My second go at Noodlehead’s sidekick tote in two weeks! It is always fun to make a pattern for the second time. You have a sense of what’s coming next, which steps are harder/easier than they look, and adjustments to try. I enjoyed this pattern even more the second time and didn’t find the zipper steps quite as trying. I made the large size bag for my sister as a birthday gift. She picked out the fabrics over Christmas vacation. Now it is a few days before her birthday and I’m finally finishing it. Sometimes it takes a deadline to get me moving!
My sister wanted something muted and simple- only black visible with no pocket. Skipping the pocket would have made it go a heck of a lot faster. But it just seemed like this bag needs an outside pocket. I love pockets. So I decided to add an in-seam pocket that it hidden from view. The outside fabric is some slightly-stretchy/stiff black with tiny white dots. I also used some solid black, some raspberry-colored shot cotton for the lining, and a polka dot fabric for both pockets. It made a much less lightweight bag than last time.
In case you’re curious about the inseam exterior pocket I took a few pictures and I’ll try to explain the steps. It was actually pretty easy to construct.
1) Cut out all the pieces the same, except cut two additional rectangles. I used 6.5 inch squares. Here are the exterior pieces (with the Pellon/reverse showing) and the polka-dot rectangles:
2) Follow all the steps as written through Step 3 d). Before completing e), sew the exterior pocket pieces to the exterior body and exterior top band. The right sides should be facing. Use a slightly smaller seam allowance than you will for the rest of the bag. I used 1/2” for the main bag and about 3/8” for the pocket. That will ensure that the pocket fabric is well hidden. This was a little tricky because the pocket pieces are not curved. I did a little trimming and then just figured it was close enough. When sewn, the pieces should now look like this:
3) Iron the pocket pieces to look like this:
4) Continue with e) and f). The pocket pieces you added shouldn’t be in the way.
5) For step g) align the top band and top raw edge as well as the two pocket pieces. You’ll be sewing around the edge except in the pocket region, where you will sew the three sides of the pocket. You can do this in one continuous seam. You can see my sewing here, with the blue arrows. Don’t sew across the top of the pocket.
6) For step h) the pocket is in the way of topstitching all around. I’m sure there is a better way to do this, but I just snipped the top pocket seam a bit and was able to topstitch all around, like so:
Your pocket should now be functional but mostly hidden:
Then you can continue with the instructions as written. The way the dotted fabric on the curved pieces line up can play weird tricks on your eyes. It occurred to me that this might be a fun use for piping between the main body and top band. Maybe next time. Anyway, Es was willing to model a few shots. She was particularly interested in the strap hardware and wanted to make sure I got a picture of that part:
Hopefully it is acceptably muted. It heads off to New York tomorrow with a few other goodies tucked inside. Happy birthday to my dear sister!