This project was a fun one! It started with a pile of fairly large scraps of fabric that I was going to gift to a friend. But my friend didn’t need the fabric at the time, so I stared at that pile of fabric for a while determined to make it into something useful! I had gotten ‘s Bento Bag pattern as soon as released it. I love her aesthetic and so it was a no-brainer to give her pattern a try.
The bags come together in such a fun way. If you’ve never sewn a tied knot bag this style before it’s a great use for leftover fabric. Since it’s such a useful design (pretty much anything that fits inside is a good candidate), it’s easy to use up whatever fabric you have when you’ve got a little bit extra from a previous project and can’t seem to part with it. There is a fair bit of hemming and pressing, but I think once you get going, it’s a sort of work that goes by quickly especially if you’ve got a good podcast or music to listen to.
I’m not super sure what’ll happen with these bags, maybe I’ll gift them to someone or maybe one of my kids will snap them up. They thought they were pretty cute when laid flat all together. It kind of looks like a strange shape when flat, that is, until you put something inside and tie a quick knot. Pretty nifty!
Pattern: Wholecloth Bento Bag by Kristi of Sweetkm
Fabrics: Euclid by Carolyn Friedlander, Arroyo by Erin Dollar, and a herringbone chambray by Robert Kaufman Fabrics
I wouldn’t recommend using waxed canvas (unless you can find some that is a bit lighter weight) for the Fika Tote however. It ended up being kind of hard to wrangle through the machine. The Fika is actually a fairly large tote, which is great, but difficult when working with a super stiff fabric like waxed canvas. So anyway, even though I wouldn’t make another one using waxed canvas I’d definitely recommend finding some beautiful wool to work with! I have some Pendelton (they don’t show it online, but if you call, you can purchase it that way I believe) that I snagged at Fancy Tiger Crafts when I was in Denver a while back for Sewtopia. I’m so tempted to make another Fika using that!!! I’m scared to cut into the Pendelton though, but maybe I’ll just have to bite the bullet and do it already!
Padded pocket, perfect for a small laptop!
While I was working on the pattern, I also thought the back of the tote would make a great front, too. So if you’re looking to cut down on some time and a few steps, feel free to use the back as the front and just make a plain piece for the actual back of the tote. That’s one of the most difficult things for me for making patterns, knowing when to stop with different options or variations! It’s so tempting to include all the ideas! There are plenty of pockets though, inside and out. So if you’re the extra organized type of person, I think you’ll really love the Fika Tote. Plus besides having lots of pockets, the main storage area is super roomy!
Zippered Back Pocket
Anyway, the lining on this one is one of my favorite lightweight canvases. I usually order mine from Drygoods Design or Fancy Tiger. Oh, and lastly, if you’re looking for the same top recessed zipper for your Fika Tote, I finally added some to my shop. Stop by and pick one up if you’re interested.
Pattern: Fika Tote
Fabric: Waxed canvas from AL Frances Textiles on Etsy, Lightweight canvas for lining (in grey), wool for accent (from my local quilt shop Olive Juice Quilts)
I’m so excited to finally share this tote, the Workshop Tote (pattern by my friend Jeni, available here)! I’m pretty sure I made it over the summer just after Jeni released the pattern. I needed a quick and satisfying project to make and this one sparked an immediate ‘make me!’ I love it when I get struck like that.
My husband is big time into mountain biking, road and gravel biking, and just exercise in general. He usually totes his miscellaneous equipment and clothes in a laundry basket in the back of his car when he travels to events or races. I know! I know! I should have made him something a very long time ago. So as soon as The Workshop Tote came out I picked this perfect Echino fabric that I’ve had in my stash for a bit, one I acquired from the treasure trove of my local quilt shop, Olive Juice Quilts. I combined it with a favorite heavy weight gingham for the lining. It’ll be durable and useful for all his stuff. I can’t wait to see it filled up with his gear.
I had a bit of fusible fleece on hand, so I used that for interfacing the exterior and used the fusible woven for the lining pieces. I think it worked out pretty great! I’m happy to hand it off to him finally since I was able to snap a few pics. It took a very long time for me to get pictures, but I’m glad it’s finished!
Pattern: Workshop Tote by Jeni Baker (In Color Order)
Fabric: Echino canvas from my stash (I couldn’t find the exact print available, but if you like that look, here’s a link to some options), Olive Juice has some similiar ones, too, railroad gingham by Robert Kaufman Fabrics (again, I’m sorry, I couldn’t find this fabric anywhere! If you know a shop leave me a note in the comments and I’ll add the link here)