Two Canvas Buckthorn Totes

Two Canvas Buckthorn Totes - Noodlehead


I’ve been having so much fun seeing what everyone has been making lately. It’s always a bright spot in my day to be able to take a peek at what you’re creating! I thought I’d share a couple of Buckthorn Totes that I made. For me, the best part of a new pattern, is when I get to sit down after the pattern is almost finalized and sew a few more samples. I don’t have to think about the tiny details, I can just pick fabrics and sew.

I had bought some of the new Egg Press (for Kokka) from Fancy Tiger Crafts and was excited when I pulled out of my canvas stack. I’ve been an Egg Press fan for quite a few years, I love letterpress and stationery and love collecting it! I’ve been better these past few years about actually using my cards, but some of my favorites like the Egg Press designs seem to be ones I can’t give up quite yet. I paired the canvas with Big Sur unbleached for the lining.Two Canvas Buckthorn Totes - Noodlehead

For the other tote I used Big Sur in Brown Beige for the exterior and this stripe from Fancy Tiger for the lining. Again, if you haven’t guessed yet, I’m a big fan of Big Sur canvas for bag making! I can’t recommend it enough!

Both these totes use fusible fleece on the exterior fabrics and canvas weight for the lining (no extra SF101 when using canvas as the lining).

I have one more tote sample to share and then hopefully I’ll get around to making a few more samples with some fun modifications.

Thanks for stopping by!

Pattern: Buckthorn Tote (pattern includes Backpack version as well)
Fabrics: Egg Press for Kokka (here’s a google search for shopping options)/Big Sur unbleached and Big Sur canvas in brown beige/ stripe lining

Webbing and zippers available in my shop, too!


Zippy Wallets in Driftless

Oh hey! So my daughter convinced me to sew up some Zippy Wallets with lanyards for her and her best friend. It was her friend’s 14th birthday and of course it fell within Stay at Home orders, so anything to cheer her up! I love how they turned out. The last time I made these for my kids was quite a few years ago and they have gotten used a lot since then!

I asked Natalie to pick out what fabric she wanted and to my surprise she picked some of my Algea print from my Driftless collection. I thought that was so sweet. We agreed that the gray trim and lanyard looked nice and would wear well, too (practical Mom stepped in, ha!). She helped press the fabrics and fuse the interfacing. I got to sew them up and honestly I could/should have let her make them. But I think I needed the relief of a small project to complete, so I jumped right in.

So if you’re looking for a small project to sew I have a ton of free tutorials. I know that during this time things are strained for many of us, so I highly encourage you to jump back through my archives and check out all the FREE! patterns/tutorials that I have done over the years. These are the Zippy Wallets and here’s the full list of bag/pouch tutorials (give the page a second or two extra to load, there’s a lot in there!).

Pattern: Zippy Wallet (with added lanyard)
Fabric: Algea (Mango and Aqua)from my Driftless fabric collection for Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Essex Yarn Dyed in Graphite for the accents
The lanyard hardware was purchased from Ning Bags.

Waxed cord for zipper pull in my shop here.

I’m currently out of the snap starter sets in my shop (my supplier isn’t shipping at this time), but I really think that these wallets are great to use with The Snap Setter tool (size 16) with size 24 adapter. I own a couple of these (I’ve had them for years!) and love that they carry a wide variety of colors and metals. I think they’re user-friendly, too.


Waxed Canvas Buckthorn Backpack + Waxed Canvas Tips

Buckthorn Backpack in Waxed Canvas - NoodleheadI am so excited about this Buckthorn Backpack! And glad you guys are loving the pattern! This backpack turned out just how I envisioned and we even got a compliment on it when doing our photo shoot (that’s my daughter by the way in these shots, yes, she’s basically as tall as me now).

I used Fabric Funhouse‘s waxed canvas for this sample, this is the Orion Blue color. I loved working with it! For me, I feel like it’s the perfect weight for this pattern. I lined the backpack with Big Sur canvas in Unbleached and used my webbing, zipper and hardware from my shop.

Oh and I’m publishing a quick little IGTV video of two ways to add leather zipper pulls to your project. I recently added those to my shop as well if you need any.

So, onto more about waxed canvas. Lucky for us waxed canvas is getting easier to find! More and more shops are carrying it. It can be a little tricky navigate what waxed canvas might work the best for you and your particular project, as not all waxed canvases are the same. Because they are made by different manufacturers, you’ll want to pay close attention to their weights and widths. As someone who writes sewing patterns, I give a suggested range of weights that will work. Typically a heavier weight canvas, the stiffer the fabric. Too much stiffness also comes with some disadvantages, it’s a bit trickier to sew. You’ll be doing more ‘wrestling’ with the fabric to get it to move out of the way while you’re sewing your project. A real advantage of waxed canvas is the ability to use it without needing interfacing. I think we all can agree that if we can skip a layer of interfacing and have our project turn out how we like, we can consider that a win! Yard for yard it is more expensive than regular canvas, and I think that’s what some people might overlook when shopping. You can eliminate using interfacing on waxed canvas (unless you’re using a very lightweight waxed canvas), so it ends up being similar in cost to buying canvas plus interfacing. Plus it’s a huge time saver! Less to cut and less time spent at the ironing board.

Also keeping in mind the width, many come in a 54″ width or wider thus getting more bang for you buck! You might want to take a close look at the size pieces you’ll be cutting from the waxed canvas and adjust the yardage you buy accordingly. Unfortunately there’s not a quick fix to figuring this out. But a little bit of math and you’ll be well on your way. Start by looking at the width of each piece you’re cutting and see how many you’ll be able to fit across the width of the fabric, then move on to figuring out the height you’ll need in the same fashion until you’ve accounted for all the pieces you need.

Another couple of notes worth mentioning is that it’s so easy to mark waxed canvas and you won’t need an iron (you’ll actually want to NOT iron it!). You wouldn’t think a thing like saving time marking centers and placement of straps or zippers, but in the end it really adds up! All you need to do is fold! In the case of marking the center of a piece, fold it in half and run your finger up and down the fold and there’s your marking! You won’t need to press your seams with an iron either, just finger press! 

Here’s a few more tips that I can pass along from my own experience from working with waxed canvas. If you haven’t worked with waxed canvas before, I hope you give it a try! Waxed canvas is excellent for bag making and is sturdy and durable. I think you’ll love it!

  • Because an 8-12 oz. weight waxed canvas is sturdy, there is no need to add interfacing to the waxed canvas pieces.
  • Use a large strong needle. I find a denim needle (size 14 or 16) works very well.
  • Use polyester thread (because I always have a lot of questions on what thread I use, I’ll link it here, it’s Gutermann Mara 100). Cotton thread will deteriorate over time and will not be as strong on some of the more stressed seams.
  • Use caution when pressing. An iron can melt the wax. Instead of using an iron, finger press the seam.
  • Double stitch within the seam allowance for extra durability. I sew an additional row of stitching 1/8” away from the actual seam (but within seam allowance)for reinforcement.
  • A Teflon foot might be helpful so the waxed canvas doesn’t stick as it’s being fed through your machine.
  • Pin holes will be visible. Instead, pin within the seam allowance or use binder clips.
  • Take your time when turning pieces right side out. The waxed canvas is stiff, so pull gently and slowly. Wrinkles and creases all add to the distressed and rugged look of waxed canvas. If you’d like, you can use a hair dryer (on a low setting) to help reset the wax.
  • Spot clean only.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!