My Drawstring Carry-On Tote


2013-07-12 10.07.18 copy

For our plane flight last week, I tried to find a bag in my stash that would make a great carry on bag.  I had a few contenders, but for the items I wanted to bring with me on the plane I needed something big and boxy. It needed to be easy to fit under an plane seat and easy to slide in and out to get things.  As most of you know, I *LOVE* Japanese sewing books so I dug into a few of them and found exactly what I was looking for.

More about 鎌倉スワニーのおしゃれバッグ

This pattern is from the book from publisher Shufu to Seikatsusha and is from what I can translate online called : “I want to use every day stylish bag elegant casual” by Kamakura Suwani.  I purchase most of my books from Etsy or Kinokuniya.  These types of books tend to be a bit pricey, so be sure to shop around. The ISBN is #9784391627046.  The finished bag is roughly 16″ x 16″ . Perfect for what I was looking for.

2013-07-12 10.08.06 copy

The only alterations I made to the pattern were to make it about 2″ taller and the straps about 2″ taller.  This pattern is super easy and a beginning sewist could construct this tote with no problems!  The exterior gussets have a lined pocket where I stored wipes and sanitizers.  A big perk of this tote is the drawstring top.  If you have taller items in your bag, the drawstring can be adjusted to fit it. I used twill tape as the drawstring just because that was all I had lying around at the time. You could easily add cording or a thin rope, but this pattern has you leave the top drawstring fabric unlined so a lightweight closure should be used.

2013-07-12 10.08.54 copy

Here is a shot from the top.  The interior pattern has no pocket or gusset written, so I left it as is.  You could easily add pockets if you want, but I had a few pouches that served the same purpose (More details of my inside goodies soon!)

2013-07-13 12.13.19It may look sloppy here, but while you have a 2 hour layover with 3 boys you dig into a travel bag often!!  Besides a small wallet I was able to carry my iPad, a book, 2 zipped pouches, a magazine, snacks and a small rubbermaid with hexie-making supplies. Whew, that’s a lot and yes it was a bit heavy. But it served it’s purpose held up with no problems.  The only thing I’d change if I make this tote again would be to narrow the straps a bit more and add a few inches.  Nothing major, but something that bothered me a bit as the week went on.

The interior fabric was a bright orange cotton print called Wild Garden – Rowan/Westminister Fibers. The drawstring fabric is a Michael Miller print and the exterior is an indoor-outdoor fabric (Premier Prints?) I wiped the exterior down when we got home so it’s all ready for our next trip to my high school reunion in a few weeks!  I am tempted to make a few for my shop. What do you think?

Have a great Thursday everyone! ~Cindy~

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