New bag: Noodlehead Trail Tote


A new bag! It’s a present for someone, but I’ve sent it already, so this won’t spoil any surprise. I’m pretty sure they don’t read this blog anyway. πŸ™‚ You may recognise this fabric. It’s the Nani Iro brushed cotton that I made my Beatrix top with. In fact, I decided to make this bag first and then used the “remainder” for the Beatrix top, which seems a funny way round, but there you are. The bag recipient loves red and I happened to know she just bought a new grey jacket, so it was Β a fairly easy colour-combo decision. I added a pop of bright blue inside for a wee surprise.


This is the Noodlehead Trail Tote bag and is another amazing free design from Anna Graham of Noodlehead. I was asked if I could make a bag a bit like the one I made before, but with a pocket on front. And this is the one I found! The construction was fairly similar to the gatherer crossbody bag, but there were fewer “pieces” as there was no fleece interlining or flap. I forgot to take a picture of me standing with the bag, so here is the pattern picture to give you an idea. I made the smaller of the two bags.20160324_145610.jpg

I chose a suedey material for the strap and piping and it worked out rather well, giving quite a luxurious feel, I must say. Having said that, my piping was the only part of this bag I wasn’t too happy with. I made my own, as suggested in the instructions, but I made it a bit loose I think and it’s not very even in the final bag. I resewed some parts, but I hope she doesn’t look at it too closely! πŸ™‚


The main “new” technique to this was adding a zipped pocket. My first zip!! Woohoo! It was pretty straightforward once I’d read the instructions a couple of times. Like most things in sewing, it seems to me so far, the method is not completely intuitive. Or perhaps it’s just my way of thinking, but the putting things in backwards and turning upside down, etc. doesn’t come naturally. I have to work it through my brain for a while! The pictures below show making the zipped pocket before it’s folded into an actual pocket and the cut-out for the zip after it’s been marked and stitched. The topstitching around the final zip isn’t my best work ever, but I’ll take it.



Then it was really just a case of sewing the two exterior and two lining pieces all together and attaching the strap. The pattern calls for an adjustable ring, but I had a little bit of a hard time finding that, so I just used normal rings and made the length fixed. I do find bags are one of those things where I think I have everything and then I realise a piece of hardware is 1″, not 1.5″ and, unfortunately, Β you can’t really just “make do”. I’m getting a little bit of a collection now!


Anyway, I must say that after making a handful of bags now, I do rather like the construction process. It’s one of those things that looks a total mess and then you turn it all inside out at the end and it’s like Lalalaaaaaa!! All the ugly bits are hidden. It appeals to my sense of drama, haha. I’m totally keen on making the larger version now as I think it’ll be a really practical size for all my daily detrius. I’ll probably go for a bright canvas and perhaps a leather strap.

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That’s it for now. Talk to you soon!




10 thoughts on “New bag: Noodlehead Trail Tote

  1. Lovely bag and a great pattern, I have also made this bag, I found getting a piping foot for my machine really made it a lot easier to get a good finish.


    1. Thank you so much and I had to laugh, because I was thinking EXACTLY the same thing about the first dress in your new Laurel post when I saw it. They are both nice and I like your comparison posts, but that first one is gorggeoouuss and really, it looks fabulous on you! The other aspect that made me small was that I was eyeing up the new Cotton & Steel Black and White collection just yesterday and paying particular attention to this exact fabric, but I already have the similar navy and green one. I think we must be drawn to similar fabrics as it’s not the first time! Have a great Easter!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy Easter!

        I certainly don’t mind being fabric twins πŸ™‚ Navy and green sounds like a great combination — do you already have plans for that fabric?


      2. I don’t have any exact plans yet, nope. I think it would look great as a summery dress or also as some casual loose trousers. I’m going to be away in Scotland all of May where I expect I won’t get much sewing done, so I think it’s going to be full steam ahead on summer sewing when I get back to Seattle! What’s next on your sewing list?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. May in Scotland sounds lovely, even without sewing πŸ™‚
        Next on my list are linen napkins for a very special couple’s wedding anniversary. If I don’t get my machine fixed in time, I’ll have to figure out a back-up gift and then get those napkins sewn and embroidered with the smallest delay possible.

        I do have garment plans of course… You know, I’m avoiding making a list because I do get overambitious. So I end up in a constant haze of tentative plans… A new slip would be a great and much needed sew (probably from Pauline Alice’s free pattern Bailen), and a shirt… and those Seamwork dresses… and the list could go on and on.
        Do you plan your sewing or do you prefer to have more freedom when choosing projects?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes, well I’m getting married, so it will be busy, busy! Technically I’m already married, but this is the big celebratory one, since we just had a quickie ceremony for visa purposes over here. Looking forward to it! Anyway, back to sewing. πŸ™‚ I do make lists, but I find that, like a magpie, my eye is always settling on a new pattern, or fabric, or blog post and suddenly I want to make that too! I try to keep a list of all the things I want to try soonish in a notebook and a more definite list on my wall next to the sewing machine, but I’m not sure how closely I stick to it. I must admit that so far I’ve been dipping my toe in all over the place: I suppose just to see what I’m drawn towards. I really did think I’d make a lot more kids clothes, but that hasn’t happened. I suppose because my son has had so many as presents, it seems silly. I think I will definitely try be a little more organized at some point, but more in terms of what I actually need in my wardrobe. I’ve seen that Colette Wardrobe Architect series and I’m really considering that. It seems exactly the sort of logical exercise my magpie eye could do with! πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish you a lovely wedding with the least stress possible! I don’t know how much it is possible to minimize wedding stress but working on that is, I think, really worth it.

      I have started Wardrobe Architect — and would like to write about that soon. I’m not following the project to the letter. I think my wardrobe aims are slightly different. For example, I want to keep my wardrobe fairly small (if possible, we’ll see) so I’m not sure I’d work out a seasonal capsule wardrobe. I guess, on the most basic level, I’d like to replace my increasingly worn and tinged with nostalgia RTW clothes (because: old, as in some clothes date back to my college years, and that was decidedly not yesterday) with me-made items. At this point, the project is taking me down memory lane rather than into concrete planning. I’ve been reflecting on my somewhat complicated relationship with clothes, shopping, and fashion, and how learning to knit and to sew made these formerly mostly stressful experiences something entirely different: fun, imaginative, and challenging in a good way.

      Gah! Sorry I got so wordy there.

      Your plans sound great. I especially like the idea of a project pinboard right by the machine.


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