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Like many of you fabric nerds aficionados out there, I ordered a whole bunch of prints from Rifle Paper Co’s first line with Cotton & Steel, Les Fleurs. They’re all beautiful but one, Bon Voyage, just charmed me.

It said, “I must be a bag. A bag that resembles luggage. With leather trim.”

Noodlehead’s Maker’s Tote was designed to resemble an old-fashioned doctor’s bag, which seemed perfect for this project, so I bought some flex foam and got to work.


As much as I enjoy using well-made patterns, I rarely make them exactly as is and the Maker’s Tote is no exception. I liked the size, shape, and features but wanted less of a patchwork look. The first thing I did was reduce the number of different fabrics used in the bag so I could highlight that beautiful travel print. I also wanted something playful inside, so I picked a pink print that played off the pinks and corals on the exterior.

Although I had first dreamed of leather trim on this bag, it turned out to be beyond my skills given the twists and turns the binding on this bag must take. Essex Yard Dyed to the rescue! A tobacco brown gave me the leather color I wanted but was still reasonable to work with in tight quarters.


I’m very happy with this bag! It’s roomy enough for a good-sized project but not too big, with plenty of pockets and a vintage shape.

So, one holiday project in the…ahem…bag. What’s on your sewing list?