Saturday, January 14, 2017

Noodlehead's Trail Totes

I was glad for the push to make this tote for a Christmas present!
My friend Denise asked me to make some kind of a tote out of some vintage barkcloth curtains that had been in her mother's apartment back in her college days.  

Right away, I thought of Noodlehead's Trail Tote pattern.  I had used it to make this tote for myself the other summer, but I was too lazy to add the magnetic snaps or purse strap hardware.  I don't know why those details intimated me, but they did at that point, for whatever reason.

But, since this was a gift, I pushed myself to add the extra details that would make it extra special.

Thankfully, the magnetic snap was super easy to install thanks to Anna's clear instructions (I just wish I had thought to get an antique brass snap to match vs. the silver one), 

as was the case with the strap hardware.

Before I got started, I was stumped as to what other fabrics to incorporate to give the bag some interest, but I was really happy with the results!

The contrasting fabrics gave it the extra punch it needed,

and this yellow zipper adds the final touch.

I have been ordering my zippers from Zipit Zippers, an Etsy shop with super prices and excellent customer service.  I recently got a set of 14" zippers from them in the 65 colors they carry.  I wish I had done that a long time ago!  This way, I always have a zipper on hand in every color imaginable, and then all I need to do is order a replacement for my set.  

I do wish the hardware was a little easier to obtain.  I ordered what I needed from another Etsy shop, but the service wasn't as good, so it took a bit to get a response and then get it ordered and shipped.

I used Pellon SF101 interfacing.  It bugs me to no end that it's so expensive, but it is the perfect interfacing to give quilting cottons the shape and structure they need for these kind of projects.  

Even though it's after the fact, I think I'll order the strap hardware for my tote.  I'll need to open it up and take it back apart a bit, but I think it will be worth it!

The Trail Tote can be made in two sizes: large or small.  I chose the large size for the two I made.

The large size was perfect for the large-scale print on the curtains.

Click here for the free pattern download from Robert Kauffman Fabrics.


  1. These are absolutely darling! I love your fabric choice for the inside and that yellow zipper - genius!