t recommend it enough. Actually, it’s by far my most preferred fabric choice for the contrast bottom/flap portion of this bag and therefore the only fabric type I have listed in recommended fabrics section for the Contrast Bottom fabric requirement. If you’ve never worked with waxed canvas have no fear. It’s not as complicated as you might think. I’ve included a bunch of tips for using waxed canvas right within the pattern. Because the canvas is waxed it makes for such a durable bag. The wax makes the canvas stiff yet pliable as well as being a protectant from dirt and grime. In fact, you don’t even use interfacing with it (saving you both time and money), so if at first you’re thinking it’s a bit more costly than regular canvas, you might want to reconsider. However, if you’d prefer to use regular canvas, I’ve given specific instructions within the pattern for using that as well.

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

Here are some shops that I love and recommend that carry waxed canvas by the yard. I use mostly a 10-12 oz. weight from AL Frances Textiles.

Fancy Tiger Crafts
Drygoods Designs
Gather Here
AL Frances Textiles on Etsy

I hope you’ll take the time to try waxed canvas! If you have any questions about this tote please let me know in the comments. p.s. If you’re a shop owner that carries waxed canvas let me know, I’d love to add you to this list! I should also mention (and maybe I can put something together for a future post) that you can wax your own canvas, Otterwax is one brand I’ve seen people use.

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

Lastly, the turn lock on the flap is so handy! It’s easy to use (bonus!) and easy to install and looks great, too! I purchased the ones for my samples from Janelle over at Emmaline Bags, although in the pattern I’ve linked to a few more sources as well. I really prefer the type that have the mini screws that secure the face plate of the turn lock. I hope you’ll give it a try if you’ve never used one before, they’re a lot like installing a magnetic snap!

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

Click here for more details and to purchase.

For the large sample shown I want to point out that I swapped out the fabric handles (as called for in the instructions/materials) for leather ones, it’s an easy swap, so if you feel that leather is right for your project – go for it.

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

Thanks so much for your support and enthusiasm! I cannot wait to see what you make! Tag your creations #explorertote on Instagram!

New! Explorer Tote Pattern - Noodlehead

sewing

Coming Soon – Explorer Tote!

Coming Soon - Explorer Tote! - Noodlehead

Hello there! I thought I would pop in quick to let you know I have a new pattern coming out in a few days. It’s called the Explorer Tote and I hope you’ll love it as much as I do. It’s been a work in progress for so long that I am grateful to finally let it out into this world. It comes in two sizes (this one is the large) and is loaded with great features that I can’t wait to tell you more about and show you!

My family helped me out in a big way to get these wintry pictures. It took some serious dedication, but was super fun at the same time. We hiked up to a great little spot where we do a lot of mountain biking and hiking in the non-snowy months. I have yet to get up there though with my fat tire bike. Anyway, this winter day was pretty mild compared to the temps we’ve been having, so I’m very thankful the weather cooperated.

Coming Soon - Explorer Tote! - Noodlehead

Coming Soon - Explorer Tote! - Noodlehead

I’ll see you back here at the end of the week with the pattern! Thank you so much for all your enthusiasm and support.

Coming Soon - Explorer Tote! - Noodlehead