I had so much fun making the versatile and elegant Poolside Tote by Noodlehead, from the fabric shopping to the edge-stitching. It’s quite a sophisticated design, with enough attributes to be a functional and stylish carryall, but minimalistic enough to have an uncomplicated and rewarding sewing experience. What I love most about this bag (and tote bags in general) is their ability to showcase great fabrics. I decided to keep the colorful and textured exterior fabric as the main focus, accenting it with simple, natural mochi linens for the handles and facing and then a bright lining of shot cotton to really make the orange come alive.
The pattern instructions and pictures were thorough, although I would recommend perhaps an 1/8 yd more of interfacing than the pattern suggests. The pattern’s current interfacing requirement was just short on allowing me to interface the bag facing. This is the first time that I’ve made a tote bag from a pattern, so really everything was an experiment. I used Stacey Shape flex as the interfacing. I liked the result although the finished product was a much softer bag. If you prefer more structure, you’ll definitely want an interfacing that’s less flimsy. The pattern’s main fabric requirements will also give you a lot of extra scraps. You can choose to either cut back on your yardage a bit (depends on your fabric width) or get creative and use your scraps for some interior pockets, fun appliqués, or even your next quilting project! I also added some extra length to the handles as a personal preference. Whether or not you choose fun embellishments like a key chain or a zippered pocket, this tote will happily accompany you wherever your day takes you be that a beach vacation or trip to the market!