Sew Alongs, Chamomile Tote

The Chamomile Tote Sew Along Day 2: Prepare to Sew and Cut Out Pattern Pieces

We are back! Now that you've got your supplies, it is time to cut out the prepare yourself to sew and cut out your pattern pieces.

The Chamomile Tote (Version A) is a little bit more of an undertaking than some of our other bags. Version B is a bit more simplified, but with both versions you are working with fairly large pieces of fabric, and you've got a couple of tricky maneuvers due to the nature of working with bulky fabrics like waxed canvas. So first, I would like you to prepare yourself and your space:

1) Clear off your sewing table and cutting space, and make a staging area for supplies and pattern pieces not in use. Make sure the space behind and around your sewing machine is clear. 

2) This is not a quick and easy project unless you are a total bag making pro. Budget a couple of days or even weeks to get this done, and don't try to do too much in one day (especially if you are getting tired or impatient or have had a couple of glasses of wine). Take a deep breath, read through the instructions carefully before you start, and test out new techniques on scraps before sewing on your precious bag making fabrics.

3) There are quite a few pattern pieces for Version A- it is important to label your pieces to keep track of them.

4) Some of the pattern pieces are almost (but not quite) square. It is a great idea to make a little mark for yourself so that you know where the top of each pattern piece is. I only tell you this because...well...mistakes have been made (by me). 

5) Be prepared for the fact that sewing this bag can get a little heavy, clunky, and awkward. Never be shy about squishing your bag and showing it who's boss. Don't worry about getting creases and wrinkles on your waxed canvas as you work- they add to the character of the bag and end up looking awesome on the finished product.

Have you entered a zen like state of mind that will prepare you to sew a wonderful tote? Great! Let's get started. 

Step 1, Both Versions:

Mark and label pattern pieces on the fabric according to the layout diagrams. Cut out the pattern pieces. A rotary cutter can be very helpful for cutting neat, straight lines. 

Version A: Once the pieces are ready, mark and cut a 3”x3” square out of the bottom of the following pieces: both Outer Bodies (A), and both Contrast Bottom Panels (E).

Version B: Once the pieces are ready, mark and cut a 3”x3” square out of the bottom of the following pieces: both Outer Bodies (A), both Contrast Bottom Panels (D), and both Lining Bodies (E).