I am just so THRILLED with this bag! I searched for a long time for just the right pattern to sew, as this was a Christmas gift for my mum. Like me, she is particular in what she wants in a bag - a good size, big enough to hold A4 documents/files, a zip closure, pockets and long enough handles to be worn over the shoulder. This hit every need and it was a joy to make. I've honestly learnt so very much making it (read on for the specifics), I'm really happy with the combination of prints and all the details of the bag. Best of all, my mum LOVES it!

I have to admit being scared of sewing a dart, I'm no dress maker and making 3D things are already out of my comfort zone. Nothing to be scared of though, I followed the instructions and it looks ok to me! Are both sides perfectly symmetrical?! mmm not sure about that... but can anyone look at both darts directly at the same time... no! 

The bag also has a recessed zip, which I don't think I've ever sewn before and I am so happy with how it turned out. Even the zipper tab at the end is neat.

I've had these Emmeline magnetic snaps for ages, I must have bought them for a specific project I wanted to make but goodness knows what that was. They are the perfect pocket snap, not too strong (like others, where you feel you might rip the fabric!) and they are very well made. I like the pattern on them too. The installation guide was invaluable and finally I'm confident putting in magnetic snaps.

There were no helpers to take a picture (this was back before Christmas when we weren't all at home again) so this is the best I managed. I was attempting to show you the size... fail! But at least you can sort of see that the straps are a really good 'on the shoulder' length.

The pattern is the Super Tote by Noodlehead. It is so well written and the attention to detail is excellent. Nice topstitching also thanks to Aurifil Forty3 thread with 50wt in the bobbin.

Gathered pockets!! I have never done this before either but it was simple following the instructions. 

I added one of my labels (at mum's request) and also decided to add a lanyard for her keys (always getting lost). I looped the clip onto some premade Liberty bias binding I had, rather than use one length of fabric, honestly I don't know why but hopefully it might be stronger when she's pulling out her keys. I did stitch across the base of the clip so it won't move around. I like that you can tuck it into an inside pocket or an outside pocket because there's a gap at the end of the recessed zip. 

Fabrics used are: Tulips in navy, Home by Sarah Golden; Homespun Linen in Navy, Essex Yarn Dyed and Check Butter Churn in Navy, Feed Company by Sweetwater.

So it probably wasn't the most well timed gift, especially as now we are on full lock down again, but I've told her just to carry her files around the house with her to break it in!! And she can look forward to using it out and about eventually.

I hope you are all staying safe and well. A reminder that I co-host a weekly craft along on instagram every Saturday night - if you fancy joining us to show what you're working on or just get some inspiration, please do! It's a wonderful and very encouraging community, find more info in this post.

Today is my 41st birthday! Obviously it's going to be quite low key, hoping to spend a nice relaxing evening with my family. To celebrate I am having a giveaway on my instagram, click the photo below and leave a comment to enter. Open worldwide / ends 15th January 2021.