I knew when Sara asked me to participate in the Purse Palooza which bag I would make! I just received my copy of Jennifer Paganelli’s Happy Home book, and the Millie’s Market Tote looked fun to try out in her Crazy Love fabrics. Pictured is how it looks in the book, but I chose to make mine patchwork and I’ll explain my modifications.
I cut 3 strips 6.5″ wide for each front and back piece and sewed them together. The pattern calls for 5″ wide side pieces, but I changed it to 6.5″ to match the front. Pictured are my front and back pieces sewn together and all other pieces needed. There are no pattern pieces to cut from, just sizes for your rotary cutter which I love because I’m way more accurate with my pieces. 🙂
For the inside pockets, I kept one the same on the other lining piece, but on this one I made a cell phone size one (raw cut 4.5×6.5″) and the other one was raw cut 6.8×8.8.
The pattern uses store bought handles and you make loops to attach them, but I decided to make fabric ones and placed the handle pieces just on the outside of the middle patchwork piece. The handles were cut 6.5″x22″, then ironed in half, opened, ironed those outside edges to the middle crease and then folded again and topstitched on both long sides.
I used Peltex 71F single sided fusible interfacing which was great because it stood up on its own, no problem! There was no interfacing used on the lining. It is a really roomy bag, I could fit 3 rolled beach towels in here!
I love how boxy it is, it can really hold a lot! The pattern is different than others I’ve made in that you sew the inside and outside together wrong sides together and then the thin binding along the top covers the raw edges. The Peltex is super stiff, so I can see why you wouldn’t want to keep turning it inside out as it is bulky and stiff~ perfect for a stand up bag! The only thing I would do different is make the binding a little bigger to catch the raw edges with less mistakes on my part! There were a few places I missed, so I had to rip those sections out and re sew. I’m not a perfect sewer, and that would fix my short comings! 🙂
I think because of the heavier Peltex to work with, I’d classify this as a confident beginner bag. Totes are a great way for beginners to learn as they are simply constructed. There are no closures or zippers, very straight forward! I recommend this pattern! Thank you, Sara, for having me! 🙂