Tokyo Tie Top Bag in Lotus by Amy Butler for Rowan fabrics
The past several days have been so beautiful. Sunny, breezy… almost warm. It inspired me to do some spring sewing this weekend–when we weren’t outside enjoying the weather, that is. Meet my new Tokyo Tie Bag, from Sew Everything Workshop.
In search of suitably spring-like fabric (and to broaden my search for a solid grey to match another fabric I already have, that I want to make a larger bag with later. You would not believe how hard it is to match greys!), I checked out Fabric Depot for the first time. It’s over on the east side of town, where I rarely wander. They bill themselves as “the largest, most complete retail fabric store in the west” with 73,000 square feet of shop space. The place is huge, seemingly a sea of fabric bolts, including some of my favorite designers, organics, and even bamboo material. And they were having a 30% off sale!
For this new little bag I found a pretty flowered pattern and a matching heavy canvas for the lining. This was a good project for me to learn some new techniques – grading seams, clipping curves and adding a snap. Actually, I decided to use a magnetic snap instead, and was happy to find this tutorial for a little help. I didn’t machine sew the hole (since I don’t know how), but I did reinforce the sides by hand. Also, I couldn’t get the prongs to lie flat on top of each other properly, so I bent them outward instead. I hope that doesn’t cause too much of a problem later on.
Because I can’t leave anything well enough alone, I altered the shape of the pattern from the original sizing specified in the book. Instead, I made the straps just a little longer and the bag body a little wider. You can download my template here, but it has to be tiled onto two sheets.
I actually remembered to wash and iron the material before getting started, but I’m thinking it was a mistake to wash the canvas. It came out of the dryer a hard, wrinkled mess. I tried stretching, ironing, re-wetting and hanging, and even used some dreaded Downy Wrinkle Releaser (why do they make it smell so strong?!), but never got it very smooth and flat again. I could swear it said it was machine washable.
Next time, I think I’ll make the straps longer, so it’s more of a shoulder bag instead of a handbag, add an inner pocket, and maybe choose an even heavier weight canvas for a slightly more structured body. Either way, it’s pretty cute.