Last time when I went to my aunt’s place in Bangalore, she showed me a tote bag that she was using. She said she loved it a lot as it was perfect for her. The handles, the size of the bag, the design, everything appealed to her. However it was falling apart and she asked if I could replicate the bag for her. So like a good niece I said I would and measured the bag, took all her inputs and noted down exactly what she wanted. Another thing that she was particular about was the fabric. She wanted a white bag. The old bag was made of a white cotton canvas material and had grey vinyl accents. I knew I had the perfect fabric for her but was at a loss for a coordinating fabric.
After I came back I was on the lookout for a similar pattern. Although I knew I could wing it, I was a little lazy to calculate and start making the pattern myself. While I was whiling away my time busy with other projects, lo and behold the Bluebell Tote bag was released by Namrata Shroff of Bagstock Designs. It was the perfect pattern that I was looking for and the only thing that I had to change was the size of the handles! Score!
Now the only problem was finding a coordinating fabric. I am always on the lookout for a good fabric store anytime I travel. On our way to Nashik one weekend I happened across a Khadhi Handloom outlet next to the restaurant we stopped for breakfast. They had some gorgeous handloom fabrics and guess what, I found the perfect grey fabric to match.
So then the next week I started working on the bag. On our recent visit to Dharavi Market in Mumbai I had picked up some foam interfacing and it turned out great for this project. I’ve tried a variety of interfacings and boy was I glad I’ve finally found something that was super flexible, waterproof and durable! No more fusing of layers of interfacings to get the right look.
The instructions for the bag were very clear, every piece of the pattern came together beautifully. I added a little monogram detail on the front pocket as well.
Had a slight issue while sewing the base, but it was more because of the bulk of the foam and mostly because it was my first time sewing with it. As usual Hubby helped with the rivets. He’s a keeper for sure! Finally the bag was done and it turned out beautiful!
Sent it out to my aunt as a birthday gift and she loved it. She said it was exactly what she had wanted. She loved that the interior was made of a good cotton fabric and not like those flimsy plasticy fabric that you find in commercially made bags!
So if you are looking for a good sized tote bag for your everyday needs then the Bluebell Tote Bag is perfect for you! If you’d like me to make one for you then just leave a message on the blog post or contact me via my Facebook page: A Quaint Stitch or via Instagram @aquaintstitch.