Purse Palooza :: Pattern Review : Emmaline Bags Totes Ma Tote

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This post is part of Purse Palooza. For contest rules, full details, and schedule, please click here! Today’s post is from DeeAnn.

Totes outside

Hi everyone!  My name is DeeAnn, and I am excited to bring you one of the Purse Palooza reviews today.

For my review, I choose the Totes Ma Tote bag by Janelle MacKay of www.EmmalineBags.com.

I chose this bag because I already had some ModGeek fabric from Robert Kaufman that was waiting for just the right pattern, and this is it!

Totes pockets 1

Janelle recommends this pattern for intermediate sewists, and I agree.  I have been sewing for years, and found parts of this bag (think hardware) a bit challenging.

Totes large pocket

You may have seen patterns that recommend labelling your pieces as you cut them out.  You will definitely want to do this here!  There are lots of pieces to this bag, and you don’t want to get them mixed up.

Janelle’s instructions are very thorough and easy to understand.  She also includes plenty of pictures to help you out.  And, if you really get stuck, you can reach out on her Facebook page – Janelle and her many fans are always willing to help.

Totes top zipper

There is a lot of hardware for this bag – two zippers, a magnetic snap, 4 grommets, 4 buckles, twelve eyelets, and six feet!  Luckily, Janelle offers a hardware package on her website.  She also has the best zipper pulls and bag labels around!

Totes hardware

At 12” tall, and 17” wide at the top, this is a great size bag!  It has a 3 inside pockets:  one zippered, one divided slip pocket, and one large pocket with a magnetic snap to hold it closed.  I might add an outside zippered pocket next time I make this bag, but, that’s just me.  The trim on the sides of the bag (I think of them as racing stripes) are very easy to attach.  And, I love that the bottom of the bag is made with Peltex and has 6 feet.  No saggy bottoms here!

Totes bottom

I can see making this bag again, with only minor changes.  Because the shoulder straps and buckle straps are folded in quarters, I would use a much lighter interfacing (or none at all if you are using something heavier than quilting cotton).  Sewing through these layers wasn’t an issue – I used a size 80/12 titanium coated top stitch needle, and my Bernina went through all of the layers easily.  It was adding the eyelets that became the issue for me.  Another option would be to purchase leather handles that already have the holes punched.

Totes side

Thank you, Sara, for inviting me to take part in Purse Palooza again this year!  Once again, there are so many great bags being reviewed.  I can’t wait to see the rest!

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