New Pattern: The Workshop Tote

Friday, June 29, 2018

Happy Friday! I'm really excited to launch my new pattern, the Workshop Tote today!

I designed this tote to be the perfect size for taking to your next workshop or retreat! Fill it with your latest projects, sewing supplies or snacks. It's nice and roomy, and can easily be customized with piecing or a really fun fabric. The pattern includes three styles: half-square triangle, patchwork, and plain. There's also instructions for adding a simple slip pocket to the interior.

These bags are meant to be strong, but soft. I find that when I'm packing up my stuff for a retreat, I don't pull for the super stiff bags. When I carry my featherweight, I of course use something with a lot of weight to it (my sew portable travel set), but for everyday use I like something that's softer. Structure is added with tucking at the very end, along with medium-weight Pellon SF101 interfacing.

For all three of my bags I used a mix of light and medium weight woven fabrics. It also stitches up great in quilting cotton! You could also use light-weight canvas fabrics, but I'd avoid those for the half-square triangle version. Could make for some bulky seams! If you'd like a stiffer tote, you can always choose to use a heavier interfacing.

The tote exterior can be made with yardage, fat quarters, fat eighths or charm packs.

You can find the Workshop Tote Pattern in my online shop. It's available in PDF and paper formats. This pattern is suitable for comfortable beginners!

There are instructions for making your own handles as well as using webbing for the handles. I love to buy 100% cotton webbing to have on hand for making bags like these, because it's dyeable! I'll share a tutorial soon for using RIT to dye your own custom handles, it's super simple. I also like the look of the webbing as is, which I used on the solid sample for this pattern!

This is a great time to make these totes because there are tons of different woven fabric options on the market right now! My samples are made from woven fabrics from a number of manufacturers, which I'll include in a list below with lots of other great options. The new wovens from Alison Glass would also be perfect for these totes!

- Kaleidoscope by Alison Glass
- Shot Cotton by Kaffe Fasset
- Peppered Cottons by Studio E
- Chambray by Andover
- Cross Weaves by Moda
- Union Chambray by Robert Kaufman*
- The Denim Studio by Art Gallery Fabrics
- Essex Yarn Dyed Classic Wovens by Robert Kaufman*
- Mariner's Cloth by Alison Glass
- Checkers Gingham by Cotton & Steel

*Robert Kaufman has a huge selection of fabrics that would work great for this pattern, including their Carolina gingham, Manchester cotton, and Essex cotton/linen, plus the collections overdyed on Essex, like Euclid, Polk, Arroyo, and my friend Anna's upcoming collection, Forage.

I originally designed the half-square triangle tote included in this pattern back in September 2016 for Quilts & More magazine. This one was stitched up in quilting cotton and it turned out great! It was my first project for the magazine, and it appeared in the Spring 2017 issue. See more about that version in this post. With a lot of magazine work, you have to wait a specified amount of time after the magazine has been published before using your designs in other ways. So that's been part of the delay, that and our big move!

PDF: The Workshop Tote PDF Pattern
Printed: The Workshop Tote Paper Pattern

Share your tote projects with the hashtag #workshoptote on instagram!  

Thank you as always for your support!


  1. Love that you show 3 options and give all those fabric suggestions. Will definitely be trying our your pattern!

  2. What a great tote!! Best of luck on the sale of your newest pattern.

  3. Jeni! These totes are the perfect size!! I love your three options and the woven fabrics look so good in them! I will have to get this pattern!! Thank you!!!

  4. this tote looks perfect for carrying eveything! It even looks big enough to carry my cutting mat or at the very least my cut n'press!! I like to use In-R-Form plus for my bag making as it gives serious structure but is soft. And it has a fabulous bounce back property. Highly recommend!


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