Monday, May 13, 2013

Super Tote!

Note:  This is going to be a pretty wordy post about the process I went through to make the Super Tote--so if you don't plan to make one, you might just scroll through the photos ;-)

Quilted front pocket, love it!

Friday evening I finished sewing the exterior of the Super Tote, and decided it was time to compare it to my current diaper bags to see if it was the right size.  Well, it was too big!  It was nearly as wide as the Nikki Tote I made last year (when I had two in diapers), and a little taller.  Not at all the size I wanted.  I wish I had taken a photo!  The other problem with the bag is that the exterior fabrics I chose looked great together, but not so good with the rainbow thread I used (you can see that here).  I really wanted it to work together, but it just didn't.

The back.

So, to fix both those issues, I took it apart.  But since I wanted it to be smaller, I saved myself some seam ripping by cutting the quilted pieces away from the gusset piece (but kept the gusset the same size).  I then decided to use the interior pieces I had already cut as the new exterior pieces (I did have to trim them down a bit).  Unfortunately I didn't have enough of the Salt Air fabric to make the wide top band from the pattern, so I decided to just use the narrower interior top pieces for the outside as well (this also meant the bag was at least 2 inches shorter, which was something I wanted). Unfortunately the narrower top piece doesn't look nearly as nice, and there were some (minor) sewing issues with the straps.  

I added a small (maybe 4" x 4") pocket inside the exterior pocket to keep diaper creams in.

I decided to keep the inside simple and used Kona coal and various stash fabrics, and added a light interfacing to to give a little more shape.  I added two zipper pockets (maybe 8" x 8") about an inch above the gathered pockets.

Have to have zipper pockets in a diaper bag!

I used a pink and blue zipper to color code things (for myself and husband)--it's easier for me to find something when I'm consistent about where I put it, and it's easier to tell husband where to find something!  The pink one is for Mommy things I use daily (phone, wallet, keys) and the blue one is for things I don't want the kids getting into (like pills, candies, lens wipes, hand sanitizer, etc).  I love how they turned out, so here's a bunch a photos of them:





I decided on a magnetic snap closure because the Nikki tote bag I made last year has a recessed zipper and I never used it.  But I constantly wished I had just put in a magnetic closure!  Here it is all loaded up:

It holds: changing pad, wipes, a bunch of size 2 diapers, various toys, point-n-shoot camera, sunscreen(s), bib, plus room for many other things!

The front pocket is perfect for a changing pad (I traded that one out for a thinner one I have, and it fits much better).

Here's a look at how it compares to the Nikki Tote and the bag I was using:

(small) Super Tote compared with Nikki Tote Bag.

The Timbuk2 bag I was using before--a  little too small.  The (small) Super Tote is a little wider (or deeper?) and taller, and the straps are longer and more comfortable (yay!).

I am very happy with it and all the changes I made.  If I were to do it over (now that I know how big it is in real life), I would just print the pattern at 80-85% of normal, but keep the straps the same.   And I might add another pocket or two...I never have enough!

23 comments:

  1. Your bag is gorgeous and the fabrics work really well together. I'm always interested to read about the processes people go through to reach the final product. Your experience sounds very much like mine!

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  2. Looks great and I'm sure it will be very useful.

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  3. I always find it impossible to find exactly the bag I need. You figured out how to get around that problem! Looks great - color coded zippers are an excellent idea. :)

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    1. I second the shout out on the color-coded zippers! What a great idea...

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  4. Love the pockets and compartments in the bag. Your choice of fabric is great.

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  5. Love the quilted pocket! The idea of pink and blue zipper is fab! Great bag!

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  6. Your bag is gorgeous! Really useful with all those pockets and such lovely fabrics :)

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  7. It's a lovely bag. I had a really boring navy shop bought nappy (as we call them here) bag, but those days have long gone.

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  8. Beautiful bag. I love all the pockets!

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  9. Lovely tote...great pockets too!

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  10. Gorgeous and practical! Love how you've traced the print's pattern.

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  11. Beautiful bag - love how you quilted the outside fabric! The colour-coded zip pockets are such a great idea too.

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  12. Looks great!, i'm forever on the hunt for the perfect bag, i may need to try this one!
    Love the quilting... and pockets, there's never enough pockets!

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  13. Thank you, that is exactly what I was looking for, a frame of reference for size! It turned out beautiful!

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  14. I have the pattern sitting on my computer just waiting to be printed! Well, I guess to choose fabrics first... Can't wait though! I hope it looks as good as your's!

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  15. It's fantastic! I like the changes you made to suit your needs. And the colour coded zippers are a very clever idea. Beautiful bag!

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  16. I agree with the others the pockets are super cute and functional!! I also love the colors of the first bag!

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  17. oh it's so perfect!!!! you did AMAZING!!!

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  18. Great job with the Super Tote and I LOVE the interior pocket fabric too!

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  19. I love the idea of 2 different zipper colors, that is such a great idea.

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  20. Hi,
    I love your bag. Also, if you still have your small timbuk2 tote and are interested, I'd like to buy it from you. Thanks!

    -Natalia

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