Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Denim Sidekick Tote

I decided that I wanted a new bag for our Vietnam holiday, and I had a list of features that I wanted incorporated into the design. Originally I thought I'd probably just have to sew something up myself, but luckily the Noodlehead Sidekick Tote pattern had all the features I was after.

 My requirements were:
  • Single adjustable strap for both over the shoulder and cross body wearing.
  • Zipper closure for additional security
  • Not too big - I just need to fit a wallet, water bottle, tube of sunscreen, keys, phone.
This pattern had all that, so I was relieved as I'm certain I couldn't have done as good a job trying to come up with a design myself. I certainly would have struggled with inserting the zipper into the lining.

For my bag, I wanted it to be fairly sturdy so I used denim for the exterior. Only problem was that I couldn't find a denim that was the right shade. Emma from For My Little Monster shared a trick with me back when we had the Winter Sewing Day - denim may be ugly on the front, but make sure you check out the wrong side of the denim too as that might be the shade you are after! Success! The denim I used is actually a really dark blue on the right side, but I used the wrong side which is a lovely mottled look and not too dark. Perfect.

 The recessed zipper was a success and I used the same purple polka dot on the zipper tab as I used on the interior of the front pocket. I could have used the aqua herringbone but I thought it was fun to have a little polka dot tab.

The interior fabric is Herringbone in Pond from Modern Meadow by Joel Dewberry. I really love it, I need to buy some more! The aqua colour coordinates nicely with the front pocket fabric.

 For the front pocket I used some Melody Miller Viewfinder fabric which I've been hoarding for ages, waiting for the right project. One thing I've learned about my fabric stash is that the right project DOES eventually come along, so if you love it, buy it! Even if it's just a fat quarter.

The only thing I regret is that I didn't pay too much attention when I cut the pocket so the viewfinders aren't centred. Never mind, they still look good and the randomness of the fabric placement is fine.

I found this really pretty bag hardware at my local quilting store. They were a couple of dollars more expensive than some of the other hardware pieces but I think they add a professional look to the bag and I'm really pleased I chose them.

Why did I need the cross body strap? Because I will be zooming around on motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh City on a couple of tours. How awesome! I'm looking forward to reporting back and sharing some pics of our trip!


  1. I love it and I certainly admire anyone who has no fear of zippers and linings for that matter. I haven't conquered my fear of those two so I keep shying away from them. I guess this post is telling me to put my big girl panties on and get with it, LOL! I just need to find a pattern for a bag that isn't too complicated, a kind of beginner lining and zipper project! :D If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them...
    Hugs my sweet blogging sister,
    Beth P

  2. Love your tote :)
    Thanks for the mention and I'm glad my little trick came in handy!
    Have a great holiday xx

  3. I love it and that is a great tip about the denim. Enjoy your trip!!

  4. cute cute cute. LOVE that exterior pocket fabric. I have a few fabrics I hoard, too.

  5. Oh it is lovely Ros. Well done. It is worth spending a little extra when it is a fashion item or accessory for you. Why be cheap!!??

  6. Love your bag. especially the fabric for the pocket - I am using a dark grey/black denim to make one too:)

  7. Cute! Great tip with using the wrong side of the denim.
    I cannot express to you enough about how jealous I am about your holiday!
    Have fun lovely xo

  8. I love your bag - so funky. And I really need an across the body strap bag too - and this is perfect. Nifty denim trick too

  9. Super Ros :) It is a prefect bag for a holiday :) Enjoy your trip! Not sure I would be brave enough to go on a motorbike!

  10. Looks great. I have 2 sidekicks now, such a nice bag to make. Have a great trip

  11. It's perfect Ros! Hope you are having a great trip!

    I'm so jealous of your jetsetting!

  12. It's a great bag, Ros!!! Never would have thought to use the wrong side of the denim.

  13. Just gorgeous Ros. Best make exactly what you want. Its so hard to find it in the shops sometimes. Excellent work.

    Anne xx

  14. What a great bag, and I love your choice of fabric.

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  16. Great bag Ros! Hope you're having an amazing time in Vietnam!

  17. i covet the view master fabric. I was just looking for some the other night on the internet and found a fat quarter in the UK but with shipping it was going to be $18. So i slapped myself upside the head and gave it up. Love the way you used it.

  18. i covet the view master fabric. I was just looking for some the other night on the internet and found a fat quarter in the UK but with shipping it was going to be $18. So i slapped myself upside the head and gave it up. Love the way you used it.

  19. My fav bag pattern. Great fabric choices. Have a fab trip


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