Thank you very much to C&T Publishing for letting me review the Take-Along Totes eBook. This eBook tells you how to make a Take-Along Tote that you can customize to hold your supplies for crafts or activities. There is 1 main pattern with 6 variations to make totes for quilters, scrapbookers, knitters, teachers, and children.
It would be great if the product page for the eBook would list all the supplies you need for the project. There is a lot and some of them are not standard supplies that any sewer would have in their stash. It would be helpful if it also mentioned the sewing techniques you would need to know. I don’t like starting a project without knowing what I am getting into but I just couldn’t help myself when I saw the pictures for this project. It looked so cool!
The eBook has 52 pages and I printed most of them out. There are 3 pages that you must print out as they contain patterns that you have to cut out. They rest of the book is instructions and pictures. After I looked through all the instructions I was kind of blown away and a little scared to get started. This is the most involved sewing project I have ever tried.
As far as the instructions go they are very clear and easy to understand. The book is organized that each major part of the tote is worked separately. There are different sections for the specific tote you choose to make. Instructions are also provided to make custom pockets.
I will tell you right now it took me 7 days to complete this project. I worked on it every single day. Hopefully that gives you an idea about how involved it is.
In the picture below you can see all the fabric that I cut out for this project. I had to label each piece because there was so many.
Creating the pockets and sewing them on was one of the first things I had to do. Those were easy!
I added stabilizer to most of the pieces then cut them down to the dimensions in the instructions.
The finishing was the hardest part for me. It required satin stitching and a lot of thread. I went through 3 full bobbins on this 1 tote!
Even with all the issues and problems I had it was very satisfying when I finished. As you can see in the picture below I had a problem with cutting one of the sides. I don’t even know how it happened. I had the pieces laid out correctly, the pattern was printed out and somehow or another I ended up cutting 2 of the same instead of 2 opposite. I didn’t have enough fabric to make another piece so I just had to run with what I had. I know it stands out but I plan on keeping this for myself so I don’t mind.
I am very proud of myself for following through and completing this project instead of giving up and throwing it all away (which I have done…many times). Now that I have done it once I know all that is involved. When I make it again I will be more prepared.
I would recommend the Take-Along Totes eBook to experienced sewers. If you just started using a sewing machine then this book is not for you (it might even scare you off). Take some time to master the basics then come back to this. For experienced sewers this may still be a challenge but a very gratifying one. The finished project is amazing and definitely worth all the time (and supplies)!