There are many satchel tutorials and patterns out there, but I really do think that very few would come close to the quality of Nicole Mallalieu‘s Large Tote and Satchel pattern. As with all of her patterns, they are a class in and of themselves, and really do share lots of hints and tips that can make your bag sewing much more professional. I think that it is where her fashion design qualification, near-obsessive pattern and instruction drafting/testing process, and years of bag-making experience really show.
These photos were taken with the bag empty, but I can assure you that it has been well filled and used over the past couple of weeks! I love a satchel with a single adjustable strap. When I’m out and about with the kids I can wear it across my body, allowing me to more easily grab Stella before she deconstructs the shopping centre.
The exterior fabric is a heavy weight cotton blend from Ikea. Great for sturdiness, but requiring thought in terms of reducing bulk throughout the strap seams and at the base. This bag has bag feet (I adore bag feet and think that I use them in pretty every bag that will take them now) and an interior structured bag base. The instructions are all in the pattern.
The lining and flap are in vintage Barkcloth that I procured via eBay some time ago. I did consider using this for the entire bag, but Nikki wisely counselled me away from using such a loosely woven fabric for the outside. Instead, I get to enjoy the contrast flap and the surprise of seeing it inside the bag each time that I open it.
I add a key leash to most of the bags that I make nowadays. It works well for me to be able to easily locate my keys – I just clip them into place. The other interior pockets are a divided pocket on one side (one pocket for phone, one for camera, one for lipstick/etc) and a zippered pocket on the other side (handy for things that need to stay especially secure). The bag closes with a magnetic clip.
I’m pretty happy with the strap on this one – lots of rows of even top-stitching, oblong rings and a matching adjuster. Woo-hoo!
The biggest problem I have with making these bags is that as soon as I finish one, I begin thinking about what features and variations I want to include in the next one that I make. Yes, I do have a lot of bags, and yes, there is already another one cut out.