Sewing Circle Tote Review

My version of the massive Sewing Circle Tote bag is finally done.

Sewing Circle Tote by Sew Maris

Let’s be clear: there will not be a repeat performance. Way.Too.Much.Work. I already bitchedaired some feelings about this bag in a previous post, but I have more to add now.

Oh, this bag will definitely hold loads of sewing goodies, and likely even be very handy to transport things back and forth to sewing retreats. Though this cute black and white print tote of similar dimensions might do the job just as well. 🙂

Sewing Circle Tote by Sew Maris

Sometimes we sew things for reasons that cannot be explained. Especially to husbands, friends, and frequently even to ourselves. It SEEMS like a good idea. It WILL be cute, or useful, or possibly even perfectly suited to the task.

But sometimes the process is not worth the outcome. That’s my take on the Sewing Circle Tote. Just.Not.Worth.It. The hassle of handling so many layers of cotton canvas, denim, quilting cotton, webbing, and more offset both the cute factor and the potential functionality of this bag, IMHO. Oh, I will use it. I might even like using it. But I could have spent $35 + zero effort and gotten approximately the same amount of schlepping capability. Albeit minus some exterior & interior pockets. 😉

Sewing Circle Tote by Sew Maris

As for construction and drafting, I had some issues that were irritating. The “large pocket” side of the lining (on the left in the image above) was not the same length as the opposite “small pockets” side of the lining. It was enough off that I had to do some ripping and re-stitch. I broke 2 needles and bent a third getting the lining attached to the exterior bag. If step number 82 (where the lining bottom is sewn to the bag bottom) had read “Stitch the lining to the exterior only between the handles” instead of “It doesn’t have to be pretty” I don’t think any needles would have been  harmed. And extending the short handles 1 inch above the upper edge of the bag (step 85) is a complete waste of time, as I ended up cutting them even with the bag edge anyway. I am also not a fan of Elizabeth’s method of making her pockets. It works, but in general I prefer seaming + pressing over pressing + topstitching in place. My 2 cents on that.

Have you made anything recently that exceeded the enjoyment:effort ratio? Tell me your story!

Happy sewing!



6 Responses to Sewing Circle Tote Review

  1. Ugh…I Have a pattern for a mini cross-body tote bag. My neighbor saw it and asked me to make it for her to give to her niece. It called for a lot of scrap pieces but we used only a few contrasting fabrics. It was such a challenge to figure out all the correct pieces. Then, she loved it and ordered several more! I dreaded it every time! But she loves the bag so much, I plan to make her one. I cut out all the pieces the last time I made it – but it’s been so long I know when I go to sew it it will be a real pain. So, yes, I have sewn something I really haven’t enjoyed more than once! Here’s the bag – went back to look for it. It is kindof cute but I can’t believe how hard the pattern is to follow!

    • Oye, I feel your pain! It is a cute bag, Jane. Maybe since you are getting so many requests for it you can re-write the instructions to make it easier? Or hide the evidence so no more requests, LOL!

Leave a reply