Saturday, April 2, 2016

Patchwork Carry All Tote Kit from Craftsy

Which one would you pick? 

Patchwork Carry All Tote Kit

Skill level: Advanced Beginner
Time to complete: One Weekend
On Sale NOW for just $21.78!

Occasionally a company will ask an affiliate blogger to make a product, and review the pattern and process. I've agreed to do this bag for Craftsy, but I will share with you, dear Reader, my honest opinion.  

This package arrived in February, and I've been looking forward to making it for a spring boost. The Anna Marie Horner fabrics (one of my favorite designers!) were included in the package, and the pattern was printed out from my home computer. In addition, I needed to purchase D-rings. Fusible fleece and interfacing were also called for, but always available in my stash.

There were 9 different fabrics in the bundle, and most were cut in a traditional WOF 1/4 yard. The directions for cutting were very simple and clear. I realized I would have quite a bit of left over fabric when I was done cutting, too. (In other words, if I made a cutting mistake I was still covered!)

Twirl those center seams!

The instructions say this bag will take 'a weekend' to make. I know that's a typical way to list patterns for companies, but I wanted to know more specifically. I started my timer.

It was about 1 hour to cut everything out including interfacing and fleece, and a little dawdling on Instagram, too. Another hour was spent sewing the body, pressing, trimming, and applying the fusible fleece and interfacing. It was a perfect stopping point, and I was off to make dinner.

First Two Tips and Tricks

One: I'm used to cutting interfacing with shears, and trying to get an exact edge is tricky. I used my rotary cutter and ruler, and it was a snap. Precise and pretty!

Two: In a picture up above, I showed a twirled seam. It's easier than it looks, and worth the effort to make.

How to: There will be places where pressing will create bulky intersections. Simply remove 1-2 stitches carefully toward the outer most edge of the seam, and with your finger twirl and flatten the seam. Yes, you may have to fiddle with it a bit, but it is worth the effort to have a flattened intersection. It's the same as the center of any four patch you'll make, and is a valuable technique to have in your 'tool box.' There are many tutorials out there for 'Twirled Center Seams' if you need more help.

Early the next day, I was back at it. This was a simple piece to load onto my longarm, and took about 20 minutes to quilt. I decided on the gold thread from above, and think it added a little glamour to the stitching.

 Paisleys overall.

The bronze D-rings arrived just in time for me to finish up the project. It went together smoothly, and rather quickly from that point on.

Things I Did Differently

There were directions for adding an outside pocket, but I misunderstood the placement. There is a picture on the website, but I was working without wifi at the time. I didn't understand the written directions. Mine was placed on the side, but I think would function better if I moved it to the end as it was meant. It's an easy fix!

Also, the pattern calls for adding a button to secure the strap. I'm very conscious of keeping my bags closed while carrying them, especially if I have my wallet inside. For the sake of speed, I added a jumbo snap instead. 

Each end is meant to have a button stitched on to embellish it. I chose not to add any as I could see myself catching them on everything--such as a shopping cart, etc.

Overall opinion: It's a cute, stylish bag, and a good value as a kit. I would not suggest it as the first bag for someone to make without a more experienced sewist to ask questions. The instructions are quite clear, but previous construction experience would be helpful. I would say it's appropriately labelled for skill level as an Advanced Beginner project. Overall time commitment was approximately 5 hours, so a long afternoon or a weekend was a good estimate.

Would I recommend it?
Will I be using it?
I already am!

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's get back to sewing.


  1. Great review and thanks for the honest opinion!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Cute bag Julie! I always twirl seams as you say it helps keep the bulk out of the seams.

  4. Good review, Julie. I like to read reviews that tell it like it was while constructing. Good size bag too.

  5. Thanks for the review. It looks like a great bag.

  6. Yay! You finished it! It looks great, and now you have a cool bag to carry around. Thanks for the review and for sharing your post on MCM!

  7. lovely finish and I love the quilting design you used.

  8. great review - thanks,
    and wonderful bag...
    i understand the part about not having the buttons at the bottom sides, because of the risk of catching them on things.....but i do like the LOOK of them how to solve that puzzle......


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