Camo iPad Tote


Free Fabric!

Before we get started with today’s post let my remind you of my First Anniversary’s Give-Away.  I’m celebrating this blog’s first anniversary by giving away a free charm pack.  Check out the link above for the specifics.  You wouldn’t want to miss out on a chance to get free fabric.  Now on to today’s WIP post.

Tag-Along

Not too long ago I assembled a tutorial showcasing the construction of a Tag-Along tote. Before embarking on the construction of the Tag-Along I had begun a quest to make a tote suitable for my iPad and keyboard.  Being unsatisfied with the options available I went through the process of developing my own pattern.  My first mock-up showed room for improvement.  Since I already had the pattern for the Tag-Along I decided to try it out as an alternative.  As I assembled the tote I made numerous changes to the pattern.  While I am quite pleased with my finished product there were things about the Tag-Along I just wasn’t happy with so I went back to the drawing board and resurrected My Original design.

My Original Design

This time around I set out to overcome the issues I had with my first mock-up.  Missing on the first attempt were handles, a pocket for miscellaneous items and tabs to keep each pocket as well as the entire case securely closed.  I also had to address the inadequate size as well as the flimsiness of the layers.  Below are photos of my second attempt.

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As you can see this tote was definitely made using fabrics not typically in my stash.  Since the finished project was destined for my husband I let him choose the fabrics.  He was quite thrilled to be in charge of the selections.  I felt a bit strange going to the fabric store’s cutting table with a cart loaded with camouflage, bright orange, black and green bolts of fabric.

If you examine this second tote you will notice my first change.  Not only does this specimen have handles but they wrap completely around the tote.  I felt the handles would provide more security if they were not just attached at the top.  You can also see that I added a closure tab.

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Here’s a photo of the inside.  Note each pocket now has a tab closure.  Also added was the pocket for miscellaneous items (look for the camouflage fabric).

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From this picture you can see that I made the pockets much deeper.  This time the iPad does not extend above the top edge of the pocket.  Obviously the iPad shown is not my husband’s.  He would never have a pink case on his.  For display purposes I used my own.

My Review

Granted nothing is ever perfect.  I however have plans for a third tote.  With this experiment I want to change the width of the handle, add a pocket for pens and use stabilizers that are not quite so sturdy.  Well, at least that’s what I have in mind so far.  It’s entirely possible there may just be a fourth and fifth version.  Who knows what will happen along my journey to improvement?

I’m Linking Up

I’m linking up this post with Freshly Pieced.  Go see what they are up to.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Time to Vote


Remember the contest I entered? I guess that’s kind of a silly question. The contest is all that I talked about over the past several days. Well I’m sorry to say my tote was not selected. Thank you so much for reading my endless posts showcasing my creation and dream.

The three creations chosen and now offered for voting can be found at this link. If you have the chance, follow the link and register your voice by voting.

 

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Tag-Along: My Review


A Review

This & That Tag-Along modified tote constructed from Shelburne Falls fabrics

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There She Is!

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Her Bottom

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Her Pockets

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My Keyboard Pocket

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My iPad Pocket

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One Last Look

So What Do You Think?

Isn’t that the nicest tote bag you have ever seen? I can’t tell you how much fun I had and how pleased I am with the outcome.  As with all things in this world there are typically changes we would like to make.  This pattern, while well written and relatively easy to follow, could stand a few changes of its own.  Some of my suggested modifications have resulted through using the tote and some are purely cosmetic. Listed below are my suggestions.

