I'm afraid that some weeks ago I fell by the wayside on Zakka Along 2.0 due to some personal challenges and the overwhelming pace of life. (Working mothers, let me hear you say "woah!") However, I am determined to make all of Ayumi's gorgeous patterns and so voila - the Handy Market Tote, or as I like to call it, the Elephant Toy Tote.
Ayumi's tote is both adorable and practical. It was very easy to make and it is a great size for a toy tote for my little man's play dates and other outings. We had lunch with friends on the weekend, and this tote came with us carrying Bunny's playmat (which he NEVER uses anymore, I just like to be prepared), his enormous Hungry Caterpillar furry pillow, his chomping crocodile and a few books, with room to spare. I also added another pocket using a 9" scrap of elephant fabric I had. I added the bottom of this pocket into the bottom seam and top stitched the side to the exterior pocket.
I didn't interface my handles because I used a heavy, furnishing weight fabric and I felt the interfacing was unnecessary. This was a good decision because the layers of fabric in the handles are plenty to keep the handles stiff and shaped.
I used a heavy jute that I bought from Tomato Nippori in Japan for the sides and base piece of the tote and I love how it looks and feels. It was tricky getting the interfacing to bond with the jute, possibly because the jute is so nubbly and is quite an open weave. In the end, however, it worked out fine with a little patience and a little extra time with the iron.
I have to say, however, I am quite unhappy with how the fusible heavy interfacing bonded with my fabric - it is already going a bit bubbly/wrinkly. You can see it in the photo above along the top of the pocket. Does anyone have any ideas as to what might have gone wrong?
Here is my favourite part of the Elephant Tote - a little bee button. I loved that Ayumi's pattern called for self-covered buttons - that gave me the opportunity to make some super-cute buttons and I love this one. This bee is from a scrap of Peter Rabbit fabric I found in my scrap bin - perfect!