Hey goldfish! I heard about this great blog with a girl who sews clothes and has a basset hound and, wait! What? That’s THIS blog? Not according to recent posting history…

So, you’re off the hook for today re. the never-ending sewing nook posts. Although don’t think for a second I’ve beaten that bongo for the last time. I’ve got two yards of ticking, a piece of MDF and a pile of batting just BEGGING to star in their very own blog post. But I did actually sew something this weekend. Something out of the ordinary for me. Something annoyingly constructed from ALL RECTANGULAR PATTERN PIECES that you have to, you know, cut precisely. SO not my cup of tea! But I’m teaching this class later this month and I have to (grudgingly) admit that it was super fun to make myself an Amy Butler Spice Market Tote.

Do you suppose that name is supposed to MEAN something, or is it that she’s run out of names? Because I gotta say, if I was going to make a tote to go pick up spices at the market, it wouldn’t be the size of a grocery bag. There’s only so much dried rosemary and chili powder one needs at once, right?

But I digress. Here is a photo of the bag. Tote bags are amazingly difficult to photograph.

It’s truly amazing, isn’t it?

Speaking of difficult to photograph, I was having a hard time getting a photo where the bag didn’t look like a heap of fabric so I went and looked online to check out what other people have done. Notice anything odd in these photos?

{image Amy Butler}

{image Heather Bailey}

Do those handles look strangely stiff to you? Do any of YOUR tote bags have handles that naturally stick up in the air? What on earth are they doing to those handles?

I’m not gonna lie to you. After looking at the photos I briefly wandered around the shop, looking for something I could use to create a similar level of freakish stiffness in my tote bag handles. Lucky for all of us, I had a flash of insight as to the road I was headed down, set down the wooden hanger I had picked and headed back to my floppy tote handle photo session.

I DID, however, stuff the bag full of yarn to make it nice and plump! Did I mention we just started carrying yarn at the shop? While I’m much more of a sewer than a knitter, I’m super excited to have ready access to brightly colored wool!

For any interested fishies, the bright green fabric is Anna Maria Horner home dec weight. The inside is some super-awesome blue and blue houndstooth. We have this stuff in the shop in a whole bunch of different colors. Including hot pink. Expect to see a hot pink houndstooth Macaron burning a hole in your eyeballs any day now.

And for those of your who thought the sofa that the tote is sitting on looked strangely familiar, it is. Puddle-jumpin’ raincoat,

Meet the new shop-sofa…

I’m actually sitting RIGHT NEXT to the tote bag. You just can’t see me onaccounta my Amy Butler camo-thing.

And with that, I’m signing off. But first,

The last word… Amy Butler Spice Market Tote

Main fabric: Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush Home Dec Lovesme Lovesmenot in Leaf (available online)

Contrast fabric: blue houndstooth! (not online, but if you’re interested I can add it to our shop!)

Pattern: Amy Butler Spice Market Tote

Notions: thread, about 8 miles of interfacing (really, it was 2.5 yards or so, WAY less than the pattern called for as Amy Butler loves her some interfacing and has all the pieces double interfaced! I only went with one layer. I’d still be willing to lug a watermelon or an unruly basset hound around in this thing, though!) and about, oh, a quarter yard of peltex – that super duper stiff interfacing.

Time to complete: 30 minutes to cut, 30 minutes to interface, one hour to sew. An additional 45 minutes ripping out and re-edgestitching the top edge of the bag. Sigh.

Likelihood to make another?: Perhaps – I have an overabundance of bags in my life, but if I really wanted another reusable grocery bag, this is a good one. I like how the straps wrap all the way around the bag!

Curvy girl score: I’m feeling generous, we’ll give this a 10 for no good reason at all…

Oh! And if you’re in Minneapolis or therabouts, I’m teaching this as a class on August 25th. Come one, come all. We can all make our bags out of the same fabric as the sofa, we still have some in the shop! I’ll wear my raincoat! {register online}



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