Things I Would Have Done Different

  1. Day 4: I would have relocated the Velcro on the pockets.  Instead of locating it 1 1/4″ from the top edge I would have placed it no lower than 1″ yet no higher than 3/4″ below the edge of the pocket. Velcro located 1 1/4″ below the top edge of the pocket is alright if the items you carry in the pocket don’t have any depth to them. My intended use was for my iPad and my keyboard, both of which are not at all flat.  By placing the Velcro 1 1/4″ from the top edge of the pocket the available expansion room is limited.  Judging by the photo on the pattern jacket I believe they never intended for the user to stash items such as an iPad or keyboard inside.
  2. Day 4:  The pockets are lined with a light fusible interfacing.  Again, the author’s intended use most likely was not at all for iPads or keyboards.  The light fusible interfacing provides a soft yet delicate level of durability.  I would like to see a much stronger material used thus creating a much sturdier pocket.
  3. Day 5:  The outside tab that keeps the Tag-Along tote securely closed tends to want to fall open.  To remedy the situation I would add a row of stitching to anchor it along the top edge of the tote and prohibit it from falling backwards.

Things I Appreciate

1. My Tag-Along tote has been a great way to transport my iPad & keyboard.

2. Besides my intended use I have also used the pockets in my Tag-Along tote to carry loose papers along with my cell phone.

The changes I have outlined are minor compared to the joy I derive from owning my modified tote.  Given the opportunity to make a second Tag-Along tote I would jump at the chance in an instant.

Just A Reminder

Now I have one really BIG favor to ask.  On Monday, April 8th Stitched in Color will select three of the items registered in her contest.  Those three items will compete for the contest prize, a fat quarter set of the complete Shelburne Falls collection.  The winner will be chosen by YOU! Now of course I’m hoping my fabulous Tag-Along modified tote will be one of the three finalists.  If by some strange reason that doesn’t happen I still need you to visit Stitched in Color’s blog to vote for your favorite. As soon as she announces her three finalists I will send you a link to vote.  Stay tuned for further updates.

If you interested in following the construction phase from day one thru the final finish I’ve included links to the previous seven posts here:

Day 1 of 7

Day 2 of 7

Day 3 of 7

Day 4 of 7

Day 5 of 7

Day 6 of 7

Day 7 of 7

Tag-Along Day 7 of 7


Friday’s are my favorite day of the week for two reasons.  The first is because it is the last day of the work week.  The second is because it’s when I get to share one of my favorites.  Today is super special since it’s also the reveal of my Tag-Along modified tote.

That’s A Wrap

Well I can’t believe it!  My very first This & That Tag-Along modified tote is complete.  When I started on this journey I had two goals in mind.  The main purpose was to construct a tote that would provide safe transportation for my iPad and companion keyboard.  My purse would have been the obvious choice but, if you are at all like me, carrying one more thing in my purse just wasn’t going to happen.  The second goal was to join up with the Stitched in Color Shelburne Falls Contest.  After all who doesn’t like a chance at winning something.

Once I declared myself a candidate for the contest I set out to create something that would satisfy both objectives.  The Tag-Along pattern had been purchased previously from one of my favorite local fabric stores.  It, among other things, was waiting in line on my To Do List.  After seeing the gorgeous Shelburne Falls fabric it seemed only natural to pair up the two.

Over the past seven days I have taken you along on my journey in the construction process.  I’ve shared both my failures and successes, my likes and my don’t likes.  All in all I think it’s been a well-rounded adventure.  All that’s left now is the reveal of my finished masterpiece and linking up with Stitched in Color.  So, here we go.

Drum Roll Please!

Introducing my This & That Tag-Along modified tote constructed from Shelburne Falls fabrics

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There She Is!

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Her Bottom

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Her Pockets

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My Keyboard Pocket

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My iPad Pocket

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One Last Look

So What Do You Think?

Isn’t that the nicest tote bag you have ever seen?  Bet you would like one for yourself?  I can’t tell you how much fun I have had and how pleased I am with the outcome.

Now I have one really BIG favor to ask.  On Monday, April 8th Stitched in Color will select three of the items registered in her contest.  Those three items will compete for the contest prize, a fat quarter set of the complete Shelburne Falls collection.  The winner will be chosen by YOU! Now of course I’m hoping my fabulous Tag-Along modified tote will be one of the three finalists.  If by some strange reason that doesn’t happen I still need you to visit Stitched in Color’s blog to vote for your favorite. As soon as she announces her three finalists I will send you a link to vote.  Stay tuned for further updates.

