selfish sewing week | super tote


I have yet to venture into sewing clothing for myself so when Rachael of Imagine Gnats invited me to sew along for Selfish Sewing week, I was a little stumped. Not for long though! I'm a believer in the idea that you can never have to many bags. I've had this Super Tote pattern (designed by the awesome Anna of Noodlehead) sitting in my to do pile so that's what I decided to make. It took me a while to figure out what fabrics to use - I kind of wanted to use leather for the gusset but that didn't pan out. I ended up trying out some waxed denim from this shop. Very sturdy stuff! I added some leather straps (also from this shop) and used some Cotton + Steel XOXO in Dandelion for the main bag panels. Yellow makes me happy! For the lining I used some white Kona - I tend to like linings nice and bright. 

I'm really happy with how the tote turned out though the process of making it was kind of stressful. Not because of the pattern (which is very well written) but because of the materials I chose. Waxed fabric + curved gussets make for some interesting sewing. It all worked out in the end so that's all that matters, right ??

Some basic tips for working with waxed canvas / denim / etc - use a warm, dry iron along with a press cloth to soften the fabric enough to be able to work with. You'll also be able to "buff out" any creases that way. I used a size 18 denim needle and it was definitely necessary. The shop I ordered from, A. L. Frances, offers a bundle of waxed fabric swatches that is so helpful when trying to pick out the right fabric for a project. It's only $3 so grab one if you're thinking of trying some out.

The leather straps were a little tricky to stitch down as there are no do-overs. I kept it simple and just stitched boxes to reinforce the straps. I used a long stitch length, a size 18 leather needle, and top stitching thread. I practiced on some scrap fabric and similar leather to get an idea of what would work best. I did end up with a few skipped stitches due to all the layers so I used a needle and thread to pull those to the back. I'd also recommend NOT backstitching - just use a needle to pull your threads to the back and tie them off.

Thanks to Rachael for the invite! It was nice to sit down and make something just for me! You can check out lots of great Selfish Sewing Week projects and add your own over at Kollabora!

details: pattern | supertote    main fabric | cotton + steel xoxo in dandelion   gusset fabric | waxed denim in indigo linen   lining | kona white





20 comments

  1. It's gorgeous, you did a great job. I blogged about my finished Supertote last week, I too used denim but recycled from a pair of jeans from the charity shop! I've not heard of waxed denim before, does it have some waterproofness to it too?

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  2. it looks so amazing! I love it so much! :) And totally need to get and use some of that waxed denim.

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  3. wow vanessa i love this so much. the leather and the waxed denim and the subtle print make it look so pro. it's fantastic.

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  4. Beautiful Vanessa! I've never heard of waxed denim, but it looks fantastic paired with the bright yellow :)

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  5. Very nice! It looks terrific, and I've never heard of waxed denim either but sure like the look!

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  6. It looks fantastic! Great fabrics and colors.

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  7. Ooh, I love it! The waxed canvas and leather straps really make it fancy! :)

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  8. It turned out just beautifully. I'm so excited to read about the waxed canvas. I've been wanting to try working with it for a long time.

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  9. Your work is amazing, as always! And gorgeous photos!

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  10. Obrigada amiga por fazer trabalhos tão lindos adoro seus lindos trabalhos beijos

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