Butterick tote bag: finished! | How About Orange

June 28, 2011

Butterick tote bag: finished!

Mum just sent over her latest sewing project: a bag made from Butterick's B5475 Totes and Wrist Wallet pattern (on sale now for a mere $2.88). I'd picked out the pattern and mailed it to her, along with my Outside Oslo fabric in the Dusk Picket print. I liked the shape of the bag, the corner details at the bottom, and the rounded ends on the straps.

The bag in action.

What the outside of the pattern envelope didn't show, however, is the peculiar fastening situation inside the bag. Tabs with snap, fine. Additional yellow straps with velcro? Mysterious. They're interfaced and run upwards along the exterior sides of the bag, meeting in the center. The straps are what pull the sides of the bag in to give it that interesting shape, but it seems a bit awkward to either unfasten the velcro every time you want to put something in there, or push the yellow strap aside (which is doable). Have you ever seen a bag with this sort of architecture?

Maybe it doubles as a theft deterrent. A would-be pickpocket might give up in frustration while attempting to fish out my wallet. A buckle, some extra ties I could knot, and then maybe a padlock to hold the whole thing shut might be nice additions, just for more security.

The interior has a divided pocket, one side with a couple darts (or whatever those pleats are called that give it dimension) for holding a cell phone.

The outside pocket has velcro on the flap.

Mum did a fantastic job, as always. She reported that turning those straps inside out almost killed her, but she conquered. Man, does she love me.

67 comments:

Helby said...

That's adorable! Thanks for sharing that pattern - I think I have to get that now!

Delhibound said...

if you ever get tired of having bags sent to you from Mum, I can provide my address :)

that is beautiful!!

Sarah said...

That bag is amazing. She did a wonderful job.

Anonymous said...

Cool bag!

On that weird closure: Would the bag still "fold in" that way if you didn't have the closure?

Also, if you don't mind my asking, what kind of fabric is that solid yellow? It looks pretty heavy - it is canvas?

BoogaJ said...

Gorgeous bag! Your mom is awesome!

eRin said...

I have a few bags with that inside closure strap and I've never understood what they do. It seems like it might be a structural thing, but I'm not convinced.

Super cute pattern & bag though, I want one! Your mom is awesome!

Jess said...

Anonymous, nope, the sides wouldn't stay folded in without that strap-closure, so that's why it's there.

The yellow fabric is a medium weight cotton duck. This one, to be precise!

T @ The Happy Clipper said...

Beautiful! I would love to have one of these for myself :)

Melisa said...

The bag looks great! I understand the purpose of the yellow closure but it sure is awkward. Seems like there should be a better way. Hey, if I send my Outside Oslo Tulip fabric to your mom, do you think she'd whip up the bench cover I need, LOL? ;) I can't seem to shake the lazies and get started. Haven't sewn in years but I couldn't resist the fabric. I've just wrapped the cushion in it for now. It's going to look great if I ever get it done!

Grandma G said...

Why did you cut off your head?!

Love you even headless,
Mum

Jess said...

Because I hadn't done anything to my hair, including brush it, since the previous day. Besides, you're supposed to look at the bag!

Grandma G said...

But I already knew what the bag looked like! I'd rather look at you. :)

Kelly said...

Does your mom have an etsy shop?? If not, she needs one. She's so talented. I've admired each of the bags she's made - really wonderful!

Jess said...

Hi Kelly,
She used to sew things for my Etsy shop, but we closed it. Too much work for too little compensation.

kriscard said...

utterly gorgeous! & maybe your mum already knows this little trick, but you might want to pass it along - for turning skinny long elements right-side-out, chopsticks can prove extremely helpful! :)

Grandma G said...

I used a chopstick, Kris! I used every "tool" I owned. But those narrow straps plus the interfacing, plus the rounded ends made turning them almost impossible. ALMOST! :)

My blog has more details on the construction.

Happy in red said...

Oh, how lovely is that!!! Will check out the pattern site for sure ;-)
Esther.

