There is something about the approach of Spring and Summer that puts me in the mood to sew my favorite bag pattern, the Poolside Tote from Noodlehead Patterns. This is the fourth time I’ve sewed this bag and I’m sure it won’t be the last time I make it. The first Poolside Tote I made was the sample for the Indiesew shop and I enjoyed making it so much that I made myself a quilted version shortly after.
Last Spring I got the itch to make another one and a friend commissioned a pretty floral canvas version. This year I decided to make another one for my best friend’s birthday, which is today! (Happy Birthday, diouxde, if you’re reading this!)
I’ve talked about this bag a bunch on the blog already, but I will continue to sing it’s praises! Obviously, it makes a great beach bag. It fits a bunch of towels, snacks, water bottles, goggles– everything you need for a day at the beach or pool. I also love to use mine for our trips to the library. My sons like to pick out what seems like all of the DVDs in the kids’ section and all of the garbage truck/Angry Birds/Pokemon books. It’s great to have a roomy bag to carry our heavy load into and out of the library.
Construction-wise, I love how this bag goes together. I really think it’s genius that the lining and outer bag are attached by the cute facing on the inside of the bag. It’s an opportunity to use another fun fabric on the bag but also eliminates the need for pulling the entire bag through a hole in the lining that would have to be hand sewn closed.
I also really like the handle detail. The lower handle accents and the actual upper handles are separate pieces. The handle accents are a great contrast to the main fabric of the bag but they also secure and hide the raw edges of the front pocket. I love using the zipper pocket option on this bag (although there is a slip pocket option) so that we can keep our park district passes zipped in there without fear of them falling out of the main bag.
I chose to quilt this bag to give it a little extra stability since the main fabrics are quilting cotton. (This is the exterior fabric.) The exterior is backed with fusible fleece instead of the recommended interfacing, and then I quilted the two together with a crosshatch pattern. I actually had none of the recommended interfacings for this when I went to make it, so I used fusible fleece for the handle accents and the heaviest interfacing I could find in my stash for the handles.
My only regret is that I didn’t plan ahead on the zipper. I wish I would have had the foresight to order a cool metal zipper for this bag. When I got to the zipper installation I realized only had one that matched and it was a few inches too short. I made some zipper extension tabs out of the fabric I used for the inner facing to extend it to the full length of the pocket. It worked out pretty well. I really wanted my friend to get the bag on her birthday and since I had to mail it to New Jersey the zipper suffered slightly. (I think I will order a few metal zippers to keep on hand for times such as these!)
That’s all for my annual Poolside Tote post, haha! We’ll see what excuse I can come up with to make another one next Spring! Maybe it’s time I branch out to another Noodlehead pattern– the Super Tote or the Wool + Wax Tote perhaps?