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.

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  1. Joni says:

    Beautiful sewing and the comparison of the bags side by side is very helpful!

  2. Wendy says:

    As a proud Canadian, eh, I love all those bags! The fabrics are incredible. Happy birthday Canada

  3. Janice Pryor-Regier says:

    It makes me want to be Canadian Eh !

  4. Kristina A. says:

    I love love love all these bags!! I also enjoyed the little quips about Canadians 😉

  5. fabricfan says:

    Beautiful bags, I am being tempted again. This is a new designer to me. Great work on your bag. Rosemary

  6. Beth says:

    Really like the way you showcase the different patterns. I’m another proud Canuck who likes making bags and is enjoying finding sources for supplies in Canada.

    1. barabooboo says:

      thank you Beth!!

  7. Megan Smith says:

    Happy 150 birthday Canada!

  8. Janet says:

    Canada fun Bag time!

  9. Maxine Wood says:

    Betcha can’t choose just 1! Nice blog Michelle

  10. Joy Morgan says:

    I love your bag comparisons!

  11. Monica Jorgensen says:

    Gorgeous bags! I’m from Nova Scotia, which I spotted on the Mimosa. 🙂

  12. sewncreations says:

    Love the bag comparisons. I think the Mimosa is my favorite.

  13. Joan M says:

    Love all the bags, the beautiful fabrics and your wonderful blog post. So proud to be Canadian!

  14. Modern Oma says:

    Here locally, in ‘merica our schools do serve milk in plastic bags, but fail to provide the special containers, so the kids usually end up with more milk on them than in them! And that’s a royal pain in the arse! Lol

  15. hildasbroom says:

    Beautiful and fun bags!

  16. Your bags are so amazingly beautiful. It is nice that you are doing this for all of us! Good luck everyone! Fingers & toes crossed.

  17. Danielle Weiser-Cline says:

    I love this! Thank you for such a thorough side by side comparison! I have just found Blue Calla patterns and am always impressed with the results. I may need to try the Moonflower next!

  18. Jenni L says:

    Thanks for the comparison photos, that’s super helpful. I love the look of the Trillium, especially in the fabrics you’ve chosen. I was just at fabricland the other day, now I’ll have to go back and look for that Buffalo Plaid 😍😍😍. By the way, can you still get milk in bags in Ont? I’m in Calgary and haven’t see that since I was a kid. They were always so much fun to try and hold onto!

    1. barabooboo says:

      Thank you!! and yes, we drink milk out of bags all the time…if you buy 4L at once it’s always in a bag… you can of course still buy 1L and 2L cartons…but most familes buy the 4L bags because the price is much better.

  19. Kelly Paulgaard says:

    Excellent blog post! I would love any of those patterns! I have made other bags by Blue Calla and would love to try these ones. Thank-you for showing us the comparisons!

  20. phyllislm52 says:

    Michelle, your bags are always beautiful, with wonderful fabric choices! The expanded Rockstar I purchased from you last year is well used and loved! My Clover Convertible is a beauty too and is such a pleasure to take with me when I trek into Manhattan! Think I feel the need for another bag from you coming on!! 💕💕💕💕

    1. barabooboo says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words Phyllis!

  21. Amanda Elias says:

    Hello from Montreal! 🙂 I can’t decide which tote I like the best! Maybe the Moonflower. ❤

    1. Marsha Law says:

      Hey! I know you! 😀

  22. Janice B says:

    Thanks for the size and shape comparisons. It can be hard to judge the finished bag size from photos and measurenents.

  23. Lisa Thibault says:

    Your bags are stunning as always. I had no idea that kerfuffle was a Canadian word (a word I use a LOT). You learn something every day…

    1. barabooboo says:

      I use it a lot as well!! and yes, it’s VERY Canadian!

  24. Carla G says:

    Hi from BC! Love all your bags!! They are fabulously Canadian! And I would so love an eh bag… 🙂

  25. Liz Hanes says:

    Love your bags, Michelle! I gave lots of the material you’ve used but I think I’ll need to purchase the mimosa pattern❤️❤️
    Great Canadianisms BTW!!

  26. Val Shepley says:

    Hello from the UK, don’t suppose you’ll send over here but I just wanted to say “Happy birthday Canada!”.

  27. Peggy says:

    These are all great bags! Don’t forget your double double to go with the Beavertail!

  28. Marg Gutland says:

    love the whole article

  29. madebynomesau says:

    So many gorgeous bags, eh? lol Sorry, couldn’t resist…I left a similar comment on Facebook about the same bag too haha Hugs Naomi

  30. ms says:

    Love your bags!

  31. Karen says:

    They all look fantastic! I definitely see a Moonflower in my future. 😉

  32. Carolynn Scoffield says:

    I have some those patterns! I don’t yet have the Trilliam or the Latana! I love all of the totes that you show here! The Canadian terms you used were fun & I had heard a several of them before, but in the last terms you used , you stumped me! What are “loonies and toonies”and I think Beaver Tales are what we Americans call a Maple Bar donut, but, what is a Killaloe Sunrise?
    I’ve visited Canada once in my lifetime, but ai hope to visit again sometime!

    1. barabooboo says:

      A loonie is a $1 coin, a twoonie is a $2 coin. (the loonie came out first, with a Loon on it, when the $2 came out later people just called it a twoonie because it rhymed with Loonie). Beaver Tails are a unique flat pastry (shaped like a beaver’s tail) then it has toppings on it, of your choice and served hot. I love the Killaloe Sunrise flavour the most…sugar and lemon. Killaloe is a small town near Ottawa, and the flavour is named after that. Next time you come to Canada, seek out a Beaver Tails food truck.

  33. carolyn montgomery says:

    your bags are beautiful and i love the mountie fabric.

  34. Pam S says:

    What beautiful bags! Thanks for the pictures that show the difference in the patterns. That’s very helpful. I also loved your placement of the unique fabrics!

  35. Susan says:

    Great ideas encouragement to find out about fie cutting

  36. Julia Smith says:

    Hi Michelle. I love all your work!

  37. Melissa Layman says:

    What a beautiful selection of Canadian totes, and I loved the added trivia!

  38. Marsha Law says:

    Oh lordy! You are the ultimate Bad-ass Bagineer.

  39. sherry says:

    those bags are so canadian eh! my go to bag at the moment is a wonderful italian leather campbmaggi bag that retails for $700 … nope i found it at the thrift store … lucky me …but those wonderful canadian bags would be nice for summer

  40. Judy says:

    Love the bags – think the Moonflower one is my favourite. Also loved the little bits of Canadiana you threw in. Oh and spellcheck tells me I spelled “favourite” wrong. But we all know that is the Canadian spelling LOL

  41. Tsinclair says:

    Beautiful job on all of the bags!!

  42. barbe price says:

    such fun bags i think i’m putting a Mimosa on my list, really love the detail as always with Blue Calla patterns, eh

  43. Shawna says:

    I’m honestly not sure I could love your bags anymore than I do….seriously!!! They are beautiful and I love the descriptions you gave of each one……now I have 4 more patterns I need from Blue Calla!!

    1. barabooboo says:

      Thank you so much Shawna!

  44. Anonymous says:

    Lovely bags! Which one to make first? Probably Trillium

  45. Angelina Umemoto says:

    I love all your creations! That eh? bag is so awesome! Also, love following along this tour, you learn so much!

  46. Celine says:

    Your post was so entertaining! My favourite was the 2-4! Thank you for featuring my totes – they are all so gorgeous!!

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