I finished Mom's purple tote bag today! As I mentioned before, I followed Mary Grace's Tote Bag Tutorial, but made a few changes. I managed to get to the fabric store to buy more of the stork fabric so I could make a zippered pouch on the inside lining. I did take a picture of the pouch, but deleted it somehow, so I don't have it for you to see.
When I attached the lining to the outside shell, I made an 1 1/2 inch mistake, and ended up making the bag the same amount shorter. (I still haven't figured out how I did this. Does this ever happen to you? Of course not!) This mistake made the zippered extension on the inside a bit too big for the bag, but I left it as is. I used a sport zipper as Mary Grace suggested, which makes the bag much easier to open and close. I used fusible fleece throughout, fusing it to the outside and inside pockets, and to the lining and the shell. I made all the pockets double sided, which took quite a bit more fabric. But the stiffness the fusible fleece gives to the bag more than compensates for the extra fabric used.
This is a great pattern, and very easy to follow. Thanks, Mary Grace, Mom loves it! I may make it again, but will fiddle around with the zippered inside pouch so it will look a bit more professional than my hack job. Mom doesn't see too well, so she won't notice. I have some left over fabric, so may make a few accessories, such as a zippered pouch for coupons. I did have some trouble with the measurements not matching up exactly, but I decided that this was because my sewing table is so crowded I cannot get my fabric spread out on it for accurate measurements. If I make it again, I may use home decorating fabric, which is quite a bit sturdier than cotton quilt fabric.
I have now made four tote bags in the last 10 months, and frankly, I'm getting a bit tired of them! Believe it or not, I started this blog to chat about my embroidery. But I got sidetracked on this tote bag thing. I'm now finished with it, and will now concentrate on embroidery and heirloom sewing.