Zip Top Tote + Curiosities Canvas

Monday, June 22, 2015

Have you picked up Anna Graham's book, Handmade Style, yet? It is SO good. No surprise, because Anna is incredibly talented, and simply a lovely human being. I was really itching to get my hands on her book with Lucky Spool, especially after being able to see the projects in person at The Sewcial Lounge this past Spring. I promised myself the first thing I'd make was the pincushion, but I got distracted, there are too many good projects in this book. The pincushion will have to be next up!

There is such a huge variety of projects including bags, pouches, a few garments, pillows, quilts, and other goods for the home. The first thing I made was the Zip Top Tote, it's the perfect sized tote for me! When Art Gallery announced that they'd be adding canvas to their lineup, I knew I'd want to make something from Handmade Style. Anna uses a lot of canvas and home dec fabrics for her projects, so I was excited to use my own print for this project.

The Candied Lollies in Mint from Curiosities was selected for my canvas print! I used this for the outside pockets of the bag, and paired it with some chambray for the main exterior. For interfacing I used Pellon's SF101 Shape Flex and FF77 Flex-foam. I stitched it up with my standby #2024 Aurifil 50wt thread.

I recently used metal zippers for the first time (still need to share that project!), and liked the idea of using one on this bag to add a little something extra special. I need to make a tie for that pull still! I even used a metal zipper for the interior zippered pocket. I normally would have been lazy and done a slip pocket instead, but wanted to go whole hog on this bag and do it right. I did make it a little smaller, based on the interior pocket in my favorite purse. The Spherical Buds in Aqua print from Geometric Bliss was a great match for the inside!

I bought my metal zippers from Zipit.

For the handles, I originally wanted to use leather like the one in the book, but didn't have any on hand and wanted to finish the bag before my trip to Ohio. I ended up making handles with some natural 1" cotton webbing. I like how they turned out! I might pick up some that's a little wider to do this again in the future.

I love how this bag turned out. Anna's instructions were easy to follow and the finished product is beautiful and functional. I can't wait to put it to use. I think it's going to be a great summer bag! I'm excited to sew more with the canvas prints from Art Gallery as well, it stitched up great, and the weight is really nice. I want to recover my mini ironing board in this print when I get yardage! Soon, I hope!

Happy Sewing!


  1. This is a great tote! Can't wait for your new fabrics too!

  2. So pretty and I love your fabrics! :)

  3. Love the tote! Bet that would be great for carrying around knitting and sewing projects!

  4. Love this with a zip perfect for when my kids turn my bag upside down !!!! :-)

  5. Love your tote. It really was a good idea to use metal zipper. And your fabric looks amazing ;)

  6. I like this 1 million times! so great Jeni. :) Thank you so much for sharing it!


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