FAVORITE Bag Pattern (yet)!!!
It’s the Soho Tote from Around the Bobbin. This bag has it all… stylish shape + fully lined interior + just right sized handles + magnetic closure + sturdy pleated bottom + inside zippered pocket & inside divided pockets + shows off awesome fabric combinations!’
Because I couldn’t pick between my two current fabric favorites, I made 2 bags – an “Elizabeth bag” in Tula Pink fabric AND a “Peacock bag” in Art Gallery fabric.
The Soho Tote pattern is for beginner seamstresses ready for the challenge of a zipper, top stitching, darts, and sewing with interfacing. More advanced seamstresses will find the bag simple to sew up. For me, the double fold on the handles was a bit difficult to keep the top stitching looking neat. I used my clover clips to help hold the folded straps. Make sure to get a good back stitch on the ends so it doesn’t pull out with wear.
The fabric and interfacings are cut from templates that are assembled together to create the appropriate pattern pieces. The instructions include the materials needed and a diagram of the most effective use of your fabrics. The estimated fabrics and interfacing needed is exactly correct with hardly any scraps remaining.
The inside of the bag has interior pockets to stay organized with all your ‘have-to-carries’, and sews up to look as beautiful as the outside. Here are some pictures of the inside of the bag so you can see the professional finishing and the functional use of this bag.
The pattern, like all patterns from Around the Bobbin, is VERY WELL written in simple to follow steps with detailed drawings. Each step to assemble the bag is presented in an organized fashion. The writing is clear and consistent, the presentation is professional, and every detail needed to build a great bag is included for you. Lisa has added a new detail to this pattern called “Reality Check” where a photo of the bag is shown to support the sewing step. These “Reality Check”s make sure that you are sewing up the bag as intended.
At the end of the pattern, there are 3 variations for you to consider when making your own Soho Tote. You can add the zippered pocket on the outside of the bag for convenience; you can make the tote handles longer for a different carrying option; or, you can use a sturdier interfacing such as Soft and Stable to make a heavy duty bag.
I was fortunate to test the pattern for Lisa last month. On my tester bag, I used a fusible fleece as the second layer of interfacing. This made a great bag! It stood up and carried nicely. I even gave it a good travel test when I carried it on our recent trip to visit family. The bag survived being overloaded with travel gear and gadgets, scanning at airport security checks, getting shoved under the plane seat, being tossed around the rental car, and rummaged through by my kids.
On the Elizabeth bag and the Peacock bag (pictured here), I used Soft and Stable as the second layer of interfacing. This made a SUPER great bag! I really like the solid ruggedness of the bag yet the fabric stays soft. Sewing the thin foam-like interfacing was not an added hassle at all. I basted the interfacing to the bag pieces and then cut off the edges. I trimmed the seams when sewing the front and back panels together, but I didn’t cut away the interfacing from the seam. However, at the top seam before flipping the bag right side out, I did trim away the Soft and Stable interfacing so that the top edge stitching would be flat and lay pretty. Otherwise, I did not have to alter my sewing methods by using the heavier (but still soft) interfacing. I expect that my workshop will regularly stock Soft and Stable now – I liked working with it that much.
On the Peacock bag, I lengthened the handles according to Variation #3 in the pattern. I think I prefer a bit more room to carry the bag on my shoulder.
To protect the bags, I heavily sprayed the inside and outside with a water-repellent Scotch Guard. I live in the Pacific Northwest (rain) with 3 kids (mess) and I am always running kids here or there (car travel)….. we always have Scotch Guard available at the box.
My bags have seen me to the market, restaurants, a school field trip, the science fair, and a few trips to the quilt store. I beam at all the compliments! and I am happy to show off here.
Thank you Lisa…. this is a nice pattern from Around the Bobbin! I look forward to making more.