Nina said...

As the straps are top-stitched, I'd have been very tempted to press the edges in rather than sewing the whole thing inside out and then turning! I made a narrow little tie belt to go on a top recently, and it took me about an hour to turn the 2m of it the right way out, even in very fine fabric (used one of those turning tools and watched a movie while I did it!). But that was worth it because I didn't want any stitches on the outside. The bag looks great though, very professional.

Wendy said...

Gorgeous, as always. So professional-looking! Your Mum should go into business!

Grandma G said...

Nina, that would've been a good idea except for the rounded parts on the ends. They wouldn't have turned in very easily. They were also what made turning the hardest.

tinajo said...

Awesome looking bag - I wish I felt brave enough to try and make one for my own..! :-)

stephanie said...

you must have the greatest collection of bags...

Anonymous said...

I have a bag from Lands End with a similar shape. Their more practical solution was adding snaps on the sides. They pull it in, but can be snapped to expand into a tote for extra storage or rummaging in the bottom.
Plus, I abhor velcro on bags. It always snags my clothes. Other than that design issue, your bag looks amazing!
-suetella

anka said...

Lovely tote bag!

Chloe said...

That's a great bag! And if anyone wants an alternative for the yellow cross straps that would keep the same shape, I actually own a J. Crew tote bag that has magnetic snaps (those large ones about 3/4" in diameter) on the outside of the bag, that snap together in order to give the bag this same shape at the top. So if you picture where the corners are folded in, that there's a magnetic snap between the two sides of the bag that are facing each other, you can easily substitute that method and remove the yellow cross-strap.

Jen said...

That bag is BEAUTIFUL!

I actually have seen bags with similar straps that fasten in the center. I don't remember where or when (or why or how!) but I do remember seeing it.

I am jealous of this bag. :)

Live a Colorful Life said...

She did a beautiful job on that bag. She also said she would make one for ME!! (just checking to see if she reads every comment....hehe)

Live a Colorful Life said...

P.S. Your Mum also texted me through nearly every step of the Weekender Bag. If I didn't love your fabric SOOO much, I would have never finished it. Pictures will go up tomorrow.

Claudia said...

So beautiful! Looks like it was a good pattern ;)

Leonie said...

That's so pretty! There's a reason why I put a sewing machine at the top of my birthday wish list for this year.

And to think that I originally arrived at your site through the pattern for a canvas handbag - it's full circle!

Grandma G said...

Yes, LaCL... she DOES read every comment! Ahem!

Sure, I'll make you one of these bags... if you'll make me a Weekender! It's a deal, right???

Amy said...

I am pretty sure that bags with a similar closure were what everyone had at my junior high (well, the girls, anyway!). Ours had a magnetic snap in the regular place, but then there was a clippy kind of deal to pull the sides in too. I believe we just never used the side clip unless the stuff inside needed to be really secure!

Patti said...

A great bag and your fabric is spectacular! Lucky you that your mum sews so darn well. Do you think she could "love" me too?

Kat @ Black Kats Design said...

So pretty! And I love how our fabric looks with the solid yellow. I'm inspired to sew a bag. I wonder if you Mother could recommend a good beginner pattern? They always seem easy until I read the actual directions and then I get lost.

Kathy Camasso said...

I love your blog but don't usually comment (sorry!); but for this bag, I just had to post and tell you that it is GORGEOUS!!! You are so lucky to have a generous and talented Mum to make fabulous things like this for you, especially using your wonderful fabrics! Together, you're an amazing team!

HMMills said...

Very nice!

Mod Podge Amy said...

Would mum like to come stay in GA for a month or so? I can cook and provide pug snuggling if she can sew!

Jennifer said...

Go Mom! She's really talented with the sewing machine; it's just a good thing she's got a textile designer in the family ;-)

As for that second fastener, I know I've seen things like that on bags before, though I can't think of a specific instance

Chung Nguyen said...

Wow - that is one amazing bag! Go Mum!

anotheryarn said...

