Canada 150 – In The Bag! Blog Tour

This post contains affiliate links to patterns, ( so I get paid if you buy one)…as well as, the maximum number of Canadianisms (in red) as I could reasonably use and a small amount of Canadian Trivia. It has been written on my laptop from the comfy seat of my chesterfield . (There’s the first one!)

Happy Birthday Canada!

 I am a proud Canuck and this year marks my country’s 150th birthday. 150 years since Confederation, wow!  There’s quite a bit of kerfuffle going on “From Sea to Shining Sea”.  To mark this occasion, I have joined this Canada 150 – It’s in the Bag Blog Tour to show off all of my 4 Blue Calla Tote Bags done up with this theme in mind.


*There are a whole bunch of prizes being given away for this tour, so make sure to read to the end! *

First, a bit about Blue Calla Patterns: Blue Calla is a Canadian pattern creating business operated by Torontonian, Celine Allaert.  She has been creating original patterns for 4+ years, after sewing custom bags for people in her Etsy shop for many years prior.  Her patterns are precisely written, photographed, tested and delivered to her customers by way of PDF, (she offers some in paper form as well).  You’ll find her patterns to be either trendy or classic, but always unique.

If you are familiar with Blue Calla’s patterns, then obviously, you already know the tote patterns are anything but ordinary.  You can get a basic tote pattern anywhere, but these 4 patterns are far from that! Below you can see the comparison pictures of all 4 tote bag styles, as it’s so much easier to SHOW size comparisons then it is to write about them!



(By the way, many Canadians drink milk from BAGS and not cartons…did you know this? we buy a large bag that contains 3 smaller bags of milk. We then put those smaller bags into a special container shaped to hold them and cut the corner off to pour.)




As you can see the size on these bags varies greatly, depending on the bottom and gusset style that the pattern has. Mimosa’s bottom is largest and so it has the most real estate for your stuff.

(BTW we refer to people’s bottoms in Canada as an ARSE).


Mimosa Tote: features a very spacious interior because of the oval bottom.  In my opinion, this tote style holds the most. It has 2 handy exterior zippered pockets on the sides as well as 2 interior slip pockets.  I absolutely LOVE the closure flap with the turn lock, however, to save money a magnetic snap may be used instead.  The Mimosa is a more upscale look for a tote, and that’s why this one is my favourite!  Purse feet may be used on the bottom if you choose.  As well, there are many areas that you could showcase fussy cut fabric, pieced blocks or pretty hardware embellishments.  This pattern calls for fleece and woven interfacing, with some stabilizer in the base, but NO foam in this one.

My Mimosa above is done in Northcott’s Sesquicentennial line (purchased from Sew Sisters in Toronto) featuring a red cork leaf on each side.   The side panels are made of metallic, faux leather from Fabricland in Canada.  The Antique zipper tape and pulls are from BringBerry Hardware in New Brunswick, Canada.

Speaking of Mimosas….  I don’t drink them myself, but our fridge usually has a case of 24 cans of beer in it…that’s called a TWO FOUR, (because we Canucks don’t like to complicate things)IMG_8395EDIT

Lantana Tote:  One of my favourite features of the Lantana is the method that is employed to attach the straps.  They are inserted into a finished bag as the final step, and because they are riveted (or stitched) into folds in the finished bag, it changes the shape on top from flat/rectangular to a very wide almost square opening!  Most people who make this pattern remark on this unique feature.  Once installation of the triple set of exterior zippers is done, it’s fast and smooth sailing from there.  Lantana is a fairly quick sew, and if you omit the 3 front zippered pockets, then you could really feature a large graphic print or a decent sized pieced block there. It would also be a great bag for the Quilt-As-You-Go method.   A magnetic snap closes the bag top. The pattern calls for fleece and sew-in interfacing.  I chose to add foam in the gussets and use woven fusible interfacing….. and I love how it stands on it’s own.

My Lantana Tote above is made in red cotton with white piping and white zippers.  Inside, the cotton is printed with red and grey maple leaves.  The “eh?” is done in raw edge appliqued white faux leather.  All from Fabricland in Canada.

“eh?”   Translation:  Don’t you think? Conversational device that allows a non-confrontational Canadian to turn a statement into a poll of opinion or question.  


