I made some time this week to sew up Swoon Patterns newest pattern, the Harriet Expandable Tote. And I will say this much: I Love this bag!!
This is the third Swoon Pattern I own. I have previously made Donna as part of Purse Palooza and Olive and enjoyed each one very much. I really like how Alicia formats her patterns and explains them. Simple and to the point with great visual details to guide me along.
What’s so unique about the Harriet is the zippered side panels that allows you to open it for more storage or kept closed to create a soft curved look. I tend to like bigger bags (Harriet is 10″ tall, 12.5″ wide, 4.5″deep) but it is roomier than I was expecting. Hm….I wonder if we could supersize it?!?!
The closure flap for Harriet is secured from the interior then folds over and snaps on the outside. I really like the final look! On the Swoon Patterns FB page, I have seen the magnetic snap substituted for a twist lock and it looks great.
I would rate this pattern an intermediate. Zipper installation experience is needed here. Also, if you have never worked with foam interlinings or thick materials you may need to go slow. Trimming down excess foam does help while you sew though.
For my Harriet I used a Linen/Duck blend in natural for the straps and exterior accent pieces. V & Co.’s Color Me Happy V’s in Navy was used for the interior and side pieces. The bold floral exterior fabric is Oasis River Stone from Amy Butler’s HAPI collection.
I know I posted this on Instagram last week, but if you don’t own a dead blow hammer (they come in many sizes/weights) get one. They are so helpful when you need to flatten bulky seams. With Harriet, the seam where the side and front panel meet along with the curved accent piece got pretty thick. After I trimmed some of the bulk, I hammered it down before I added the bag bottom.
For my handles I chose to sew the straps to secure them. I’ve seen a lot of gals use rivets also and I think next time I might give those a try! Also, the strap length is perfect for hand or arm carrying, but a simple few inches could be added so you could wear it on your shoulder. Another possible add-on would to put bag feet on the bottom.
Thanks for reading my review of this adorable tote! I’m going to take her out today and see how she does. Have a great weekend!