Heath in Chocolate. Perfect for the lining.
So I went hunting and decided on the "For Pleat's Sake" Tote from U-Handbag. So handy, in addition to the free pattern, I was able to order the handles there too. No contrasting colors were available, so I went with the Dark Chocolate (notice a theme here?). To add just a bit of interest, I chose to do all the top-stitching on the bag with a fun Aurifil 40wt, #2150 (Golden Poppy). For the leather handles, I used tapestry thread, and again, there weren't many color choices at my store. Good thing I like brown.
Speaking of, those pleats are kind of a major focus of this bag, both inside and out. I made one little change - where the pattern had all the pleats on each panel going in one direction, I made 3 on each side face the center. And really, they were pretty darn easy as long as I marked and pinned well. My only confusion was the basic pleat measurement - note that each should be 3/4" deep.
I should mention that with the fabrics I used, I omitted the suggested interfacing, but did use fleece (Pellon's TP971F Fusible Thermolam Plus) on the lining. This gave the bag plenty of structure for my tastes, and with its boxed bottom, it stands nicely.
I'm really pleased with how the bag turned out. I'm quite fond of those dots, and the bag itself was a pleasure to make. Just for the record, I spent about 3 hours sewing the bag, and another hour adding the handles. So not bad for a fun new look.
This project was on my Finish-A-Long Q4 list! Linking up with Purse Palooza and Finish It Up Friday.