My good friend, Tracey, asked me to make a bag for her to take to Quilt Market this week. After (much) debate, she finally decided on a slightly modified Super Tote! She loves linen so I used Essex linen blend in Sand along with some colorful appliquéd petals. Like my first time making the Super Tote (read about it here), I added a lined, exterior zippered pocket. Check out my tutorial on how to add the zipper here it works slightly differently since it's for the exterior and not the interior, but the basics are the same.
Still, my absolute favorite part of this pattern is the gusset that gives the bag so much depth and body! For interfacing, I used Shape Flex (SF 101) on all the exterior pieces--I do not interface the lining of the back or the pocket linings, but I did interface the interior divided pocket that I added.
For my open exterior pocket, I once again lined it, but I didn't add the piping (or fake piping like I used last time).
This time I added a triple stitch to the strap. Since I opted to make the bag cross body, the strap was cut a bit wider and a lot longer than the pattern stipulates. I cut my strap 3.5" wide and used a .5" seam allowance so the strap finishes at 2.5" wide. I find for crossbody bags, wider is better--you don't want a narrow strap digging into your chest! I added Shape Flex (SF101) to each side of the strap and I cut a piece of left over batting 3" x length of strap. You don't want your batting (you could also use fusible fleece) to be the exact same width as your strap or you will have too much bulk in the seams. How long you cut your strap depends on how tall you are and where you want the bag to fall on your body.
I also assembled the lining and exterior a bit differently this time. Because I was making a crossbody bag and I was having a hard time deciding if I had the strap length right before the strap was attached. Instead of leaving a hole in the lining for the bag to be turned, I folded the top edges of the lining and exterior pieces down 1/2" and pressed. Then I pinned around the top and pinned the strap in place so I could test out different lengths. Once I cut the strap down to the length I wanted, I inserted about 1" of the strap into the space between the lining and exterior. Then, I sewed around the top of the bag twice.
The applique was a lot of fun to do and added a pop of color to the linen on either side of the bag. Plus, I got to dig into my tiny scraps!
For the interior, I modified the pattern by adding a flat open pocket to one side. It is divided into three compartments so there is a quick storage space for keys, a phone, whatever. I also added a magnetic snap closure instead of a zipper. These are quick and easy to do and, frankly, after all that applique, I was anxious to hurry up and finish this! :) Seriously though, moving the strap location made putting a zipper with ends on the side seem a little crowded.
So if any of you are going to Market and see my bag, please say hi to the sweet lady carrying it! Her name is Tracey and she rocks! :)
If you want to make your own Super Tote, you can buy Anna's pattern here