June 13, 2021

Boxcar Tote

I can't remember when I started making this Boxcar Tote, but I do know that it was at a guild retreat and I didn't get very far before I ran out of batting to quilt the main body panels. Instead of using fusible interfacing on the main and interior pieces, I had decided to quilt the outside, giving it some texture and visual interest as well as softening up the structure a bit.

One of my goals this year (I've been referring to those a lot -- I'm really trying to get things done!) was to finally finish this tote. And I did! It took a while, but I worked on it in little bite-sized pieces over the course of a week or so. Also I'm really glad that I didn't use fusible interfacing on the whole thing because I had issues with my interfacing not fusing completely.

The fabrics are pretty bold. I bought them together with the intention of using them in this bag. My favorite print is the white with birds on the side panels. I hadn't planned to use that for the binding too, but when I got to that step, I couldn't decide what looked best. I like how the white continues from the side panels across the edge of the pockets and top of the bag. I used a light-colored fabric as the interior/lining so that I could easily find things and they didn't get lost in the deep, dark recesses.

One alteration I made was to extend the length of the straps a little bit (maybe 2 inches? I can't remember...) On the pattern and in photos I've seen of the bag made as instructed, the handles seem a little short to me -- good for holding but hard to get my hand through if I wanted to hang the bag from my wrist or forearm. I also divided the front pockets at the center seams, making 4 more-usable pockets instead of 2 large ones.


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