I have had this pattern for nearly 2 years and FINALLY got it out during a recent cold snap and started working on it. This pattern was originally part of the 2014 Bag-of-the-Month subscription but you can find it on Anna’s site, Noodlehead.
I own all of Anna’s bag patterns so I knew I’d have no trouble sewing it up. Her pattern pieces, directions and supplies are always well written and easy to follow. The Poolside Tote is very large and roomy measuring in at 7.5” D x 14.5” W (base) x 14.5” H. The straps are around 23″ so they are easy to carry on your shoulder and open to grab a few things when needed.
For my Poolside Tote I opted for a sunny, warm quilted look. I had a charm pack of Flora by Lauren & Jessi Jung for Moda and that fit my mood exactly! I cut the 5″ charms into four squares then played around with the placement until I found what I liked.
The original pattern has options for zippered or regular pockets on the outside, but I left mine out and added a large slip-in pocket on the inside. I also added a natural medium weight linen for part of the exterior and all handles and contrasting band on the inside.
The exterior panels were basted to Bosal In-R-Foam and the linen was quilted in a grid to match the fabric squares. I fused a layer of Pellon SF101 to the handles and interior pieces as well.
The fabric squares were simply stitched together block by block, row by row until I had 5 horizontal rows of 12 2.5″ squares. I made a grid on the bosal foam to get a feel for how it would look with this amount of squares and linen bottom. If you want to try it quilted, adjust blocks to suit your needs.
Every year I tend to make a summer/vacation travel bag. I have a feeling this will be mine for 2016. It’s comfortable to wear on my shoulder, I can shove a TON of stuff in there and it will pass airline tests. If I could change anything I’d add a closure of some sort. With a bag this big though adding a magnet may not be the best route.
If you like big stuff-em-full bags give this one a try. Don’t like bigger bags? You could reduce this pattern easily as well. I really wish I had one like this when my boys were younger! Trips to the pool and park would have been so much easier!