Purse Palooza :: Pattern Review: Jen Giddens Pocket Tote

This post is part of Purse Palooza 2012.
For full schedule of guest post pattern reviews and prizes, click here!

Rachael from Imagine Gnats has a ton of tutorials on her site, but my favorite is the one that we designed together for Pellon, the Embroidery-to-Go Bag! She is hosting Shorts on the Line, a summer sew along. She’s got some great things planned, as well as tons of prizes, so check it out!!

hi! i’m Rachael, and you can find me most days of the week over at imagine gnats, rambling about sewing, quilting, crafting, gardening, parenting, and the like… i’m so glad to be here today as part of Sara’s Purse Palooza!! for my post, i reviewed the pocket tote sewing pattern by Jen Giddens.

materials required (per pattern): 1.25 yds exterior fabric, 1.25 yds lining fabric, 3 yds Pellon woven fusible interfacing, one magnetic snap (optional).

i used (yardage approximate): 1 yard kokka matryoshka fabric (exterior), 1/2 yard linen blend in deep lake from Joanns (interior and exterior gusset, strap exterior), 1/2 yard Denyse Schmidt Daisy Mae for Joanns (lining panels, strap lining), 3 yards Pellon fusible shape flex, one magnetic snap.

pocket tote for purse paloozapocket tote for purse palooza

pattern pieces: the pattern includes seven pieces, which were clearly labeled and simple to cut out. the pattern is printed on standard paper.

illustrations/instructions: the pattern includes step-by-step graphics and written instructions. both were clear and easy to follow.

pocket tote for purse palooza

modification (exterior): i added a piping detail where the two exterior panels meet on the front and back for a fun pop of color.

modification (lining): instead of cutting the lining panels as separate pieces (like on exterior), i cut them as single pieces by lining up the two pattern pieces and adjusting for seam allowance. since the separate pieces weren’t functionally necessary on the interior, it made sense to save time and fabric.

modification (strap): i used two fabric for the strap instead of cutting one piece and folding. i still interfaced each piece of fabric and topstitched the edges. i do think i slightly miscalculated and ended up with a slightly narrower strap than the pattern creates, but i’m ok with that. i also lengthened the strap to 36″ so that i can carry the bag messenger-style across my chest.

pocket tote for purse paloozapocket tote for purse palooza

modification (interior pocket): i made a pocket based on my pleated pouch pocket tutorial for the inside of the bag for extra pocket space.

modification (exterior pocket): i did not interface the lining of the exterior pocket and flaps, as i was using a thicker material for the exterior and the pockets wouldn’t need additional stiffness.

pocket tote for purse paloozapocket tote for purse palooza

difficulty level: i think this pattern is appropriate for a confident beginner. i think the most challenging aspects for a beginner would be pinning and stitching the gusset to the curved pieces and the topstitching around the exterior pockets.

pocket tote for purse palooza

i would definitely recommend this pattern! for starters, the bag is all kinds of cute 🙂 i think if i made it again, i would sneak in a zippered pocket where the panels come together on the back of the exterior and possibly make the flap slightly shorter. the bag is a great size for summer trips where my standard purse doesn’t quite have the room to t

hrow in extras, but not so large as to be cumbersome. if you give this pattern a try, i’m sure you’ll be pleased with the results.

thanks again to Sara for having me… i can’t wait to see all of the rest of the purses that everyone is stitching up!

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