Mystery Plait Tote -by Constructivism

I love this bag!! I’m really glad that I found it and made it…….so cute! I do have a few things to say about the pattern, though. I had some trouble printing it, for one thing. But the seller was VERY helpful, and sent me another pattern (reformatted) so that it would work with my printer/computer. I think this problem was completely on my end, as I’ve had trouble printing other patterns, too. They worked perfectly on my dad’s computer and neither of us can figure it out. Weird.

The other problems I had were more to do with the instructions. Number one……..all measurements are metric. Millimeters and centimeters. The buyer is warned about that before the purchase, though. There are about three different seam allowances used throughout the pattern: 5 mm, 9 mm, and 1.5 cm. 9mm is the most common and I used 3/8 inch seam allowances here. You may want to find a metric converter online and use that for your reference.

Number two……the instructions are very wordy and therefore, a bit hard to follow. Also some of the cutting-out techniques were foreign to me. For instance, the seamstress is instructed to cut a roughly sized piece of interfacing and fuse it to the wrong side of fabric. Then you lay pieces out, pin, and cut. This was actually a pretty nice way to do it, though. The fact that you need to flip your pattern over before cutting the second piece, is never mentioned. If you don’t flip the piece before cutting it the second time, you will end up with two right sides or two left sides of the bag. Not helpful. And wasteful if you don’t realize it in time! This is the biggest negative I have with the pattern. — Turns out I was wrong about this step! The pieces can be cut without flipping…………just turn one piece 180 degrees once it’s cut out and you’ll have two perfect pieces! I don’t know where my head was when I did this step. Sorry for any confusion!!!

At least one or two of the photos didn’t seem to match up with what my pieces looked like. Weird.

The plaiting technique was fun! I would suggest sewing a basting stitch at the fold line (9mm), around all handle pieces before folding them under during step 10. This way you can just fold and press directly on the basting line, eliminating all of that fussy measuring, pressing, measuring, pressing, etc. It makes the handle step go WAY faster and more smoothly. Just remove the basting after your handles are sewn to the facing pieces. Ta-da!

One last suggestion to make your sewing experience go more smoothly: during the last steps shown in the pattern, sew by hand. The seams that you have to sew over at the bottom of the bag lining are too thick and will give you trouble unless you have a very powerful machine. These steps, in text, were hard to follow, so just look at the photo.

I love the inner pocket and how professional this bag looks when finished. I added a magnetic snap to mine, which gave it a nice touch.

All in all……..I give this pattern 4 stars (you have to be experienced and pay attention!) and the seller 5 stars for customer service! 🙂

I started a new project about two weeks ago, working to get it done for my baby sister’s birthday. She just turned 13………..I can’t believe she’s so old! Her favorite musician EVER is Phil Keaggy, a Christian singer and guitar player (a fabulous one). He’s been around for a long time and we used to listen to him while I was growing up, but just recently Alayna has become infatuated with him. So I decided to make her a Phil Keaggy tote bag. It’s the fist time I’ve tried making one of these, and I used a new product called Bubble Jet Set 2000, so that I could print photos directly onto my fabric. It worked great! So, here are a few pics of the project in steps. Like I said, I’ve never made a tote bag before and it was a figure-it-out-as-you-go-along type of thing. I do think it turned out really nice though. Enjoy the photos!

One of the printed (and washed) sheets of fabric

All of the printed fabric pieces, cut and ready to sew

The two patterned rectangles on either side of the center photo, are actually pockets.

Front of bag and bag lining (with pocket)

Back of bag and bag lining

(The clock fabric used for the back of the bag and other accents,
stands for one of Alayna’s favorite songs: “Tme”.)

The bag and lining are sewn together at this point, and waiting for the band to be sewn to the top.

Unsewn bag handles
Inside of the finished tote bag

The finished product!

I think she likes it!