Scandi Floral Tote Bag
Hello my fellow fabric addicts, it’s so nice to be back here on The Fabric Guys’ blog. The project I want to talk about today is none other than Helen’s Closet’s Costa Tote. I’d wanted to make a bag for a long time, I don’t know why it took me this long to be honest. But when I came across the Scandi floral fabric on the TFG website, I knew I wanted a bag made out of this beautiful 100% cotton canvas.
You can get this pattern by subscribing to the Helen’s Closet newsletter. There aren’t really that many pages to print, and the instructions, just like their other patterns, are very clear. So if you want a quick/instant-gratification kind of project, this could be it!
Here are the supplies I used for this project:
- 1m of Scandi Floral Canvas 100% Cotton Baby Blue Floral 60” Wide.
- 1m of Premium Plain Quilting Cotton, Fabric 112cm Wide Aqua Green (Golf) for lining.
- 1 reel of Gutermann in colour 331 to match the canvas fabric.
- Medium weight iron-on interfacing for the straps.
I really love the print on the canvas fabric, it’s very modern and the fabric has got a very nice feel to it while also giving a bit more structure to the bag. The colours are just perfect for Spring/Summer.
One thing to note is that the pattern requires you to cut on the fold following the grainline for the outer fabric and the lining, as well as the pocket pieces. The print on my outer fabric is not suitable for this – I would’ve ended up with the flowers and stems running horizontal – so what I did was cutting on the fold but across the grain.
One of the things I love about this pattern is that the bag is reversible, so in theory you could have the pockets to be on the inside – like I did – or even on both sides.
The finished bag measured at 16.5” tall, and for me that was just too tall. I wanted to be able to hold the bag by the handles in my hand without it touching the floor, but at the same time I’d like to keep the length of the straps. So I shortened the bag body by 1.5”.
I decided to add bartacks on the top of the pocket divider and bottom corners of the bag just for extra security. The other change I made was levelling the top of the pocket pattern piece. I think the slanted top looks nice but as I was putting the pockets on the inside of the bag I thought it wasn’t really necessary.
The sewing process itself was very quick, you can whip up this project in an afternoon. I love how simple yet highly functional this bag is. I’m planning to use mine to keep my journals/notebooks and stationery on the go, of course there’s no reason why you can’t use the bag for grocery shopping. The pockets are so roomy and there are FOUR of them! FOUR! Yep, I’m a sucker for pockets haha.
All in all, I really enjoyed this project. I think if you’ve never made a bag this would be the perfect pattern to try. IMHO, making a tote bag isn’t really that complicated – especially when you’re just dealing with medium weight fabrics like I was – but it’s really nice to get an easy pattern to kind of show you the way, you know? And if you love hacking, I think this pattern is perfect for a starting point – a short foundation course to bag-making if you will.
So, that’s all from me today. Thank you for reading. Until next time.