Sunday, January 10, 2010

Anna Maria Horner's Multi-Tasker Tote

Trick or treat? When I was waaay too far into this project to turn back, it occurred to me that this might be a little too orange and black... I asked my hubby and he said it did look a little Halloween-ish. But I plowed through and it's growing on me! This is the Anna Maria Horner Multi-Tasker Tote, and I used Ikea home decorator weight fabric for the exterior and pocket panels.

This was one of the first patterns I've made that I really had to just trust in the directions and sort of sew blind at some points. Usually I can see the "why" of a given step in a project, but at times, with this bag, I was sure something was going to go terribly wrong. But it never did, and I kept having light bulb moments when I saw how each step came together. That actually made this project a lot of fun, it felt like lots of little victories! I wouldn't necessarily say it's a difficult pattern, but if I'd attempted it as a complete beginner I think I would have gotten frustrated. The directions are clear and well-written, but you can't make any assumptions about what comes next, there were some definite construction differences here from the average bag.

I debated whether I needed to use interfacing since I was using a heavier fabric (and since I didn't have enough interfacing in one piece and I'd have to scrap it together!). I remembered that my friend Becky made this bag last year, so I asked her what she thought and she recommended using it. I'm glad I did, it does make for a more structured bag, although if you like slouchy or want a bag that scrunches up small you could do without if you're using a fabric with any stiffness to it.
Inside the bag.

The straps act as drawstrings on the sides of the bag, so when it's all the way open it's VERY roomy! There's a nice big pocket on the inside with a key loop. The bottom is structured with fusible heavyweight/very firm interfacing, and I think I'll really like that feature. The pattern recommends sewing some sections into the pocket and I didn't do that. It's a wide pocket and if I put my phone in there it would likely tumble out. But I'm planning to use it for my wallet and it's just the right size for that. Plus, I fussy-cut the pocket piece to show the bird and I didn't want to sew through his head! I'm odd like that. But you could sew in pen slots, a just-right-size pocket for your phone, iPod, whatever!

My favorite feature of this bag are the four deep pockets on the outside. They are the perfect size for drinks- For size reference, the picture shows a 27 oz. Klean Kanteen and a Thermos Funtainer. I could easily get two more in the other side. The pockets wrap around and have a seam down the middle. This will be perfect for the farmer's market when everyone has their own drink!

The only thing I'd change about this pattern is adding a magnetic snap or maybe a button and loop at the top. It's such a nice big bag that I'm worried it will gape when I start to fill it up. But then again, it's a tote and should be easy to toss things into! So, I'll use it for a bit and report back.

(I don't know why my pictures appear blurry here- If you click them to see the full-size version, they are clear!)


  1. Cute, cute, cute! Love your fabric choices and I'm super envious of those water bottle pockets.

  2. LOVE, LOVE the orange bird fabric. I have never seen this pattern before, I think yours turned out really great!

  3. Love the way it came out. Great, yummy fabric!

  4. looks great...don't you love that line of Ikea fabrics


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