Trillium Tote: This pattern has recently had an update to it, and it doesn’t disappoint.  It is well explained and not difficult to make.  The main feature on this tote is the U shaped cut out on the main panels.  It also sports 2 convenient exterior side panel slip pockets trimmed in faux piping.  Inside, it’s spacious with a zippered and a slip pocket.  A  magnetic snap closes the bag.  I really love the modern shape of Trillium and the top edge also has a lovely profile.  The pattern calls for foam along with some woven interfacing, so it’s quite a stable bag, it stands on it’s own with no issue.

My Trillium Tote above is done in a woven Buffalo Plaid from Fabricland, in addition to the Burly Beavers print by Andie Hanna for Robert Kaufman (purchased from Funky Monkey Fabrics in Varna, Ontario).  Accents are done in black, faux leather, and the grey is Essex Linen from Mad About Patchwork (Ottawa, Ontario).  Hardware by Emmaline Bags (Alberta, Canada)

The Trillium flower is the official flower of the province of Ontario, apparently they are illegal to pick, but I live in a vast area of forests and lakes, where these blossoms thrive.  The province is sandwiched in the middle of the country.  It has the most southerly point in Canada (Point Pelee),  and also is home to Ottawa: our country’s capital city.  


Moonflower Tote:  This pattern was conceived by The Cloth Albatross and then written, published and drafted by Blue Calla.  It’s a fairly large but skinny tote.  The pattern calls for all 4 sides to have a circle cut out on it for reverse applique.  I chose to omit one large circle cut out because I had a huge Panel I wanted to use.  It’s so easy to modify the exterior of this bag! The cut outs are an EXCELLENT place to feature a coveted fabric that you’ve been hoarding, or a pieced block, or needlework embellishment.  The exterior pockets also have a sweet drawstring feature fed through a set of grommets on each side.  Inside, there’s a large “half moon” shaped slip pocket, and a zippered pocket.  You can choose to add some fancy hardware to join the straps to the bag, but the pattern doesn’t call for it, or much other hardware at all.  The closure is a magnetic snap.  This pattern calls for fleece and woven interfacing throughout.  I used a stabilizer on the base.  As a bonus, there’s a FREE pattern to match this bag called The Morning Glory Pouch.

My Moonflower is done in the large Sesquicentennial Mounties panel in Northcott’s “Oh Canada” line (from Sew Sisters in Toronto), it’s combined with several other Northcott prints from the same line.  The reverse side features the Canadian Trivia print, see below. Hardware on this one also from Emmaline Bags.
“Mountie” = RCMP Royal Canadian Mounted Police- known for their unique hats, uniforms and horses.IMG_8879EDIT

As always, sewing a Blue Calla pattern is a pleasure and produces something you can be proud of.  There are many Free patterns available on her website, if you want to try one out!

As for me, I am off with a pocketful of loonies and twoonies to buy myself a BeaverTail,  I think I will go with Killaloe Sunrise this time….yum!  I deserve a treat! 

******POST GIVEAWAY: A random person from the comments on this Blog Post will win their choice of the Blue Calla Tote patterns I have featured here! So show me your comments and questions! This is open to everyone, and will be drawn at 12 noon (ET) on Wednesday June 14th 2017*******

Each blog has an exclusive giveaway, so be sure to visit them all. 

SCROLL down further for the TOUR GIVEAWAY, Rafflecopter link below!!! There are soooo many prizes!

Tour Discounts

  • 10% off!
    Tangled Blossoms Design
    is offering 10% off anything in stock for the duration of the tour. Offer expires June 10, 2017. Use discount code HAPPYBIRTHDAYCANADA
  • 15% off!
    Bringberry Handbag Hardware and Design
    is offering 15% off anything in stock for the duration of the tour. Offer expires June 10, 2017. Use discount code LOVECANADA150

Giveaway Prizes

PLEASE enter the big tour GIVEAWAY here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Stops

(These links will be active on and after the day they are scheduled.)

June 4

Emmaline Bags

June 5

Tangled Blossoms Design With Love in Every Stitch Happy Okapi

June 6

Michelle’s Creations Barabooboo Soca Sewing

June 7

Glitter in my Coffee Michelle’s Creations Seam of my Pants

June 8

Seam of my Pants Creative Roots Sewing Happy Okapi

June 9

Seam of my Pants

June 10

Giveaway ends at midnight EDT (North America)

July 1


Please join us in thanking our tour sponsors by visiting their websites.

sponsor new


  1. LOVE all of those bags! Great craftsmanship. How fun to live in Canada! Lucky.

  2. Anne says:

    Love all these bags.

  3. Rebecca K. says:

    Wow – I love all the bags you made and I love the breakdown you gave of the interfacing/closures. It’s still hard to pick a favourite though.