The tote is so cute, such a wonderful shape. I have seen that sort of closure before and avoid them (unfortunately) due to the exact reasons you mention - I find them annoying for bag access while not secure enough wrt pickpocket prevention.

Hello, I'm Emily Clare. said...

this tote is so incredibly cute! i don't sew but i'd buy it in a heartbeat. love your mom!

JLR Designs said...

Your mother is so talented! I love it!!!

hello. said...

is there anything your mom can't sew? this bag is fantastic!

i just bought the weekender bag from amy butler a couple of weeks ago, + now i'm tempted to tackle this sweet bag too!

Nancy Drew said...

This pattern and bag is amazing. I love the pattern, colours and the shape. Your mum did a wonderful job.

http://n-drewblog.blogspot.com/

Le popo said...

lovely... relay good work..

Shawn @ Daffodil Lane said...

Your mom is a genius! The padlock bit made me laugh.

Grandma G said...

Thank you so much for your lovely comments, everyone! You make my day!

Kat... it's hard to recommend a bag pattern without knowing what kind of a bag you're interested in. How about just starting with one of those easy ones that Jess linked to on June 21st?

MPAmy... thanks for the invitation, but I'm afraid GA weather and I just wouldn't get along very well. Humidity is not my thing! Nor are pugs, since I have one in my past that totally drove me up the wall (not mine, thankfully, but I had to see it way too often). Having someone cook for me for a month, though, almost won me over anyway! How 'bout if you come to MN instead (sans the pug)? ;)

Yes, Jennifer... I LOVE having a textile designer in the family!!

I appreciate the suggestions for snapping those folds together. Maybe if I ever use this pattern again, I'd give it a try!

barb said...

amazing! absolutely doesn't look handmade, way to go to your Mum! Love the fabric combinations too, by the way. And the yellow velcro strap...strange :)
- Barbara

Ellie said...

Wow! It's beautiful. I just e-mailed my mom and asked her to make me one. :)

Susan in SC said...

Beautiful bag!! I'm envious!

Jen said...

Dear Jess, I think you should buy your mum a bodkin.

Heather said...

Wow, your mom has skillz.

Grandma G said...

Dear Jen, Jess's mum HAS a bodkin. :) Though I've used it many times, it was not helpful in this case.

Cynthia Schelzig said...

You had me laughing ....your mom´s pooooor fingers turning those straps ....ouch! This bag looks fabulous!!!
and it looked great "in action" :)

Christina said...

Your Mum does a fantastic job with bags! I wish I could get one.

Alex said...

This is an amazing bag! Very nice work!

Marie-Christine said...

Yep, if you'd be up for adopting a twin, I too would be glad of the opportunity to receive such presents :-). She loves you indeed.
Seriously, the yellow straps are weird. It is good to be able to pull in the corners and get that shape. But the way I've seen it done before is with a couple of heavy snaps bringing together the inside of the pleats. That way it's unobtrusive, and you snap them open instantly to add what you didn't realize you'd have to stuff in there too.

Melissa | I Still Love You said...

That bag is perfection, Jess!! I love it! Your mum's sewing skills rock my socks.

The Paper Plume said...

That bag is perfection! 'Pinning' It immediately! Thanks for sharing.

www.thepaperplume.com

cindy said...

Love it. Super cute

ElenaF said...

Amazing.

Anonymous said...

I want to be adopted by your mom! The bag looks great!!!

Danielle said...

Wow! How gorgeous! I would bring that everywhere.

Lee said...

I loved this bag so much, I made my own version. I agree with your mum that turning the straps inside out was the hardest part. I also would recommend using heavier-weight fabric for everything but the lining, as it gives the bag more structure. Thanks for featuring the pattern- I would have never found it on my own!

Jessica Jones said...

Yay! Great work, Lee! Glad you survived that strap-turning :)

PatternPile.com said...

Absolutely gorgeous. I was curious about the closure as well.

Angela miranda said...

Um lindo trabalho maravilhoso a artesa está de parabens

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