Sunday, April 17, 2016

Harriet Expandable Tote

I've been meaning to post about my most recent bags for a while now. Life gets on the way. On April 5 my father-in-law passed away. He had been in the hospital for some weeks including some time at the intensive care unit because a bacteria he had in his lungs. Back on 1997 he had an accident and ended up a paraplegic. He used a wheel chair since, but then on 2012 he became very ill and after some months in the hospital he could just lay down on bed. He was a very brave man. He will always offer you a smile and was in good spirits when you visited. Is not easy to live like he did and he did it with the right attitude and great faith. I'm very sure he's in a better place now but he will be missed. He will always live in our hearts as an example on how to be patient, courageous and live with faith in God.


I got the Harriet Expandable Tote Pattern from Swoon Patterns a while ago. I found it to be a very stylish Tote. Here is the first version I made:

I used a purple canvas print from Premier Prints that I been holding on for a while as the main fabric and a black wash denim from Robert Kaufman as the accent fabric. Isn't that a nice curvy shape?

This Tote has some zippers on the side that when opened expands the top of the tote. Otherwise the tote has nice curvy sides.

I modified the flap a bit making it a bit wider and the corners more rounded. As you can see I also used some bag bling from I used Pellon SF101 and Thermolam Fusible for all exterior pieces.

Instructions are very well written and easy to follow. The result is a very professional looking bag. The size is smaller than I thought. I thought it was a larger tote. Good size for me and for those who want to carry all essentials but not carry a huge bag. These are the measurements:
13" wide at bottom
10" high
bottom oval is 13" by 4-1/2"

Here are some top views:


There's a slip pocket and a zipper pocket. After I was done making the bag I got excited about it and made a second one.

Both bags are still available at my shop:

Soon I will share with you a couple more bags I made. I recently made an Instagram account: @normasbagboutique to promote my shop and share. Feel free to follow me.


  1. They are both beautiful, Norma. I have had this bag on my to do list but haven't gotten there yet. My condolences to you on the passing of your father-in-law. He, indeed sounds like a brave man.

    1. Thanks Marilyn. You should give the pattern a try. Is easier than it looks.

  2. Condolences on your recent loss, Norma. (I went through an eerily similar experience with my father-in-law a few years back.) Regardless of individual beliefs, I do think they are in a better place now.

    As for your recent projects, I thought that the purple one was quite striking (as I have a latent preference for purple - LOL) but when I scrolled down and saw the blue-hued one, that was it! Very bold and eye-catching. Like the idea of the expandability of the bag, too. Great work!

    1. Thanks Rochelle. I'm trying to be a bit bolder with my fabric choices. I really like this pattern.

  3. Sorry to hear about your FIL. Cyber hugs to you Norma!
    Your bags are beautiful!