    1. barabooboo says:

      Thank You! And yes, it’s hard to choose!

  4. Tanya Jankosky says:

    I am a member of many Bag groups with you and love your Canadian bags!

    1. barabooboo says:

      Thank you Tanya!!

  5. Wendy Wilkinson says:

    Loved reading your blog. You bags as always are amazing.

  6. I have the trillium!!! But still want the moonflower, who am I kidding I want them all!!!! But more then that I want time to actually see!!! Your bags are gorgeous as always!!!

    1. barabooboo says:

      awww, thank Rachelle!!!

  7. Lorrie L Royce says:

    Thanks for the great blog full of ideas, tips and a little humour. Such an inspiration……..

    1. barabooboo says:

      Happy to oblige, thanks for the comment!

  8. Louise says:

    Love all the bags! And your amazing Canadian fabrics

  9. Kathy Koehler says:

    I am enjoying your blog. I am glad I found you. I like all of Celine’s bags but if I had to pick one it would be the Moonflower Tote. This ‘tour’ is such a great way to ‘explore’ Canada -generosity, talent, humour, all things that make Canada great!
    Thanks to the blogger and the sponsors.

    1. barabooboo says:

      Moonflower is a great choice!

  10. These bags are so beautiful.

  11. Maxine Carli says:

    Lovely bags as always, your sewing inspires me

    1. barabooboo says:

      ohh! Thanks Maxine!!

  12. Terry says:

    Great bags and fabric choices my favourite is Lantana the contrasting zippers are awesome.

    1. barabooboo says:

      Lantana is such a unique tote style, isn’t it?

  13. Chrisanna Beck says:

    Thanks for the detailed info on each bag. It’s often hard to choose the pattern based on just looking at the picture. As another proud Canadian and bagineer I am delighted to see the talent we have in this Country. Celine’s patterns are so detailed and easy to follow. Your fabric selections are fabulous and beautifully executed.

    1. barabooboo says:

      You are welcome, and Thank you!

  14. Christine says:

    Beautiful bags. Loving the wry comments

  15. Ashlie says:

    I love the mimosa! All of them are great but I love the big “arse” 😂

    1. barabooboo says:

      hahaha… me too!

  16. Casey says:

    Thank you for getting me over to check out your blog, all your bags are gorgeous. Happy 150th Canada I can’t wait for my visit in 2020

    1. barabooboo says:

      oh! awesome to hear you are coming!!

  17. Rhea says:

    Beatiful bags and awesome blog-Im glad I followed. 😊

    1. barabooboo says:

      Thank you! I am glad you did too!

  18. Debbie Rogowski says:

    I’m so glad you are doing the Birthday Blog hop I love your bag patterns and the Canadian themed fabrics are beautiful on them. These aren’t just bags, they’ve got style!!

    1. barabooboo says:

      Thank you! The bags are mine, but the Patterns are Celine from Blue Calla patterns!

  19. Jenn Wilson says:

    I think I just found the bag pattern to use my full panel Canada map! Moonflower or Mimosa will work well!

    1. barabooboo says:

      Moonflower def has the biggest area for large prints! Mimosa’s is smaller because the flap closure.

  20. Love each one of them. If I am lucky enough to win would have a hard time to choose one pattern. Congratulations!!!

    1. barabooboo says:

      yes, I agree….the choice will be difficult for the winner!

  21. Karen-Lee Andrew says:

    Wonderful workmanship on these very different beautiful bags. I would carry any of them with pride!

    1. barabooboo says:

      Thank you so much Karen-Lee

  22. Kate says:

    Any of those bags would be perfect for spending Canada Day on “the Hill”, but don’t forget to pack some serviettes, the poutine from the chip trucks can be messy.
    My spell checker can’t spell poutine.

    1. barabooboo says:

      YES!! My family is hoping to spend Canada Day in Ottawa and I will likely take that Moonflower with me, since it’s got the Parliament clock tower on it. Funny, you mention the spellcheck…there are so many “corrections” on my draft copy of this post…they are ALL THE CANADIAN WORDS and spellings!!!

  23. MoeWest says:

    Thanks for all the great inspiration for Canada bags!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely stunning bags!! Happy Birthday Canada 😊

  25. Your bags are gorgeous! I was so fortunate to be in Victoria for the big celebration there two weeks ago.

  26. Gail Mitchell says:

    Love them all. I laughed when I ready your arse exjplanation. My dad was from Cape Breton. He used to say harse. funny. Love all your bags… Thanks for participating. It’s fun to go see all the Canadian designers..