If you would like to go back and re-live the construction from day one I’ve included links to the previous six posts here:

Day 1 of 7

Day 2 of 7

Day 3 of 7

Day 4 of 7

Day 5 of 7

Day 6 of 7

Tag-Along: Day 6 of 7


The journey is almost finished.  I started constructing my Tag-Along tote last Thursday.  Tomorrow’s the big reveal so we better hurry up and get this thing finished.  Oh, and don’t forget I’m entering my tote in the Stitched In Color Shelburne Falls Contest tomorrow.

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This is what the tote looked like yesterday.

Let’s Add the Pockets

We are now ready to position the pockets on the inside of the rail fence sandwich. Each pocket must be placed 2″ down from the 12 1/2″ (My modification:  15 1/2″) outside edge. Now grab the 2 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ (My modification:  15 1/2″) inside bottom strip. Turn under both long edges 1/4″, press. The pattern tells us the strip’s measurement, after pressing under 1/4″ on both long edges, should be 32″ x 12 1/2″ (My modification:  15 1/2″). The 32” has to be a typo because the strip started out at 2 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ (My modification:  15 1/2″). I believe they meant to say the strip will end up measuring 2″ x 12 1/2″ (My modification:  15 1/2″). Our newly created bottom strip is now ready to install.

To place the bottom strip in its proper location first place your rail fence sandwich lining side up. Lay the bottom strip, created above, in the center of the project, making sure the bottom edges of the pockets are covered. Once you are satisfied with the placement top-stitch along both long sides of the bottom strip close to the fold line.

We’re Rounding the Corners

After finishing the application of the pocket bottom strip we are told to baste around the rail fence sandwich, then round off the corners. It didn’t make any sense to me to baste around the perimeter first because the corners were going to be trimmed away.

(My modification: I marked and trimmed the corners using a small plate as my template, then cut along my drawn line with my scissors. After I had rounded the corners I basted around the entire outside edge.)

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Time to Seal it Up

My rail fence sandwich is now ready for binding. I can’t tell you how excited I am to finish my project. The excitement is barely manageable. Now that I’ve made it to the binding I can hardly stand it.

The binding was really kind of straight forward. The author of the Tag-Along recommended using 2 3/4″ bias binding. While I would agree that bias binding is a must, given the four curves you must maneuver around, I don’t, however, agree with the 2 3/4″ width.

(My modification: I used 2 1/2″ bias binding and I thought it was more than adequate.)

The bias binding was cut from the Crest Blue fabric. The author recommended purchasing a 1/2 yard. I would totally agree with this quantity. However, I will mention that you will have plenty of fabric left over.

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The Tag-Along pattern tells you to first stitch the binding onto the inside edge then turn it to the front and stitch down the other edge. For once I did exactly as the pattern instructed. Of course I did add one little step.

(My modification: On the top side of the rail fence sandwich I ran my iron along the binding with the intention of simplifying the stitching process.)

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The binding was incredibly easy to sew. As I turned first one corner, then the second corner, then the third corner my heart began to jump. I was ALMOST done! The anticipation grew and grew until finally I was on the home stretch. As I back-stitched a few stitches it was finally evident that I had indeed finished my very first Tag-Along tote. How awesome is that! Of course two small details were left to take care of. First was to see how my iPad and keyboard looked in their brand new tote bag and the second was to take a whole slew of pictures.

That’s A Wrap

Well I can’t believe it!  My very first This & That Tag-Along modified tote is complete.  All that’s left now is the reveal.  I know you would like to see the final project today but you will just have to wait until tomorrow when I will be linking my post with Stitched in Color’s Shelburne Falls Contest.  Until then here’s links to my previous posts:

Day 1 of 7

Day 2 of 7

Day 3 of 7

Day 4 of 7

Day 5 of 7