bags, canvas, harts fabric, noodlehead, sewing

Poolside Tote by Noodlehead

I’d like to say that I needed a new bag to haul all our towels to the beach, but the truth is, I haven’t been to the ocean yet this summer (insert sad face *here*).  No, this bag is the result of falling in love with this navy-gray canvas with silhouette birds (Birch Flight in Dusk).  As a participant in the Bag of the Month club (thank you Samantha!), I got to see 6 really wonderful bag patterns before general release, and Anna of Noodlehead‘s Poolside Tote was the perfect pattern to show off this great print.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of pre-washing the fabric.  After washing and drying the lightweight canvas, the blue-grey was blotchy and creased.  It was heartbreaking, but I decided to go through with my plan anyway…and pretend it’s a purposeful “broken in” look!

A quick trip to Hart’s (15 minutes in a fabric store–a record for me!) and I selected a wheat-colored canvas for the handles and Art Gallery’s Cubisme quilting cotton for the lining.  (And yes, for those who know the area, I was about a mile from the ocean at Hart’s but a trip to the beach wasn’t in the cards that day…)

Since the canvas was so light, I used Annie’s Soft and Stable for some firmness.  I haven’t worked with this product before and I quickly learned that a walking foot is essential!  Even still, I had a hard time keeping the stitches even.  I do like how the bag stands on it’s own, so Soft and Stable does the job!

I had to make some judgement calls on the stitching around the top of the bag–I wanted it to blend in with the fabric (mostly since my stitches were being all wacky), so I couldn’t sew over the tan straps with my blue thread.  I started and stopped at the junction and then hand-stitched the facing at those locations on the inside. 
 Metal zippers make everything look more awesome!
The bag is BIG, but designed just right so it doesn’t drag on the ground while holding it by the handles (even for short me!).   Perfect for blanket, book, and lunch (and sunscreen, water bottle, etc. etc.).  
Inspiration for a trip to the beach?  We’ll see… 🙂

14 thoughts on “Poolside Tote by Noodlehead”

  1. Inspiration for the beach! And, inspiration to sew a beach bag! You've created a beauty of a bag Nicole…the coordinating fabrics are heavenly! I understand your disappointment in discovering that the pre-wash diluted the intensity of the indigo blue, I've had that happen too. But knowing that you can wash it should there be an oops with a spilled drink or just too much exposure to salt water and sand is really best. And I really like the 'blue jean' look of the fabric!


  2. Pretty bag, Nicole. I like the pre-washed look of the fabric. Thanks for the heads up on the soft and stable. I have been interested in trying it.


  3. Thank you, Sue! I was so bummed about that fabric, but you're right–it is destined to look worn anyhow, so this keeps it from feeling too precious from the start!


  4. Thanks! The fading works for the style, but I still have to try not to think too hard about how much I loved the dark un-washed version, though 🙂


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