  27. sheila hlushak says:

    I own the Trillium pattern and after seeing your I know I must start planning to make one. Your work is so beautiful, thanks for sharing.

    1. barabooboo says:

      Thanks so much Sheila!

  28. Love your patterns! Will be adding some to my collection,,,

  29. slmrn1 says:

    Love the bags, each of them. The Mountie panel is awesome. My Aunt was from Canada. So enjoyed visits there.

    1. barabooboo says:

      Thank you!! I also love the Mountie!

  30. Janelle MacKay says:

    absolutely gorgeous bags! Wonderful!!! (this is not an entry, just a comment!)

    1. barabooboo says:

      hahaha! Thanks Janelle! I will skip over yours then!!

  31. Shandra Mueller says:

    Wow! Those are all GORGEOUS! I love the Mountie panel!

    1. barabooboo says:

      Thank you! and yes, isn’t that Northcott Panel gorgeous?

  32. Burtine Kendall says:

    All of the bags are beautiful but I like the Mimosa pattern best of all. A great blog and I appreciate the sources as we don’t have access to a lot of that here. Thank goodness for Emmaline Bags who are just down the road.

    1. barabooboo says:

      Thank you! I shop at Emmaline all the time…I think my fave items are her turn locks…They are THE BEST I have ever seen. Excellent quality, no “clicking” sound when they are turned…and beautiful high quality metals.

  33. I’m a transplanted Canuck – had to giggle her sitting on my chesterfield (no one here understands that one!!) with all your trivia clues! Thanks for the great blog post!!!

    1. barabooboo says:

      It’s so funny..I almost always refer to my couch as a chesterfield… never a sofa. It never really occurred to me it was strange until I did while visiting a family in Oregon! I got the strangest looks!!!

  34. Sarah Vandewater says:

    I just got the Trillium pattern and can’t wait to start. The Lantana is my next favourite. Love your fabrics for all!

    1. barabooboo says:

      Oh! How awesome! Good luck with your bag making!

  35. Joanne Roots-Rochon says:

    What a beautiful and amazing set of Totes, it would be hard to chose a favourite as they are all fantastic.

    1. barabooboo says:

      Thank you Joanne!

  36. Arlene Martini says:

    Your bags are stunning! Thanks for the chance to win.

  37. Donna M Webster says:

    This is the best blog ever! Thanks for the comparison of the totes. Your work is beautiful.

    1. barabooboo says:

      Thank you Donna!

  38. Cassy Montgomery says:

    Love the bags and the humour!

  39. fionakelly says:

    WOW! 4 Bags and they’re all absolutely gorgeous (as usual 😄) I especially love the ‘eh’ – since our moving to Canada I’ve had to learn all our colloquialisms here and eh as one of the first!

    1. barabooboo says:

      ha! yes, I guess you would have had to do that! And I know Acadians have even more!! Thanks!

  40. Brenda Maxwell-McLeod says:

    All 4 of your totes are gorgeous! I love your use of the panel fabric on the Moonflower tote.

  41. Georgina Stone says:

    Fabulous designs. I love the mixing of fabrics. I like the Mountie panel on the Moonflower bag. I also like the design of the mimosa. Great collection.

  42. Nancy says:

    Beautiful bags! I’m trying to pick fabric for a Mimosa tote to make this summer.

  43. lori says:

    Wow! Love everything about this page!

  44. Kathy Smith says:

    Love what you’ve done with these bags! Great use of themed fabrics.

  45. Michaelle Leigh says:

    I love all yours bags but your Mimosa and Moonflower bags are my favorite here. Love what you did with the mountie panel.

  46. Laura says:

    Thanks for sharing lots of pictures of your wonderful totes. Love that you used the special Canada fabric. I’m a BC girl and I’ve not seen bags of milk for a very long time. I buy in cartons or in plastic. Maybe the packaging dairies in BC got rid of the bag machines. Anyhow, on the topic of bags, love to make them.

    1. barabooboo says:

      yes! out West ( I am in Ontario) I know that there is hardly any bag milk available.. .. I guess it all depends on the dairies and what they use.

  47. Nancy says:

    Your bags are fabulous and I love the size comparison. Embarrassed to say that I have all of these patterns and have not made one of them. #ithinkIhaveaproblem Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. barabooboo says:

      OHH!! get sewing!! They are very useful, actually!! Mimosa would be a great Beach Bag lined in laminate!

  48. Carol Spring says:

    Great bags with very fun fabrics

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