Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pattern Review :: Poolside Tote

Let me be perfectly honest, I have never met a Noodlehead pattern that I didn't completely love. So when Anna asked me if I wanted to be a tester for her new Poolside Tote pattern of course I said yes. I may have yelled it and jumped up and down a little but that's neither here nor there. This pattern is the May release for Sew Sweetness' Bag of the Month Club - I'm sure it'll be available as a single pattern in Anna's shop at some point soon.

Anna made her version with linen and it is lovely but I like bags that are sturdier (rather than floppy like some large fabric totes can be) and I was itching to try using Soft 'n Stable as interfacing so I tried it in this bag. Soft 'n Stable is a much thicker interfacing that's still soft and flexible (I've heard that you can buy auto headliner fabric from Hancock's that is very similar and less expensive). Long story short, I love it. I used SF 101 to interface everything else.

Note - the Soft 'n Stable is fairly thick and once you add all the layers of other fabric and interfacing regular home machines may find it hard to sew through all the bulk. My Juki had no problem with it but I know my Singer would have struggled.

I used black yarned-dyed Essex linen on the exterior and some of AMH's Dowry line on the inside, for both the lining and cute contrasting facing at the top. This bag has the option for a zippered or open exterior pocket - I chose the open pocket and I made it patchwork style. I used 25 3" squares sewn with a 1/4" seam allowance to end up with a 12.5" square pocket. I cut my pocket lining the same size and finished it with a edging of double-fold bias tape (but not cut on the bias ;-)

This bag holds a TON of stuff. I threw all my purse stuff in there and then all my kiddo extras and there was STILL room for more.

Tried it as an actual pool bag - also awesome. Probably the most stylish pool bag I'll ever own.

If you're wondering how this compares size wise to Anna's Super Tote (my other favorite bag pattern in the whole wide world) I can say and show that this bag is significantly bigger. I carry my Super Totes as a purse all the time but I probably won't carry this bag as a purse. I think it would also make a great diaper bag if you need one (or want to gift one).

Anna's patterns are well-written enough that I feel even a confident beginner will be able to make this bag. Easier and larger than the Super Tote, I'm guessing that you'll be hooked on this bag for all your summer needs. I'm already planning another one and I don't think I can give a better endorsement than that :-)


  1. Your bag is fab. I LOVE Anna's patterns the most of all bag patterns. I really hope she does release this as a single pattern too.

  2. Looks great Darcy!! I'm excited for this pattern to come out.

  3. I am currently in the process of making this bag and find the instructions completely confusing. I have been sewing for 40 years...I am no begginer but ?? Was hoping for a turorial.


Ads Inside Post