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.
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.
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
Seam of my Pants
Giveaway ends at midnight EDT (North America)
CANADA DAY 150
Please join us in thanking our tour sponsors by visiting their websites.