Firefly in Kept

I wanted this Firefly in Kept to have its own post. I made this sample of my newest pattern, the Firefly Tote and thought it would be a perfect opportunity to talk about fabric weights and combinations.

Firefly in Kept

Fabric Weight

This sample uses Big Sur Canvas in Black (I purchased mine from Stitch Supply Co. for this tote). Canvas is one of the suggested fabrics for the exterior fabric selection. I try to be very specific with suggested fabrics because in bag making it is very important (it’s actually always important no matter what you’re sewing, as it does affect the outcome of your project – so always check that out the suggestions for the pattern you’re making!).

Firefly in Kept

I suggest a 7-9 oz. canvas for the exterior fabric requirement. Big Sur is at the top of that range at 9.6 oz. so it’s a perfect choice! Anything lighter then 7 oz. will either require more interfacing for the same/similar results OR a different combination of fabric/quilting, etc. This includes Essex which is too light weight of a fabric (5.6 oz. weight) for using as the Exterior! Essex is the substrate my fabric collections have been printed on (Forage, Driftless, Quarry Trail, etc.). Essex is perfect for the accent fabric however!


For this particular sample and as written in the pattern, my personal preference is Pellon 809 for interfacing (it’s considered a medium-weight fusible for bag making). It’s a bit stiff and perfect for a tote like this. I have no difficulty with wrinkles or fusing it to canvas (sometimes it can be very fussy when fusing to quilting cotton), but with canvas it goes on perfectly! You could also substitute Decovil light! (Let me know how you like it if you do.)

Kept Fabric

This sample showcases Carolyn Friedlander’s latest fabric collection, Kept as the accent fabric. I love being able to use a beautiful print like this and I think it is such a fun pop of interest to the front pockets/drawstring closure.

Project Details:


Lastly, I’m putting together a sew-along for the Firefly Tote that will begin June 22nd (the first email will go out then!). It’s an email-based newsletter style sew-along. You can click here to sign up! No pressure to keep up with the schedule, it’s just for fun. If you’re busy during this time sign up anyway and keep the emails for future use!


New! The Firefly Tote Pattern

I am so excited to introduce to you my newest pattern, the Firefly Tote pattern! Yayyyy!!!! Named for those magic summer nights when the fireflies come out, the accent fabric is a bright spot in this design!

Firefly Tote Pattern

I’m so excited about this pattern, it feels like it’s taken so long to get here! I couldn’t help but include two sizes to sew! The small size (it’s called the Project size in the pattern) is where I began when designing this pattern.

I wanted a smaller tote for craft projects and I think it would make such a cute lunch bag! Or it would make a great gift, too! The larger size (the Tote size in the pattern) is a classic tote shape. I think it would be perfect for a work bag or student bag (and yes, a small laptop fits!).

Click here to purchase, grab your copy today through Sunday (May 23rd at 10pm CST) for 20% off! No coupon code needed.

I love using a featured fabric for the front pockets and drawstring closure (the accent fabric). The best part is that you can use your favorite quilting cottons for the this! The main structure of the bag comes from the exterior fabric which I recommend canvas, dry oilskin, or waxed canvas.

The front pocket is a larger slip pocket and also includes a zippered pocket! Yep, it’s a fun combo! I love having a super accessible slip pocket as well as a zippered pocket. Inside the drawstring closure is a fun opportunity for a cute lining, and it includes a large slip pocket.

The handles for this tote can be made of cotton webbing or leather (hey, you can always make your own from fabric, too!). In addition, I chose to use rivets (here’s a link to my tutorial which also has links to sources, etc.) to secure mine, but a little rectangle of topstitching is great, too. Both options are discussed in the pattern.

Here are some of the Firefly Tote’s features:

  • two sizes to sew! Project size is the smaller of the two, Tote size is the larger.
  • front slip & zip pockets (great for featuring a favorite fabric and oh so useful!)
  • drawstring top closure to keep everything secure
  • interior pocket
  • simplified option for an even quicker sew!
  • so many possibilities!

Click here for more information and to purchase!

Today through Sunday (May 23rd 10pm CST) pick up your copy for 20% off!

Project fabric details:

Pattern: Firefly Tote Pattern (in two sizes, Tote size and Project Size)

Tote size features waxed canvas in Deep Rust from Fabric Funhouse, Flueron Haven from Kismet by Sharon Holland for the Accent, Speckled in Pale Pink by Rashida Coleman-Hale for the lining (both purchased from Stash Fabrics)

Project size features dry oilskin in Navy purchased from Oak Fabrics, Trail Marker print from Quarry Trail by me!, and 1/4″ Carolina Gingham in Denim by Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Tote size in black features Big Sur Canvas in Black (purchased from Stitch Supply Co.), Bold Geo from Kept by Carolyn Friedlander (also purchased at Stitch Supply Co.). Grid fabric (not shown in this post) for lining I think was purchased at Purl Soho years ago, I’ll keep looking for something similar.

I also wanted to show off the versatility of the pattern and a way to speed things up even more. Leaving the exterior without the front pockets is a fun option. Information for how you can make this simplified modification is included in the pattern. It’s a great opportunity to try some quilting, too. I’ll show a quilted version in an upcoming post.

Fabrics shown:

Tote size features dry oilskin in Khaki purchased from Oak Fabrics, Tile in Saddle from Golden Hour by Alexia Marcelle Abegg (purchased from Stitch Supply Co.), lining is a stripe from Fancy Tiger (looks like they’re sold out right now, but here’s a fun stripe at Fat Quarter Shop.

Project size features dry oilskin in Grey purchased from Bijou Lovely, Coneflower from Quarry Trail by me! and a random denim/cream stripe from Joann fabrics ages ago (Essex woven stripe would be close!)

Looking for supplies?

Thank you so much for your support! I can’t wait to see your Firefly Totes! Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@noodlehead531) and use #FireflyTote


Adorn Sling

I finally finished up my Adorn Sling! I made this sample while filming the Sandhill Sling Sew-along. Once the sew-along was over, the only thing I had left to sew was the lining. I’m not sure why I waited so long, but it’s done now!

Adorn Sling

Adorn Canvas

This Sandhill Sling features Adorn canvas designed by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Ruby Star Society. Rashida’s designs are always so incredible and I’ve loved following along on her creative journey. I think I started following her work when her book I Love Patchwork first came out (2009!). I love these hands! And the pop of hot pink in the lining (also from the Adorn collection) was perfect.

I had fun pulling everything together with the zipper (this is the Storm Blue color from my shop) and zipper pulls (in Split Pea from my shop)!

Hang Loop

If you’ve followed along with the sew-along I showed how I added this little hang loop for hanging the sling on a small hook. It’s a piece of 1″-wide webbing that’s about 7.5″ long (and of course you can make it a bit wider and longer if you wish). At home I usually put mine over a door knob, so my Sandhill doesn’t have one, but it’s a fun and easy feature to add!

Glue Basting

I like to thread baste the lining in place (you can watch my video that’s included in the pattern). However, I also recommend glue basting. This time I did glue basting and it is just as easy, maybe slightly messier (which could just be me, ha!). I do like mixing things up and using different techniques. I think that’s what makes sewing fun! There’s always more than one way to do everything!

Pattern Information:

Pattern: Sandhill Sling (this is View A)
Fabric: Adorn by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Ruby Star Society Here’s a google search link if you’re looking to shop for Adorn
Zippers (View A), hardware + webbing kit, zipper pulls available in my shop.

The link to the Sandhill Sew-along page is available here.