Thursday, January 31, 2013

See & Sew / Butterick 5741

 I finished my tote bag today.  Now that it's done, I can finally see the result of using the stiff interfacing.  As I said before, I had no idea that bag making would be so difficult.  I follow LiEr's blog, Ikat Bag, and I have loved reading her recent posts on making bags.  Her bags are so beautifully crafted, well-made and functional.  I am in awe of her bag-making skills.

 Here is what the bag looks like on:

Huge!  It reminds me of all of the large bags that Alyson Hannigan carried to hide her pregnancy during the filming How I Met Your Mother.

I like it.  It's big enough to hold a large sewing project or smuggle a dog on an airplane.  Although, I don't have a dog, so I won't be attempting the latter.  Next time I make a bag with a print, I will pay closer attention to how the pattern on the pockets matches up with the body of the bag.  The pattern got repeated, but in a less than ideal way.

I liked this pattern, the fabric, and my stiff interfacing choice.  When it was time to insert the lining into the bag, I couldn't find the instructions.  Luckily, I am psychic and I figured it out.

I'm not planning on needing another enormous bag, but I would still recommend this pattern to anyone who wants a large tote.  The design was more stylish than any of the other patterns I saw at the fabric store.  I would give one piece of advice when topstitching around the handles.  Because of the thickness of the fabric, it was more difficult than normal to topstitch around a curve.  I found it was helpful to change my Bernina's needle position to DOWN so that when I took my foot off the pedal, it stayed down in the fabric.  This made it easier to reposition my hands around the fabric and the topstitching was more even.


  1. It's beautiful! I love the fabric you chose. New follower here!

  2. Hi Stephanie,
    I can't understand why this came out so large when the pattern says it's 12 1/2" W x 12 1/2" L x 9" D. Did you double something? I do love the fabric you chose tho!

    1. Hmmm...that's a good question. I cut out the fabric according to the paper pattern, so I don't think I could have doubled the bag size. Maybe the pattern company made a mistake? I was REALLY surprised how large it turned out.

  3. I want to know how to sew the bottom to the inside

  4. Hi Stephanie,

    Your bag came out beautifully! I'm almost done with this pattern myself, and I'm stymied how to join the handle halves. The instructions & illustrations that came in the pattern aren't particularly clear for this step. Can you give me a couple of pointers on the handle-joining?


    1. I think I folded one of the handle ends (at the top) inside the tube about 1/2" so that the raw edges were not showing. Then, I took the handle on the other side, and put it inside the first tube and stitched them together. I'm sorry, it's just a guess. It's been a year and a half since I made that bag and I'm having a hard time remembering.


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