Thursday, January 17, 2013

Butterick 5741 - WIP

I've taken a break from some of last months sewing projects and have started this tote, See & Sew Butterick 5741.  I found this 44" upholstery print on sale at Joann's and snatched it up.

It's like a jungle floral!  So fun!  The tote pattern calls for hair canvas, which is not typically sold in stores, and is difficult to find by the yard online.  I messaged my college sewing professor and she told me where to find hair canvas.  We both thought it was a little strange that a tote would call for this stuff, when hair canvas is typically used in suits or coats.  She suggested using a stiff interfacing instead.  I found some extra stiff Pellon interfacing.  This, in my opinion, is better than hair canvas because it is washable.

The interfacing is quite stiff, as you can see.  I'm wondering if it is too stiff, but I'm not experienced in bag-making so it will be an adventure.

I love the pockets and the print, although I maybe could have matched it up better.

I usually sew clothing so I never considered that this bag making business would be so difficult.

When you are dealing with 4 layers of upholstery fabric and 2 layers of thick interfacing at a corner, it is no fun.  But, that's over and it doesn't look bad.  Ironing the darn thing is hard, too!  My tailor's ham was invaluable to press the seams open. 

My bag is sitting atop our new porch!  The old one was falling apart, a little tilted and dangerous.  I've been waiting a year and a half for our landlord to fix it.  Love it!


  1. This is going to be a nice looking tote! I love your fabric :) I always find this kind of "small" projects not so easy, they can be fiddly and as you mentioned it, there can be quite a number of layers and corners to deal with!

  2. I love your tote bag and the colors are so beautiful. I am So glad I found this blog; I was going nuts over the exact dilema. I too have a pattern for a tote bag that calls for hair canvas. I had a dickens of a time finding hair canvas, and when I did, it was only sold by the bolt. Like you I decided to go with a heavy weight sew-in pellon, (not sure if mine is a stiff as the one you used). I hope my bag turns out as nice as yours.


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