Noodlehead Pepin Tote love

Not many patterns get the ‘love’ in the title, but this one really deserves it!

These days, any tote that holds stuff and looks good is a plus 🙂 I did a muslin, kind of shrinking the sizing, a couple weeks ago. Honestly, I made it smaller because I was afraid the original sizing would be overwhelming (see below). My muslin, I’ll call it the Coco version, which I carry every day:

And the full version, it’s great and not overwhelming at all. Which is why we do test versions, right? Some of the online pics in waxed canvas had me thinking the size was too much. I sewed all of mine (4 now, 3 small, 1 full-size) in mid-weight canvas, more on that below, but just perfect.

So what’s the difference? I did a table of the original Pepin and my smaller version for my own notes. If you are sewing the tote, the table will make sense 🙂

More pics from my latest and full-size version (a gift to a dear friend for the holidays). I made the bag plus a zippered bag (Elizabeth Hartman bags) to match. I love the Elizabeth Hartman patterns:

Notes on my fabrics:

  • Exterior, canvas, found on Amazon, James Thompson 9.3 oz. Canvas Duck Black, comes in many colors and is 60″ wide! The perfect weight for a tote bag. I’ve done 4 bags from 2 yards, with scraps for little bags.
  • Lining, any quilting fabric is fine. I often to to Marshall Dry Goods, which is the original manufacturer of many quilting cottons you might research. Except, when you buy from them, it’s half the cost. Example, the Andover Quail (otherwise known in searches as Andover Organic Lines). It’s $6.99 v.s.$10.99 at retailer sites. MDG is a site worthwhile exploration for anyone who uses quilting or sheeting fabrics. Incredible inventory, the largest fabric manufacturer in the U.S.
  • Fusibles.
    • Here’s the trick. For my exterior/canvas pieces I used Pellon 808 Craft-fuse. Love love for bags and wallets of any description.
    • For the interior pieces/lining I used Shapeflex 101 woven fusible. (I actually buy the latter 5 yards at a time, for many many sewing projects. I no longer use any knit fusible). An alternative, just do an interlining with any woven fabric, not fusible.
  • I would love to use waxed canvas, but my research shows that it really is waxed. Not wanting a bag melt-down in Florida heat, I have passed on this option.
  • Last note, I cut all my straps at 26 1/4″ long, using Strapworks lightweight polypropylene web strapping, on a roll on Amazon. The length – I don’t want it to drag the ground when I’m holding it by the handles:

WordPress has gone beyond me, seems like I type 4 times and fool around much more to do things I used to do with a mouse drag. Like resizing the pic of the strapping. You? Aargh.

Not to whinge, I hope all of you are well, finding peace in your space, and looking forward to our holidays, to be celebrated in full.


Noodlehead Pepin Tote muslin

Got to be having some fun, right? I love the Noodlehead Pepin Tote, just released. It’s so well drafted and just begs for customization. The instructions are, as always, amazing. Bonus – seam allowances are included.

My first thought was to make it a bit more narrow and less deep, as shown in my pics. I cut my fabric at 16.5″ wide, rather than 19″ wide, and mine is 3′ deep. But I’m going for the full monte on my future versions.

I love the idea of using waxed canvas, as above, but it’s not practical for the sub-tropics. I don’t relish the idea of my bag melting in my car, on my clothes, eating outside. And it would, I researched it!. So I’m using a mid-weight canvas.

I have enough canvas left for two final versions, one for me and one as a Christmas gift. This morning I ordered this delightful Andover Quail cotton from Marshall Dry Goods for the lining and inside pockets (I’ll oppose the stripe on the pockets).

Bye for now! Coco