As the weather started to show signs of getting warmer, I started wanting a more summery bag. I also really wanted to try sewing something with the new nani IRO laminated cottons. I decided to try out The Day in the Park Backpack Tote. I love the idea that it changes from a tote bag to a backpack. Since I’m out walking with Maisy so much, the idea of having my hands free is pretty appealing.
I made one small change to the pattern, which was to make the sides two inches wider. This change was made specifically so that my large camera would fit into the bag.
I expected to have a hard time sewing with the laminated fabric, but it was really nice to sew with. Since the fabric has a coating, you really shouldn’t use pins when you are sewing it. Any holes you make won’t go away, like they do in your fabric. Paper clips or binder clips are a good alternative. Since this bag has so many pieces and there are several curved seams, I decided that I would still use pins. I just always made sure that my pins were placed inside the seam allowance, so that the holes they made wouldn’t show up on the outside of the bag. I also used a slightly longer stitch. It’s a really good idea to use a fresh needle on your machine and then change it after the project. I didn’t find that I had any problems with the fabric sticking or slipping on my machine, but you can always use a Teflon foot or place a layer of tissue paper on top and tear it off, if this is an issue.
The laminated fabric is made with the nani IRO double gauze and is really beautiful. Much nicer than many of the other oil cloths I’ve seen. People have been buying it to make table cloths, placemats, lunch bags, zippered pouches, totes and dust covers.
Putting the bag together was pretty straight forward, but there are a lot of steps. I really couldn’t visualize how the handles were going to work, until I actually sewed them. The key is the ‘O’ ring. (which you can get at the workroom) I used a small amount of echino for the handle, so it looks like there are birds flying up my handles.
This bag is a bit smaller than what I normally carry, but that’s one of the reasons I really like it. I need to stop carrying around so much stuff! The bag also has a magnetic snap, a zippered pocket, an outside pocket and inside divided pockets. The design is pretty great. I’ve accessorized it with the little blue fabric log that I got from Killside Krafts at the Love & Rummage Trunk Show.
You may recognize that I’m wearing my gingham dress, which I am currently making another version of. I think it’s my new uniform.