Cutest 241 Totebag Ever

Last weekend I finished up the 241 bag that I have been working on. The bag was made as a gift to my niece for her eighteenth birthday. Somehow I forgot to get a photo of Maddie with the bag at the party last week. She loved it though which made me very happy!

Making this bag in tandem with Tami from Sew Much for Free Time was really fun. Neither of us has seen the final project for the other yet and I look forward to popping over to her site to see her bag. I hope you will take a peek as well.

As is usual for Noodlehead patterns, this one was easy to follow and the result is exactly what I had hoped for.

img_20160509_5102 - Copy

This is the second bag I made using a tutorial or pattern of Anna Graham’s. The first was a tote for my mother-in-law. You can read about that here. Anna’s patterns are filled with small details that make for a stylish bag. For instance, I love that the side pockets have a fullness to them. They are fused with interfacing and cut so that they extend a bit from the side of the bag, making them really roomy.

img_20160509_5101 - CopyThe pattern calls for a magnetic closure but I didn’t have one. Fearing I would (yet again) lose my self-control if I returned to Ben Franklin, I searched through my buttons and found a cute wooden toggle button. Using a small rectangle of the contrast fabric, I made a loop and stitched it to the top of the bag.

img_20160509_5104I sewed the button to the other side and it works like a charm. Remember I also added a key chain link to the inside so that Maddie can hook her keys to it and find them again easily. I forgot to take a photo of the key fob that I made but it was made with webbing and the small floral print used on the side pockets. (It was just like the one I made for my sister and talked about in this post.)

img_20160509_5106Anna’s pattern calls for the handle strap to be made from a six-inch wide strip that is interfaced and folded. I wanted to make the handle with two different fabrics so I modified that and used two 3″ strips. Then I fused the interfacing to one side and sewed them, right sides together. After turning the strap right side out, I pressed and topstitched the edges. Another slight modification was to extend the length of the straps. My niece is about 5′ 7″ and the strap seemed too short. I didn’t notice this until after I had cut the straps so I just cut a few more three-inch strips and added on to the length. Just because I thought it looked fun, I used the opposite fabric on each end. If you look at the top picture, you can see the different fabrics. The inner strap on the left is floral and on the right is the big print. On the outside it is just the opposite. The handle looked so fun like this and I would definitely do that again. (These little changes are one of the best parts of making things rather than buying ready-made. Each project is uniquely its own!)

As luck would have it, since I certainly didn’t try for this, the outer seam on the bottom matched up almost perfectly.


I love when this happens! If I actually try to match it up, I usually meet with less success. At any rate, this bag was a huge success. I highly recommend the pattern for anyone with at least some sewing knowledge. It could be a bit of a challenge for a person who is new to sewing.

I hope Tami and I will think of another project to sew together. We had a lot of fun with this one!

Linking to all the usuals. Find them at the top of the page under Link Ups.

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12 thoughts on “Cutest 241 Totebag Ever

  1. Mari

    This is so adorable Bernie! It’s perfect for an 18-year-old. I’m sure everyone will be jealous of her designer bag!

    1. Bernie Post author

      Thanks Mari! She’ll be sporting it at University of CA in Santa Cruz next fall. Perfect look for a Freshman at a university at the beach, studying Environmental Science. 🙂

  2. Kate Heads

    I love your fabric choice Bernie, the bag has turned out great. Very thoughtful of you to add a key chain, it’s one reason I like Kipling bags so much.

  3. Tami

    Whoooo-eeee this is cute! What perfect color choices. It always gives me goosebumps when fabric matches up like that. It’s a sign of approval from the sewing gods and goddesses, I think,

    Thanksmfor,sewing along with me. I had a blast, lets definitely do it again!

    1. Bernie Post author

      Glad you liked it! Thanks for sewing along with me and keeping me in line. I suspect it was your influence with those sewing gods and goddesses that helped me to achieve that wonderful fabric pattern match on the bottom too. 😉

  4. Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow

    This is indeed very cute! I had to smile because when I look at something like this I classify it as ” someone who REALLY knows how to sew ” 🙂 which I know that you and your family do 🙂 I’ll never forget that wedding dresses post 🙂

    1. Bernie Post author

      Oh, that is sweet but really, this pattern is not very difficult. I think you ‘really know how to sew’ and could make a bag like this too. Enjoy the rest of your weekend Deb!

  5. Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts

    Wow! This bag is perfect for a fun-loving teen. I will have to look in to Anna’s pattern as I have a couple of teenage granddaughters. They would love something this fun. I’ll have to remember (or return to) your post and all of the extras. I love, love this finish!

    1. Bernie Post author

      Oh, thank you Mary! Maybe you could do these for Christmas or Birthday gifts? It was very fun to make and I am so pleased that you liked it. 🙂


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