Supertote in Anna Maria’s Ghostwing

The Supertote by Noodlehead is as super as you’ve heard!!  This is my first time using one of her patterns, and it definitely lived up to the reputation – quite thorough with nice details that make the bag special and functional.  I actually made this bag as part of a class at a local shop – SEWN Studio.  It was nice to have dedicated sewing time, especially for an intricate project like this.  I learned some great tips along the way from our instructor and tried some new skills such as making piping and installing a recessed zipper.  


My main fabric is the gorgeous Ghost Wing print by Anna Maria Horner.  It is a linen-cotton blend and the colors are just amazing.  For the gusset, I used a dark denim from my stash. I have seen some nice versions of the Supertote using Ghost Wing and a natural linen, which i contemplated.  In the end i went with the darker denim so the bag could be a little less fussy (read:  not as prone to picking up dirt).  The dotty lining is from Kaffe Fassett and I found it locally at Silk Road Textiles.

I don’t really enjoy making straps and wanted something sturdy, so I picked up some jute webbing.  Because I was only a day or two away from the scheduled class, I found this at Hancock in the upholstery section.  Next time I will shop online where it is much, much less expensive.  

The denim gusset was actually a redo.  Initially, I used a light brown linen-blend and just didn’t love it.  I doubted it all along the way, and only decided to start over once the gusset was fully attached.  Of course…  I should have listened to my gut sooner.  I used one of the aforementioned tips learned during my class to rip the seams  – my husband’s hair clippers ripped the seam right out.  Have you tried this?  Amazing!  Fast! And he didn’t know the difference after I blew away the lint 😉

I followed the pattern closely, but added just a couple of variations.  I divided the inner pockets – one into two sections (large enough to fit diapers and wipes) and one into three sections (great for smaller items).  I added an additional hidden pocket to the large outside pocket.  It’s a small slip pocket near the top to hold my phone.  I’m so glad I did. This bag is so large, I would never find my phone!  I may add a clip for my keys for the same reason. 

Initially, due to its size, I didn’t anticipate carrying this bag as my main purse/tote, but I have.  It is large, yes, but not bulky at all.  And it holds everything I need – regular purse stuff, plus my water bottle, toddler supplies, book, mail, etc.  A magazine slips perfectly in the outside pocket.  

I’ve carried this bag for over a month and have been happy.  I will add a key clip as mentioned.  One thing I will pay closer attention to next time is slightly increasing the size of the lining (top to bottom dimension).  I seemed to have sewn it slightly smaller than the outer bag.  When the bag is loaded up, the top of the bag sort of pulls inward as you can hopefully see in the photo below.   Adding a little length should solve that issue.

Next up, I plan to make a slightly downsized Supertote with a cross-body strap for my 9-year old.  


Embellished for Baby

Last summer I picked up three relatively plain baby shirts from Old Navy. I liked the simplicity of the patterns and muted colors, and I knew they could easily be embellished. As with my last few projects, these shirts were quick and allowed me to play with colors, patterns and shapes. The top stitching got a little tedious, though!
When I started sewing again a few years ago, I went a little crazy buying fabrics, especially as I discovered all the amazing modern designers. Doesn’t everyone want to buy everything in sight when they first get started? So I have a fairly decent stash of some quilting cottons from a couple of years back, not much yardage but enough to play with.

Little did I know that each designer offers new collections every year and that some fabrics become so coveted they require frequent google, etsy and ebay searches and bring premium prices! I occasionally search for Anna Maria’s Small Gathering. So sad that I didn’t scoop any up although I loved it so.

The fabrics used here are some favorites- from Amy Butler’s Love and and Erin McMorris’ Park Slope
The cute little green pants are the Quick Change Trouser from Anna Maria Horner’s Handmade Beginnings in my favorite Park Slope print lined with a flannel. These seem to run a tad big. I cut a 3-6 month size and they fit my seven month old. They will be nice during some of the chillier spring days ahead. I will make more of these for sure in larger sizes.

AMH Patchwork Sleeping Sack

For Christmas I made the sleepsack Anna Maria Horner’s Handmade Beginnings book.  The floral on the back side  is a Renate duvet from IKEA which I bought specifically for baby room projects. For the front patchwork, I combined the Renate with several prints from the Washi collection. I enjoyed making the patchwork and the process reminded that I really should try some modern quilting.

One variation from the book pattern was continuing the bias tape along the bottom. It creates a nice finish and encloses all the raw edges.  I also cut the patchwork strips in various lengths and with a 3″ width, rather than the 2″x2″ squares the pattern specifies. For the lining I used a green and white check cotton flannel from Joann.
Although Ella has outgrown the sleepsack already, I may just hang it in the nursery so I can still admire it. My older daughter remarked that the sleepsack actually looks like a dress, so I may refashion it at some point.

Pretty as a Picture Dress

Little Girl #2 is on the way, so I am motivated to do some baby sewing.

This is from Anna Maria Horner’s Handmade Beginnings book. The skirt is pieced to highlight a panel of special fabric, but I went with the paisley lawn all over. Since the lawn is so lightweight, I lined the skirt in addition to just the bodice which the pattern calls for.

The size is 0-3 months, so the dress is tiny and cute. Let’s hope for a relatively hot September so little one can wear it.