This is a BIG bag. I could fit my 3YO nephew in this bag! I didn’t realize the size in relation to my size until it was finished. I like it and will probably use it to carry stuff up and down the stairs in the house, or perhaps out to the car. I can imagine it would be useful for carrying packages out to the car to take to the post office.
I don’t think it will be great for carrying around on a general basis, because it might get really dirty and I am not sure about the washability. I also think that I could easily fill it up with 30 pounds of stuff. I’ll have to make an effort not to fill it with 30 pounds of stuff.
I used a Moda pack of charm squares from approximately 2007 called Recipe for Friendship by Mary Engelbreit to make the outside of the bag. There weren’t quite enough so TFQ threw in a few from the more recent Snippets collection. We agonized a bit, but not too much and then I began sewing them together.
One of the things I liked about this pattern is that it is specifically designed for the Moda Charm Packs. I don’t know if other companies make 5″ charm packs. I assume some do. It is very easy to cut your own 5″ squares out of your favorite fabrics. If I were going to use my own fabrics, I think I would collect 5″ squares as I cut fabrics for other projects.
I was putting away some other charm packs I have (Figgy Pudding and Pumpkins Gone Wild), I was thinking about what else I could make from these charm packs. I don’t need to have a specific charm pack pattern; I could just sew the squares together and then cut a pattern out of that new fabric.
I also used the red and white dotted fabric (by Susie Osborne, Emmalyne’s Day of the Week line) for the handles and TFQ gave me the red fabric (Mary Lou Weideman for In the Beginning Fabrics) for the inside.
I bought a pack of fusible fleece at the same time I bought the pattern at PIQF. I found, though, that that pack didn’t have enough of the fusible fleece and I had to get more. Both the inside walls and outside walls take two layers of fusible fleece. I didn’t find that it stuck together very well afer pressing. As a result I think I would just use my leftover batting if I made this pattern again.
The pattern designer has a really cool trick for making the box bottom. The maker traces a square template (provided in pattern) on to each bottom corner. After some sewing gymnastics, which are well explained in the pattern, you end up with a line to sew across that makes the box bottom. Very easy and no box bottom guessing. TFQ came across a similar trick in the Jane Market tote by Posie Gets Cosy. We tried to find the ratios of squares to front panels so we could try it ourselves on our own designs, but haven’t yet been successful.