Saturday, June 02, 2012

State Street Tote by Bari J

Description: The State Street Tote Pattern by Bari J. is a unique bag that can be made in patchwork or 2 contrasting fabrics. There are instructions for a spring closure or a magnetic fastener and this pattern is easy to make.  Take a look at Bari J patterns
Finished Size: 13" W x 13" W x 3"
Instructions:  Very thorough, the instructions come in a booklet form, all in full color with multiple pictures and graphics throughout.  I thought they were easy to follow and concise. 
Changes:  I shortened the handles and changed the order on one step.  She suggests to use plastic canvas and purse feet to make the bottom of the bag sturdy.  The instructions state to sew the lining and the bag together at the top.  Turn, press and edge stitch the top.  Then insert the plastic canvas through the opening in the bottom of the lining.  I thought this would be a bit cumbersome to reach through the lining all the time to attach the feet.  I moved this step to before attaching the lining.  It was not difficult at all to pull the bag through the lining with the plastic canvas already in place.
At the top of the bag I made about a 1” seam allowance.  I did not like how much the second fabric was above the base of the main fabric. 
One more change was to change the seam allowances to 1/2” on the bag instead of 1/4”.  There are too many layers of fabric, fleece, interfacing, etc and I didn’t want to risk not catching something with a 1/4” seam allowance
Fabric:  One bag from Amy Butler's Daisy Chain fabric line and the other was Flora by Lauren and Jessi Jung for Moda
Conclusion:  A fun bag to make, with some fun pocket options, perfect size and a pattern you can use a variety of fabric combinations.

First bag from Amy Butler’s fabric
amy butler gray

On this bag, my lining was a bit long (must of cut wrong) so I used the extra lining to make a faux binding
binding top
Inside pocket
inside gray bag
Now for the best feature of this bag – the outside pocket – on both sides of the bag
I can drop my keys and phone in these and be able to find them quickly.  The instructions have you stitch a line 2” from the sides and bottom of the two fabrics.  In this case the gray floral and white floral.  This makes the pocket enclosed and your belongings want wonder all around the outside of the bag.  You can see one of my chalk lines on the right side of the bag.
Now for the Flora fabric bag(handles are from another line but I liked the look of the polka dot handles)
bari j orange no flower
I really liked the fabric when I purchased it but the bag is just a bit boring, so I added a flower
bari j orange bag
I don’t think this what I am looking for but it does help the bag.  Any suggestions?
Here is the inside
inside orange bag

I found a new-to-me blog Amy Lou Who Sews and she is having a Purse Palooza which is hosted over at Sew Sweetness.  This looks fun and informative.  Speaking of informative, check out this post on at Sew Sweetness all bout bag interfacing.  I am going to get some new interfacings to try out.


  1. Super tote bags! I like the flower--it does jazz up the bag and makes it happy! There are a lot of bag interfacings. Thank you for the links.

  2. Great looking tote bags.

  3. The bag is very cute. If you were looking for more pop in the orange bag how about using an embroidery stitch in a lime green picking up the lime green of the lining and top fabric. I'm going to check out the Sew Sweetness blog as I am working on a project for my chapter ASG year end meeting. Which I am going to do a computer tote bag and I have been researching interfacing to use in my project.Thanks!

  4. Great totes! I like the flower on the orange one, how about a larger one to give it more pop? Or you could tie a scarf or strip of fabric to on side of the handle, in a bow? But it is still a winner, as is. Thanks for the links. I am going to check them out!

  5. I really like this one....I think I need to make one for me!!

  6. This Id Window Wallet is the safest wallet you will find in the market today!