Purse Palooza :: Pattern Review: Sweet Pea Totes Pocket Purse

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

Katie from There and Back has some beautiful quilty project finishes on her blog, and she is also the host of the linky party every Friday called ‘Handmade Parade’. This link-up is for all your hand-stitched items…embroidery, hexagons, hand quilting, you name it! Check it out!!

I like to make a new bag for each season, and for each fabric line, and for each event I attend. Actually I’ll use pretty much any excuse to make a new bag, so when Sara asked me if I’d like to join into the Purse Palooza fun, of course I was game!


I made the Sweet Pea Totes “pocket purse” partly because I liked the shape, and partly because it was a downloadable pattern. I live in a very small town that is cut off from civilization by a ferry, so running out to a  nice shop to pick up a pattern isn’t really an option.

The pattern itself was well laid out with a picture for each step. It’s definitely a good pattern for a beginner. If you can sew a seam, you can make this bag! As the pattern is written you don’t need any special supplies that you don’t have already.


I made a couple of slight changes in making this bag. The pattern called for fusible fleece, which I couldn’t find locally, so I just used regular quilt batting. I also decided to quilt the outer fabric and batting, to give the bag a little extra something. The pattern called for a light to medium weight interfacing, but I like a more structured bag so I used Pellon 809 Decor Bond, a firm iron on backing. To give the outer pocket some body I used Pellon 931TD, a fusible midweight interfacing.

I also made up my own way to attach the handle to the bag. I couldn’t find any bag hardware locally and I didn’t think the way the pattern was written would really suit the style of fabric I’d used. I tried a couple of different ideas before settling on simple fabric tabs.


I also decided, perhaps unwisely, to add a zipper pocket inside the bag, rather than the simple patch pocket the pattern specified. I used Lisa Lam’s tutorial, which I have to say was great. Unfortunately after I had the zipper in, I cut out my pattern piece wrong and well, here is the result. Not only was my pocket not centered on the pattern piece, it was upside-down! So I ended up cutting most of my pocket off…….*ahem* moving on…..

All in all, I have to say I really like the way this bag turned out. It’s large enough to fit all the essentials and non-essentials that I carry with me every day. I even made a co-ordinating iPod case using some of the scraps. I know this will be a great summer bag, even if I can’t use the inner pocket……


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