I went on a bag-making spree in June. For my mother, a color-blocked cross-body bucket bag. For me, rope-handled tote with a matching zip pouch.


The color block bag is from a pattern in Modern Patchwork Magazine, Spring 2015. I used the instructions in the magazine pretty much to the letter and was pleased with how the bag turned out. It’s bright and cheerful and a good size for a wallet, sunglasses, book, and light sweater. Not too big; not too small.


Materials: Essex linen in natural for the exterior, Essex linen in hot pink for the lining, and various scraps from my stash for the color blocks. The 10″ zipper is from ZipIt.


My bag is a slight adaptation of Anna Graham’s Caravan Tote. I used the handle style and placement from this tote featured on the Hawthorne Threads blog, modified the lining and needle pockets a little, and I left out the exterior pouch pocket. Oh, and I skipped the heavier interfacing. I may regret that choice down the road, but it seemed like it would be so bulky to sew through when I was already using linen on the exterior. I’ll probably make this bag again in another print and will try the additional interfacing. So far, though, no complaints! I’m quite happy with it. It may seem like I changed a lot from the original Caravan pattern but I really did follow all the essential construction steps for this bag. I know how to make a basic lined tote without a tutorial but this one involves zippers (my nemesis) and multiple linings, and I wanted to make sure I got it right.

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Materials: Sunshine and Essex linens on the exterior, Priory Square prints for the linings, rope handles and gold swivel clasps from Joann’s, 14″ red zipper from Zipper Island.