Have you seen the cover of our April/May issue? The gorgeous nautical-inspired project is just the thing for summer: a perfect-sized tote with interesting details that make it great for beach trips, a grocery run or a quiet afternoon library visit. Read more from Jennifer Davey on her inspiration for the project, tips for creating the tote and what’s on her summer sewing list.
What’s your favorite kind of bag to sew and design?
I love to create bags with all the right pockets to suit my needs, a fun contrasting lining and a little surprise. This tote fits all my faves in: an optional zip pocket for my phone, a bright red, white and blue cotton lining and the fun twist of the snap on handles.
We love the handles – why did you decide to go with rope?
When I designed this bag, I was feeling the nautical inspirations. Rope seemed a perfect functional nautical accent for the bag. Although with the snaps, the handle could easily be changed out to a different handle should your mood change. A soft scarf could give this bag a completely different look.
Any recommendations for choosing rope for the bag?
When choosing a rope, go with something that will be comfortable in your hand, such as a natural fiber like cotton, linen or hemp that is soft and flexible. Take a peek in the home dec and upholstery trims.
Are there any other fabrics that could work for this bag?
Absolutely! This design would lend well to denims, upholstery, wools or even quilted fabrics. The mid-weights will keep the shape and body of the bag.
What are your must-haves on a bag sewing pattern?
No matter if I am shopping retail for a bag or planning to make one, it must fit my intended purpose. Whether that is a trip to the beach, farmers market or heading to sewing class it must fit ALL of my stuff. I like to keep my bags organized to find what I need so I LOVE good sized, well-positioned pockets. And of course if it doesn’t look cute, it’s out. Functional and fashionable is the sewing pattern for me.
What is on your must-sew list this summer?
Summer sewing for me usually involves sewing with my girls; I like to keep the projects quick and fun. Christmas sewing, décor and gifts are in the plans for this summer.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about the process of designing this bag?
I always like to think of my designs as a jumping off point and hope those who see it are inspired to create and make it their own. In each of us is a designer whether you just choose different color canvas, change out the handle or adjust the size to fit your needs. I would love to see what others are doing with my design. Come by my blog and see what I’m up to.