Thursday, December 26, 2013

Super Tote 2.0, with videos!

Making a Super Tote as a gift is a labour of love. It's a time consuming project and the bag has a ton of features, but the end result makes it totally worth the effort.
I made my first Super Tote this summer to use as a diaper bag (you can read about it here). This has become my everyday bag and I love it so much! Even though I made it at only 85% of the full size, I can generally fit in everything I need for a day out with Lila.  So, when I learned that my sister was pregnant, I decided I'd make her a Super Tote diaper bag too. I bought the fabric for the bag (Parson Gray linen/cotton canvas from the World Tour line) and then put it aside. Well, my nephew was born last month and then bag was yet to be made.  My sister's birthday was in early December and had a visit planned for the end of December so it was definitely time to get to work!

Rather than taking a bunch of photos, I made videos instead! I didn't dress up, rehearse or even edit these videos so please don't judge me on their quality!

First up, have you heard of an app called Flipagram? It's really cool. It takes your Instagram photos and turns them into a slideshow.  I Instagram (yes, I'm using it as a verb) my sewing projects obsessively (and as a result blog much less frequently of late). The Instagram sewing community is extremely supportive and I've made new friends through the app. Here's a video of my Supertote progress, as posted on Instagram:

I always find turning a lined bag a bit nerve-wracking. Did I sew it correctly? Did I remember to slip the straps inside? Did I leave a big enough opening? Moment of truth!

And finally, a tour of the features I included in this bag:

Having made the bag twice, and having used version 1.0 for many months, I now believe I've identified what specifications and modifications I'd choose for my next Super Tote.
  1. I would make it full size.
  2. I would make the straps slightly longer.
  3. I think I'd add strap clips on either gusset to allow for the addition of a removable cross body strap so that the bag could be worn messenger bag style.
  4. I'd put exterior pockets in the front and back, instead of just the front. I might make one zippered (I got this idea from Kelby Sews) and continue to use velcro for the other. While I like the idea of using a magnetic snap, I find they eventually rip my fabric.
  5. I'd include two zippered pockets in the lining, one on either side.
  6. I'd use a slightly longer zipper. I waver on whether to include a recessed zipper at all, because I rarely close the bag, but I think it's probably worth adding, if only for aesthetic purposes.
  7. I wouldn't add any gathered elastic pockets because I'm just not good at keeping the insides of my bags organized. I like my totes to have one large space.
Have you made a Super Tote yet? I'd love to hear in the comments about the features you like to add or remove when you make your own bags, as I'm always interested in new ideas!


  1. It's a beautiful and practical bag! Good point about that magnetic snap--I hadn't realised it was so freaking strong, but it is. Really takes effort to pry it open. Why do they make them so powerful?

  2. A fabulous bag!! Your sister is going to love it! Thank you for sharing all the details on this bag, it's on my list of 'To Dos', but the list keeps getting longer :)

  3. as busy as ever I see.....keep well and warm.