I made a Sheffield Tote for Gerre as a gift in 2020. I make gifts because I want people to know I am thinking about them. I do know that what I think is great may not be great for someone else, but I don’t have hard feelings when someone doesn’t use a gift I made for them.
Alternatively, I am super thrilled when I see a gift being used. This ‘t the first time I have seen Gerre bring it. She says she uses it all the time. Whenever we sit near each other I see it packed with supplies. It makes me so happy that it is a useful tote.
After thinking about the two tool totes, I decided to compare them. I already talked a little about them in the Gift Post, but I think showing photos would help you decide which you want to make. I made the Quilts Illustrated pattern in 2018. I use it for my bag making supplies. It is handy to keep them all in one place.
As you can see from the photo above, the overall shape of both bags is substantially similar. The Sheffield Tote is larger than the QI Tool Tote. The Sheffield also has some 3D pockets in addition to the slip pockets on the outside. These additional pockets provide extra storage, though I wonder if the items in those pockets would fall out in transit?
The other thing I notice is that the handles are different. They are different widths and made from different techniques. I picked up the QI Tool Tote the other day and found it heavy. With all of my bagmaking hardware and supplies, it would be. That made me worried about the handles breaking. I think if I made the QI version again, I would make the handles wider.
That being said, I have not filled the Sheffield Tool Bag so I don’t know how it will feel with items inside. I do like the padded version of the handles (see tutorial – you can add these to any bag) for a bag like this and will add them next time I made the Sheffield.
The other thing I like about these bags is the frame. I haven’t made a lot of bags with frames, but the wide mouth aspect, enabled by the frame, on both bags is awesome. The maker can see into the entirety of both bags.
Again, the pockets are different. The Sheffield has more 3D pockets on the inside while the QI Tool Tote has slip pockets, including some on the ends. In a way I like the slip pockets better. I can see making a smaller slip pocket for the second pocket on the outside of the Sheffield instead of the 3D pockets. I might also make slip pockets for the inside of the Sheffield.
There is a lot of scope for imagination, as Anne Shirley would say, in this style of bag. I encourage you to try it out.
As I said earlier this month, I finished the Sheffield Tool Bag the week before Christmas.
I am usually pretty pleased with the Sew Sweetness patterns, but I found this one particularly easy to put together. The ease of putting together this bag was in direct contrast to my memory of putting the Quilt Illustrated Tool Tote together.
I found two tricky parts and the zipper was involved with both. First was the zipper panel and the video remedied my confusion. The second was the other/non-zipper tab end of the zipper and I am not sure how to remedied that beyond using a matching thread to the zipper and hoping for the best. I’d like to put a zipper tab on instead of folding over the ends of the zipper on that one end. I’ll think about that for future versions. I’d like to make another one of these bags.
On the bright side, I feel like I finally got the concept of ‘veering the zipper’. I talked more about this during the making of the Pink & Green Cotton Candy pouch. There is something about the way it was presented in the Sheffield Tool Bag video that fixed the concept in my head. Yay!!
It has a different feel than the Quilt Illustrated Tool Tote, though I believe the supplies were similar. I haven’t checked the Quilt Illustrated pattern recently, however, and I know I quilted the outside of the QI Tool Tote, though that is an option for the Sew Sweetness pattern as well.
I am particularly fond of the inside. Despite being canvas and VERY loosely woven, I love the design motifs of the fabric I used for the lining.
Now that I know where all the pieces are going to be used, I would make different fabric choices for future versions. Still, I believe the white fabric makes the inside light enough to see all of the supplies (and stuff) that would go inside.
I didn’t have enough fabric for the slip pockets to be the same on both sides of the bag, so I used similar colors, but different fabrics. I think they look ok. The ice cream fabric was used so that it goes with the Classmates tote I made last year.
I made good progress on Sunday on the Sheffield Bag. There was very little ripping until I got to the zipper installation, which was all ripping all the time.
I have the handles clipped so they are out of the way. You can see a good view of the various pockets. I think the pocket construction on the gathered pockets would be much easier than the similar pockets on the Oslo Craft Bag. If I make the Oslo Craft Bag again, I will use this pocket construction.
I started cutting out the Sheffield Tool Tote last week during Sew Happy Hour. I really got busy on it Friday, which is when I finished the cutting and, then, yesterday I started the sewing. Cutting out projects really makes me feel like I am getting nowhere so making pockets and the exterior made me feel like I was making progress.
This is a pretty structured bag by Sew Sweetness. It is similar to the Quilts Illustrated Tool Tote I made a few years ago (?). I bought it as part of the His, Hers and Furs bundle when that bundle was on sale (no affiliation). This is the first project I have made from that bundle.
I finally finished the Tool Tote. Now I can just stare at it wondering, a little, what I was thinking.
Looking at in this photo, it looks great, but I am not sure about actually using it. The Tupperware box I have used forever works fine for tools and is hard. How would I fit this thing into my travel system? On the other hand, it has handles and handles are always a good thing.
I was almost finished the other day, but I put the zipper tabs on and they just looked terrible. Using Soft & Stable in a zipper tab is a dumb idea. I wouldn’t have known it was a dumb idea unless I had done it, though.
The photo of the zipper tab makes the thing look fine. It isn’t fine, though; it didn’t stay together and on the back the top hem was popping out and looking awful. I also went around the whole thing 3-4 times and couldn’t quite match up the stitching as the whole bag was attached to the zipper tab. The whole thing was a mess.
I ripped off the Soft & Stable zipper tabs and made some new ones with ShapeFlex instead. It worked like a charm and the zipper tabs look a lot better. I changed the fabric used and that helped make the tabs look better as well.
If you make this bag, definitely make it with fabric for the zipper tabs matching the outside pocket.
I had big plans to make a bunch of these, because of the Big Mouth design. I really like the way it opens up all the way, so you can see all of your stuff. It was a hassle to make and I didn’t think the directions were great. They were very chatty and friendly, but not very useful. I think I might be ruined by the Crafty Gemini style of learning. I do know that if I make more I will get better at making them.
As I said, I am not sure what to do with it. I could get another set of tools and fill the thing and keep it with my guild stuff. Not sure if really need that.
It looked pretty good once I did the sewing. I think I didn’t think about it too much and that worked for this project.
I kept testing the zipper all the time and it kept working. It doesn’t look like the picture, but it works. We’ll see if it works when it has stuff in it.
The directions on this project aren’t as good as I would like. I thought that this pattern would be a good one for gifts, but the directions are a challenge. I can’t decide if I want to make other ones or if it is just too much hassle.
I was so thrilled with the cutting of the Tool Tote the other day that reporting today is kind of depressing.
The good news is that I am making progress. The bad news is that I am having trouble with the directions. This is a weakness of mine as I have mentioned, so I am willing to take some of the blame. However, I had Gerre try and help me interpret one step and she agreed that she thought something was missing.
As the pattern suggests, I emailed the designer and have not heard back. It is a sort of holiday week so she may not be at work.
Regardless, I will finish this bag. I know enough about bag making to make up some parts, if necessary. It won’t be done by this weekend, which is a shame, but can’t be helped.
In the photo above, you can see the pieces with their little tags as well as the work that I have done. Quilting on all the pieces is complete, though I would have made the pieces bigger, quilted and then trimmed, if I had been thinking. Some of the pockets are sewn on. Handles are partially sewn (this is the problem step).