The Lisa Tote

19 Jan

I worked my tail off on my first paid project and it paid off.

Lisa, my cousin, and I met at the store where she selected the fabrics and told me what she was looking for in a purse.  She wanted a large tote, with a zip closure and lots of pockets on the inside.  Per my recommendation, Lisa selected an indoor outdoor fabric for the outside and a duck cloth for the interior.  She wanted a little something on the outside, so we added one pocket and trimmed the tote and pocket in bias tape made from the interior duck cloth.

I based my construction on the Lands End multi-pocket tote and set to work. There were lots of things to think about especially the order in which each piece would be sewn. The pieces included, an interior bag, and exterior bag, interior pockets, exterior pocket, straps, trim, and zipper closure. In the end, I sewed the exterior bag and pocket first then the interior bag and pockets.  Inserted the interior into the exterior bag, sewed on the trim, then affixed the straps and finished with the zipper construction and sewed it to the bag.I used triple stitching on most of the bag to make sure that any amount of wear and tear could be handled.

The finished bag is 8 inches deep, 17 inches wide at the base and 22 inches wide at the top.  It is 12 inches tall and has 8 interior pockets and one exterior pocket. The straps are 36 inches long and 1.5 inches wide.

It is perfect for Lisa’s needs and lifestyle.  She’s a busy mom on the go who Nannies for an infant baby and is always there to lend a hand with her many nieces and nephews.


When I showed it to Isabelle she told me that she thought it would be perfect for a mom who has kids and that she thought that Lisa would give me a great big hug when she saw it. That’s approval enough for me and I hope Lisa is as happy with it as Isabelle thinks she will be 😉

Her wallet is the same as the wallet I made for myself, except that I used the fabric from the tote for hers 🙂

It’s got 6 card pockets on the curved side, and then two large pockets and a zipper compartment on the other side.  I’ve found that I use the card pockets for all of my cards, business cards and my cash ( I fold the cash into quarters).  Then one large pocket is for receipts and a tube of lip balm, the other pocket is for my checkbooks, and the zipper holds my change.  It works great, not just as a wallet, but as a clutch as well, because I can slide my phone into one of the large pockets or just between the two sides and the elastic closure holds everything in place.




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