Central Park Tote

Someone’s got a brand new bag. And it’s not Papa. Take a look:

Central Park tote 1
Dawn’s Central Park Tote


The pattern is Bow Tucks Tote by Penny Sturges of quiltsillustrated.com. It’s 13″ wide, 11″ high, and 5″ deep. As you can see from the picture below, I made the handles on my tote several inches longer:

Central Park tote 2
The Tote and the Pattern


It’s easy to see how the pattern got its name:

Central Park tote 3
Bows and Tucks on the Sides


Are you wondering why I am calling it my Central Park tote? It’s all about the fabric! This is what I used for the lining:

Central Park tote 4
City Girls in Central Park

I love New York, and when I saw this print last year from the Central Park line by Timeless Treasures Fabrics, I promptly bought some. It features slightly retro and very chic young women walking their dogs, bicycling, and picnicking in Central Park. When I chose the fabric for the outside of the bag (from the Doodle line by Alice Kennedy, also for Timeless Treasures),  it occurred to me that this fabric would go well with it. And it would make me smile every time I looked inside.

Did you notice the New York skyline in the fabric above? I fussy-cut that scene and added a pocket on the back side of the tote:

Central Park tote 5
A Pocket on the Other Side


A close-up of said pocket:

Central Park tote 6
The View from Central Park


The inside of the bag has divided pockets that go around all four sides:

Grand Central tote 7
Pockets All Around

What a great feature! A tote with lots of pockets is a very good thing. On the bottom of the bag is a rectangle of 1/4″-wide foam core covered with a fabric sleeve. The foam core provides stability and helps the boxed corners keep their shape.

The pattern calls for a button-and-loop closing. I dug around in my vintage button collection and found a button just the right shade of green but too small. I paired it with a larger plain black button, aligned the holes, and sewed both of them onto the bag together:

Grand Central tote 7
Vintage Buttons


This is the first tote bag I have ever made for myself. I think I will enjoy using it!




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7 Responses to Central Park Tote

  1. Diane says:

    Very cha cha! Your button solution is so inventive. Just curious – why the super long handles?

    • Dawn says:

      I carry my bags with the straps over my shoulder (as opposed to the crook of my arm) and figured longer straps would be more comfortable. And don’t forget I’m 5’10”!

  2. Virginia Hammon says:

    Love it! That button is absolutely perfect—echoing the stars in the print.

  3. Diane says:

    Yet something else about your design sensibilities that quilting enthusiasts who follow your blog will benefit from!!

  4. Colleen says:

    I love your bag Dawn! Do we need to add to your reigning title of Home Dec Queen? Perhaps the Bag Diva? I would never call you a bag lady, LOL. I too especially love your combo of the buttons. It pulls the colors together in a very chic and unexpected way.

  5. That is a totally great bag. Very well done and I love your fabric choices. I can’t believe it is your first tote bag though. 5’10”? Holy moly!

  6. sewbeckyjo says:

    you had me at the play on James Brown… 😉

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