Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tote From a Free Pattern

I enjoy making quilt-y projects from free patterns, but you run the risk of following instructions that aren't written very well. But then, you also run the same risk when you pay for a pattern! 

This free Marcus Fabrics pattern is "Love and Hope Designer Tote." I really like it, though the instructions weren't entirely user-friendly.
Tote front
I sewed the tote with three prints from Joel Dewberry's "Modern Meadow - Cool Stream" collection. Only the olive green with white dots is not from the collection.

The tote has a zipper top - an 18"-long zipper. I like that for security purposes. And, it's got lots of handy pockets - always a good thing. Two pockets are on the front (one behind the flap, and one under the flap), and one pocket is on the back.
Tote back
Six pockets are on the inside. No matter what a pattern suggests for a lining fabric, I always go with white, or a very light fabric. When you're looking for something in particular inside that dark place, a light color/value makes the search easier.

I've written enough patterns myself to know when a pattern is clear. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best ,this one rates a 6 in my book. That's because:

1) only written instructions are provided; there are no diagrams
2) striped fabrics are used without indicating which direction to position the stripes
3) instructions are written referencing pieces according to the print (IE: small floral, large floral, pink print), making it difficult to follow when one's own fabric choices are not the same. 

In spite of these inadequacies, I really like this tote design. It turned out quite nicely.

The recipient, our daughter-in-law Lyn, thinks so too! Linda


  1. Your tote came out wonderful!! Glad that you could work your way through the patterns. I know just what you're talking about with the directions. Sometimes they're very well written and other times they have you pulling out your hair and you wonder why someone didn't proofread them better before releasing them.

  2. It looks amazing! I'll have to check that pattern out. I've purchased patterns not well written...so I get that. I guess that since I've made a lot of bags, it does help my understanding...maybe they should say, beginner, etc.

    Thanks for sharing with us!

  3. Your tote is gorgeous. I'll have to check the pattern out. Happy stitching,

  4. Great design for a tote, but wow, the fabrics you used really make it! I'm with you on the light coloured interiors. I usually go cream or pale colour.
    Love it, Linda! :)

  5. Oh, my, yes, it's beautiful!! Good job!



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