Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Toile Bag: The Details

Here are some of the details of my Toile Bag that I showed you in this post. The first time I make a pattern, I try to follow the directions as written. I take notes, and if I make the pattern a subsequent time, I may modify it. In this case, I did start by modifying the handle directions because I prefer to fold my handles in triplicate, while the pattern called for pressing in each side by 1/4 inch and then folding the handle in half. So I cut my handles 6" wide, folded the edges to the center, then folded them in half again. I was pleased with the end result.

I bought this bag as a kit from Connecting Threads and it included all the fabric. A generous amount was provided. This is not my typical color palette, but I liked it because I thought the fabric was black and white. The fabric is actually more black and cream in person, and the lower fabric is a dark mottled grey. You have to purchase your own zippers and fleece. I used fusible fleece and had good results with it this time. I've used it before and it usually doesn't fuse. This time it cooperated.

I really liked this bag. It closes with a sports zipper. The zipper installation was easy. I had to stop and read the directions a couple of times, but I like the technique. The inside has open pockets that span the width of the bag. I subdivided both of mine into three smaller sections (it calls for this in the pattern).

The bag closes with a zipper.

View of the interior.

Closeup of the zippered flap.

My mother-in-law, Bobbie, modelling one
side of the tote bag before it was finished.
Isn't she cute?

The kit also included directions and fabric for a matching zipper bag. I finished that last night. The zipper insertion is the same technique as the larger tote pattern. This was super easy and fun to make. I did add a zipper tab to each side of the zipper which made sewing it in a breeze.

Matching zipper bag

My Notes On The Pattern
I hope to make this bag again. I've already thought about adding an outside pocket that would nest between the handles. I think that I would also add batting to the inside pockets for more stability. I will be adding zipper tabs to the larger zipper as well. The small matching zipper bag has inside pockets, and next time I will probably omit them. I'm not sure how useful they will be. I LOVE the finished product and I think it looks really professional. Vera Bradley, eat your heart out!

Here I am with my mother-in-law. Don't I look like a giant?
I'm only 5'2". My mother-in-law is tiny! We are both standing
(and wearing flat shoes) in this photo.

I bought this kit in May. I have to say again that I'm super disappointed that Connecting Threads is not offering this pattern right now. I wrote to them and the Customer Service agent wrote back that the kits had sold out, which is why the pattern didn't appear on the website. Can't they offer just the pattern? I also wrote to the designer, Sue Terpin, who was delighted to hear from me, but couldn't help me out either, since apparently Connecting Threads owns the rights to the pattern. She is working to encourage them to re-kit the pattern or just offer it as a download. So my suggestion is that you write or call Connecting Threads and maybe they will offer the pattern again.

Here is a shot of the finished bag again, in case you skipped my original post.

I'm linking this post to Sew Cute Tuesday on Better Off Thread's blog. On Friday, I am adding links to Link a Finish Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Please say "Hi" if you drop by for a visit.

Have a great day!

Pugs and kisses,

P.S. Ssssh, don't tell Bobbie, but I'm probably giving her the two bags for her birthday in November.


  1. I think I like it even better seeing it a 2nd time. I love the dropped zipper, I need to learn how to do that.

    I have a tiny mother-in-law, too. She looks especially small at her 5' next to my 5' 6" :-)

  2. Congratulations on this very adorable bag!
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com
    ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

    1. Thanks Esther! I can't wait to make another one.

  3. Love the tote! Thanks for the notes on the patten... Karen

    1. Thanks Karen! The work on your blog is just lovely.

  4. Love your bag! The toile is lovely . I got a cute Market Tote bag from Connecting Threads... and love that pattern.Also, I do my straps the same way you do, too.


    1. Thanks Susie! I'm really pleased with the end result.