Hi, my name is Rebecca and I blog over at Our Busy Little Bunch. Thank-you Sara for inviting me to this fun event! I love bag making, and browsing everyone’s reviews in the search for which bag to make next!
The bag I chose to review is the Sun and Surf Tote by Modkid. I’ve made this bag a few times now, and I love that it’s a quick sew, has lots of pockets, and does a great job of showing off some coordinating prints.
This is a PDF pattern, which means you download it to your computer and can either work off of a printed copy, or a screen. All the pieces are rectangles, so there are no printed pattern pieces needed. I would rate this an advanced beginner bag, as there is some interfacing involved and the installation of grommets (but if you purchase the ones from the Modkid etsy store, they are easy to use).
This pattern comes with lots of computer-drawn diagrams, and break-down of steps making it very easy to follow. There are also lots of inspiration photos of finished totes.
Supplies needed are fairly simple – three coordinating cotton fabrics (or you could go with two one yard cuts like mine), a small piece of fleece to make a padded handle, a large button, and two grommets.
But let’s talk about the interfacing for a minute. Typically I use a layer of fusible fleece and a layer of medium weight fusible interfacing when making a bag. This is one bag where that simply won’t work well. It calls for a heavy-weight and a light-weight for the two layers, otherwise you will have a hard time installing the grommets with any extra bulk. I used two layers of my go-to medium weight fusible Pellon interfacing for this, and it worked great.
It also calls for a piece of plastic canvas for the base of this bag. I found this bag to be fairly sturdy without it, and wasn’t able to find any locally. I also don’t think I own a pair of scissors that would cut through it. Instead, I used a piece of very stiff interfacing in the base.
When installing the grommets, be sure to use a pair of scissors for the cuts, as it’s easy for a rotary cutter to slip on you and cut too far. If you must use a rotary cutter, just use an up/down motion to push down and cut, and then move into next spot, rather than using a sliding motion. And if the grommets really intimidate you or you can’t get a hold of any, you could also make this bag without them and attach the straps before putting the lining/outer layers together like I did here.
This is a very well-written pattern, and one that makes a quick and rewarding finish. It finishes up at 14″ x 12″ x 6″ which makes it a great size for a diaper bag, a day out, or what it’s intended for – a trip to the beach.
You can also find a sew-along for this pattern on the Modkid blog, giving you an even clearer break-down of the steps involved in making it.
The fabric I used for my bag was provided by Bear Creek Quilting Company and the prints are from Andover’s Hothouse Flowers line. I selected them for my middle daughter because she loves the color blue, and this finished tote is the perfect size for an overnight bag for her.
Thank-you again Sara for having me! This is an event I look forward to every year, and you put a lot of work and effort into organizing it!