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)
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.
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!
- 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
- Grand Prize: 2 PDF patterns from Blue Calla Patterns, $50 voucher from Bringberry Handbag Hardware and Design, $40 voucher from Fabric Please
- Second Prize: 2 PDF patterns from Blue Calla Patterns, $35 voucher from Emmaline Bags, $25 voucher from MM Cork Supply
- Third Prize: $50 voucher from Blackbird Fabrics
- $30 voucher to spend on any in stock fabrics from Tangled Blossoms Design, 1 Pattern from Thread Riding Hood
- $25 voucher from Fabric Please, 1 Pattern, plus hardware kit from Emmaline Bags
- $25 voucher from Fabric Please, 1 PDF Pattern from Thread Riding Hood
- $25 voucher from Fabric Please, 1 PDF Pattern from FABulous Home Sewn
- $25 voucher from Fabric Please, 1 PDF Pattern from FABulous Home Sewn
- $30 voucher from Sitka Fabrics
- $25 voucher from MM Cork Supply
- Ooh La La Jewellery* bag pattern & hardware kit from Among Brenda’s Quilts (Includes shipping within Canada & USA.)
- A selection of items for bag making from Flare Fabrics (Includes shipping within Canada.)
- $25 voucher from Stay Home Fabrics
- $25 voucher from Funky Monkey Fabrics
- Store credit for 1 yard of custom knit from Crookshanks Custom Textiles
- Store credit equal to one meter of custom knit plus one meter of solid from Midnight Mountain Fabrics
PLEASE enter the big tour GIVEAWAY here: a Rafflecopter giveaway
(These links will be active on and after the day they are scheduled.)
Tangled Blossoms Design ◊ With Love in Every Stitch ◊ Happy Okapi
Michelle’s Creations ◊ Barabooboo ◊ Soca Sewing
Glitter in my Coffee ◊ Michelle’s Creations ◊ Seam of my Pants
Seam of my Pants ◊ Creative Roots Sewing ◊ Happy Okapi
Giveaway ends at midnight EDT (North America)
CANADA DAY 150
Please join us in thanking our tour sponsors by visiting their websites.
LOVE all of those bags! Great craftsmanship. How fun to live in Canada! Lucky.
Love all these bags.
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.
Thank You! And yes, it’s hard to choose!
I am a member of many Bag groups with you and love your Canadian bags!
Thank you Tanya!!
Loved reading your blog. You bags as always are amazing.
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!!!
awww, thank Rachelle!!!
Thanks for the great blog full of ideas, tips and a little humour. Such an inspiration……..
Happy to oblige, thanks for the comment!
Love all the bags! And your amazing Canadian fabrics
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.
Moonflower is a great choice!
These bags are so beautiful.
Lovely bags as always, your sewing inspires me
ohh! Thanks Maxine!!
Great bags and fabric choices my favourite is Lantana the contrasting zippers are awesome.
Lantana is such a unique tote style, isn’t it?
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.
You are welcome, and Thank you!
Beautiful bags. Loving the wry comments
I love the mimosa! All of them are great but I love the big “arse” 😂
hahaha… me too!
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
oh! awesome to hear you are coming!!
Beatiful bags and awesome blog-Im glad I followed. 😊
Thank you! I am glad you did too!
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!!
Thank you! The bags are mine, but the Patterns are Celine from Blue Calla patterns!
I think I just found the bag pattern to use my full panel Canada map! Moonflower or Mimosa will work well!
Moonflower def has the biggest area for large prints! Mimosa’s is smaller because the flap closure.
Love each one of them. If I am lucky enough to win would have a hard time to choose one pattern. Congratulations!!!
yes, I agree….the choice will be difficult for the winner!
Wonderful workmanship on these very different beautiful bags. I would carry any of them with pride!
Thank you so much Karen-Lee
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.
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!!!
Thanks for all the great inspiration for Canada bags!
Absolutely stunning bags!! Happy Birthday Canada 😊
Your bags are gorgeous! I was so fortunate to be in Victoria for the big celebration there two weeks ago.
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..
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.
Thanks so much Sheila!
Love your patterns! Will be adding some to my collection,,,
Love the bags, each of them. The Mountie panel is awesome. My Aunt was from Canada. So enjoyed visits there.
Thank you!! I also love the Mountie!
absolutely gorgeous bags! Wonderful!!! (this is not an entry, just a comment!)
hahaha! Thanks Janelle! I will skip over yours then!!
Wow! Those are all GORGEOUS! I love the Mountie panel!
Thank you! and yes, isn’t that Northcott Panel gorgeous?
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.
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.
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!!!
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!!!
I just got the Trillium pattern and can’t wait to start. The Lantana is my next favourite. Love your fabrics for all!
Oh! How awesome! Good luck with your bag making!
What a beautiful and amazing set of Totes, it would be hard to chose a favourite as they are all fantastic.
Thank you Joanne!
Your bags are stunning! Thanks for the chance to win.
This is the best blog ever! Thanks for the comparison of the totes. Your work is beautiful.
Thank you Donna!
Love the bags and the humour!
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!
ha! yes, I guess you would have had to do that! And I know Acadians have even more!! Thanks!
All 4 of your totes are gorgeous! I love your use of the panel fabric on the Moonflower tote.
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.
Beautiful bags! I’m trying to pick fabric for a Mimosa tote to make this summer.
Wow! Love everything about this page!
Love what you’ve done with these bags! Great use of themed fabrics.
I love all yours bags but your Mimosa and Moonflower bags are my favorite here. Love what you did with the mountie panel.
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.
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.
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.
OHH!! get sewing!! They are very useful, actually!! Mimosa would be a great Beach Bag lined in laminate!
Great bags with very fun fabrics