Beautiful Green Noodlehead Tote

I always feel like I’m super literal with my post headings. I read an article a few months back that said you should use exciting titles like “How I learned to […..]” or ” 5 reasons to […..]” and I thought that maybe I should try that, but so far I haven’t and it’s too late at night to think of anything witty. Hmmm, maybe next year.


Until recently it never occurred to me to buy a bag pattern. Most of the tote samples I’ve seen tend to be made up in quilting fabrics and I couldn’t see myself using something like that much. I think I saw something on Instagram around the time of the Black Friday sales though, because I was compelled to check out Noodlehead and ended up buying the Caravan Tote pattern. And funnily enough I ended up making it with a quilting cotton! I had some to hand and decided to follow the instructions for the first run-through as I hadn’t used the particular interfacings before and wasn’t sure how sturdy it would turn out. The contrast isn’t quilting cotton though – just some leftover fabric I had that seemed to match. It doesn’t photograph true-to-colour except for in the first picture.


I had not quite finished the topstitching along the top front when I took these photos.


It can stand up on its own. Nice and sturdy.

I decided to leave off the exterior flap pocket – it maybe looks a little crafty to me (? still deciding!) and I prefer having less going on especially with a busy fabric. There are also options for knitters that I omitted – knitting needle slots in the zippered pocket and yarn guides in the interior. I would love to try these sometime though. Oh yeah, and I totally changed up the handles! I couldn’t think of a good fabric option, then remembered these handles I bought from the Salvation Army (secondhand shop) ages ago. Seriously I must have bought them with me through about 6 or 7 house moves because I showed an old friend a picture of the bag and she remembered the handles from when we lived together in 2005! Nice to finally use them and I think they go perfectly. 


I really, REALLY enjoyed making this. It sort of felt like I was trying a new discipline, but one that I was automatically pretty good at – Ha! I know it’s not really that different to making a garment, but I felt kind of fancy using special woven interfacing and installing the magnetic clasp. The non-woven interfacing also felt wayyyyy nicer than regular stuff and was sort of spongey. Construction was all pretty easy except for attaching the handles because they didn’t move smoothly through the sewing machine and I had to hold it at an awkward angle. I also had a tiny bit of trouble attaching the interfacing – it bubbles a wee bit – and while I’m complaining, I guess some of my topstitching is not the best due to the handles making things difficult. I still gave it to my sister for Christmas though – hopefully it holds together 🙂


The only metal zip I could find was slightly shorter than called for and open ended, so I stitched across the teeth at one end and extended the little fabric bits at the end. (I didn’t describe them well, but if you make it you’ll understand!). I used gold leather for the little tag and zipper pull which I LOVE. I don’t know how I’m going to manage when my gold leather runs out – I want to use it for everything!


I did’t get a photo of the inside sorry. It’s not that exciting!

I’m definitely going to make another of these and maybe it will become a potential TNT gift pattern. I will go for something more subdued than quilting cotton next time and may even try a leather version if I find the right material.

If you’re keen to give bag making a go, Noodlehead have a free pattern here that I’ve also tried recently – it uses a wadding type interfacing which is nice. If you couldn’t tell, I am on an interfacing kick at the moment.

Happy New Years Eve everyone! We are going super boring and hanging at home, I couldn’t find a babysitter (surprise, surprise). Hopefully we all have a wonderful year of sewing ahead!  xx


6 thoughts on “Beautiful Green Noodlehead Tote

  1. I need to talk to you about interfacing! And magnetic clasps! I’ve nearly finished knitting a bag, and I have some nice silk to line it (from someone on Trademe who recycles kimonos), but I don’t really know what I’m doing… What sort of interfacing I should use, whether/how to add pockets, where to buy appropriate interfacing (and magnetic clasps).

    • I bought some magnetic clasps off ebay -if they turn up soon you can have one 🙂 It’s quite hard to find them in Auckland. I think you should definitely add pockets to the bag! They’re really easy – just two rectangles sewn together wrong side (except for a small gap) then turned right side out and attach to lining. I’d use a light interfacing (SF101) on the pocket pieces. If you want to add some structure you could add medium (809) or wadding (987F) interfacing to the silk perhaps. The ones I’ve used recently have been ‘Legacy’ brand from spotlight – usually in a stand/cabinet near the quilting cottons. Test a little bit out before you start if you can. If we see one another before you get started I will make sure to show you what I’ve used -it’s hard to explain in writing 🙂

  2. Happy New Year! 🙂
    The bag looks great, I like the color combination and totally feel with you about the gold leather.
    I’m planning some bag making too but it’s difficult to decide for an interfacing. It’s even more difficult with transferring the recommendations of a pattern to what we have in Germany… Anyway, I’m curious and will hopefully be as successful as you.

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