a while back, my buddy Anna from Noodlehead asked if i’d help give her newly revamped Sidekick Tote pattern a once-over as she prepared to re-release it, which she did in late November. i’d sewn the Sidekick Tote before and remembered really enjoying it, so i was game. i didn’t remember the pattern having any stumbling blocks the first time, but PDF patterns have come a long way in the last couple years, so I get why Anna wanted to spruce it up a bit. the diagrams are a little clearer, the cutting instructions and sewing directions are a little easier to follow, that sort of thing. this time i thought it’d be fun to try a bit of hand painting on the fabric, inspired by another Portland crafty lady, Anna Joyce. i’ve admired Anna’s work at various craft shows and boutiques around town. i also follow her on instagram, where i noticed lately she’s been doing a lot of simple but graphic handpainting/stamping onto fabric, and it’s the type where i go “heeeeey i think i could do that!” so i gave it a whirl. for this bag, i went for the sort of messy black painted stripes, a similar look to the ones Anna Joyce does on her scarves. i used some natural canvas duck that i got in the outdoor section of JoAnn (it’s heavy stuff – makes a very substantial bag and i didn’t even interface it!) and painted on it with black fabric paint and a sponge brush, not aiming for perfection at all and just sort of eyeballing the space between stripes. i sewed the bag, then went back in with a pencil tip and some gold metallic paint to add delicate little dots to pretty it up a bit. the top of the bag is just the same canvas fabric, left unpainted. the lining is from carolyn friedlander’s botanics line (on sale here right now – i might have to get more because it looks awesome with everything). i liked how the little gold dots tied in nicely with the lining, which also has gold metallic in it (so pretty in person but always hard to show in photos). the bag hardware is also gold – i got that at fabric depot. it’s a bit tricky to find the hardware listed in the pattern but i found a 1.5” D ring works well for the bottom of the strap. the strap is adjustable, which is nice if you sometimes like a cross body bag and sometimes just want it to go over the shoulder. this is the small version of the tote with the pleated pocket option and bias tape pocket binding. this pattern sews up relatively quickly and Anna guides you to a nice clean finish. i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again – the woman is a genius when it comes to purse designs and patterns! i sent this bag off to Jess as a birthday present, which makes it the second Sidekick Tote that i’ve sent to a Jessica as a birthday present – I did it a couple years ago too! do you know how many Jessicas there are in sewingblogland? A LOT.
you can get your hands on the Sidekick Tote PDF pattern here. Anna has also been working on releasing her patterns in paper and i always get excited to spot one in the wild – keep your eyes open at your local fabric shops!