I decided to sew myself a new tote for an upcoming trip. I didn't have the budget to buy a handmade one, so I decided to make the Caravan Tote pattern from Noodlehead instead. Anna is a genius when it comes to beautiful + functional pieces and this pattern is no exception - she also has handle kits available in her shop. I ordered a set of the leather handles with my pattern and they were absolutely perfect for the project; she even includes an extra bit of leather for test sewing (I used mine for the zipper tab on the side seam). As far as fabric, everything was from my stash! I was so proud of myself for not buying anything other than the snap, zipper, and interfacing. I used denim and a cotton twill for the exterior and chambray and quilting cotton for the interior. The actual sewing was pretty simple and the bag came together pretty fast once everything was cut. The only problem I ran into was simply keeping all the layers in line; by the end, you're sewing like 4 or 5 layers of interfaced fabric together (including a leather handle) which can be a lot at times. I decided to omit the front button pocket just for time and simplicity's sake since I wanted to finish it before my trip. However, I really like how classic it looks and it goes with everything!
I'm really happy with how this project turned out, since I kind of whipped it out on a whim. It's already been broken in with a trip to my local farmer's market last weekend before toting it all the way to Montana and back over my vacation.
My knitter's graph paper notebook fits right into the front zipper pocket, but I still have to try loading it up with some needles and a knitting project:
This was such a fun project to see come together! If you can sew a straight line, you can make this bag! The pattern also includes a zip pouch that I still want to try making, and I'd love to make another version using the front pocket.
Pattern: Caravan Tote by Anna Graham
Fabric: from my personal stash; denim + cotton twill for outside and chambray + quilting cotton scraps for lining and pockets.
Mods: Omitted front pocket and grommets on the main inside pocket and used leather straps from Noodlehead instead of making fabric ones.