Thursday, August 13, 2015

my #newsstand tote

Pattern testing is one of my new favorite things. Talented pattern designers often head to instagram to find people willing to test out new patterns and I've been volunteering often lately. It's fun to choose fabrics for a project I wouldn't otherwise get to make, and this bag is my favorite of them all! It's the Newsstand Tote by Felice Regina and it features elasticized side pockets and an interior slip pocket, but you could easily customize it. I think if I made another I would add a key fob, maybe a zippered pocket in the lining, and use leather handles. This bag is going to be a workhorse for me so I think these pretty yellow handles are going to take a beating.

The construction of the bag was straightforward and simple. Felice writes great patterns and this one is pretty easy to follow, even for a novice bag maker. I've made a bunch of bags before but I don't often use very advanced techniques so sometimes I'm challenged by things like gussets or zipper installation, but this pattern was smooth sailing for me!

I love the exterior side pockets. They're a must for me on any bag because I like being able to carry the boys' water bottles in my bag without the risk of them spilling inside. It makes it easy for them to grab them, too. Then they're not fishing around in my bag and inadvertently finding the snacks I'm trying to save for later.

I used an Alison Glass Handcrafted print (plus in teal) for the main exterior, and Cotton + Steel for the pockets (from August), handles (one of the basics), and binding (from Mesa). The lining is a fun Alexander Henry print that I'm obsessed with lately. I've used it for three linings and put some of it in a quilt!

It's a good size for toting around anything I need for an outing with the boys - my wallet, keys, and phone, of course, along with diapers and wipes, a change of clothes for Finn, some snacks, Finn's epi pens, and lots of other purse detritus. I made a couple other pouches to corral my belongings - that pouch with the blue zip on top there is a Noodlehead open wide pouch and it holds a lip balm, diaper cream, hand sanitizer, and an Ava Anderson boo boo stick. There's a kitty wristlet in there, too, and I use it to hold my phone and keys if I'm leaving the diaper bag somewhere like at my parents' house or Matt's parents' house when they're watching the boys. Now I just need to make myself a wallet to replace my old and threadbare Vera Bradley one!

Be sure to check out all the other bags Felice's pattern testers made... I love the fabrics on them all! And as always, I have to thank Matt for the photos! He always says yes when I ask him to take some pictures for me, even when he has a backlog of weddings to edit and more scheduled for the coming weekend. Also, if I could wear jeans and a gray t shirt every day it would be great.

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