I ran across a picture of The Relaxed Tote by EmKieDesigns on Instagram, which was posted by one of the amazing sewists I follow, MaggieMadeBags.


It’s funny, because I’ve run across the pattern on Etsy a couple of times but based on the image in the listing, it didn’t appeal to me.


Seeing it in a bright colourway with some pizzaz, I NEEDED to make it and literally bought it right then and printed it out.  I played around with several fabrics and contrasts before I realized… I am just going to have to make a couple of them.

My first is made from this Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements fabric.  I love it.  Funny story!  I saw it on Etsy, but forgot to bookmark it.  When I went back to look for it I was searching for Tim Horton fabric and was stumped why nothing came up…


For the straps, I used from faux black burlap, which I think is from Connecting Threads, and some amazing cork from SewSweetness.  The hardware is all from Bagmaker Supply.


I had planned on cutting it out one night and then sewing it over the next week.  But once I got into it, it was a very fun sew.  Nothing tedious, like I really find some patterns with piping I can’t manage or zippers and weird linings.  It was straight up fun and put together quickly.  There are little mini tutorials in the instructions for rivets and zippers, so it was a nice primer.


There are a few flubs in my bag.

✂ I did not add the outside zipper, simply because I was so excited to sew I forgot.  I don’t think it matters except aesthetically and the fabric is busy enough regardless.


✂ I also don’t think I did the rivets correctly.  In the bag Maggie made, they go through the whole bag, while mine are only on the outside.  I’ll make that adjustment for next time, it actually makes much more sense, so I’m not sure how I missed that!


✂ Also!  I screwed up the inside zipper, but just ended up making an open pocket and it works great for me.  I had cut the opening a little too wonky and had to resew it and when I did, it was too big for a zipper.

✂ Finally, I didn’t sew the handles into rolls, I really don’t like them that way and prefer the way the flat handles lay when you carry the bag on your arm.

I love the size of this bag, it’s nice and big and floppy so that it’s casual and stylish.  It’s still got enough structure thanks to the cork on the bottom that it holds it’s shape nicely.  I especially love the rounded shape of the bottom.  It’s quite unique and looks great in cork.


3 thoughts on “Relax.

  1. I literally just stumbled on your blog post, thank you for sharing and crediting my bag! I really like the fabric you used for your tote. You didn’t make a mistake with the rivets, I believe you did what the pattern instructs. As I use Chicago screws, I like to install them through the lining.


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