Thursday, April 22, 2021

Hillside Tote + Minimalist Wallet

Spring is definitely here, and even though we're still not going out much, a new bag was in order. I settled on the Hillside Tote, a pattern by Anna Graham of Noodlehead. I love that she makes multiple versions of each of her patterns in different substrates or other options. After perusing several, I decided I'd make one similar to her Green Hillside Tote. With a Waxer Canvas exterior and a canvas 'lining,' Anna omitted the use of any interfacing and that sounded like a win to me!

I did have to hunt a bit to gather all of my supplies. Thought I'd list them all here for your reference as well as mine.

As usual when making a bag, I took my time, doing a few steps per sewing session. An important thing to remember is NO PRESSING when using waxed canvas, but luckily finger-pressing works great. Also, if you haven't used it before, don't freak out too much as your canvas gets scuffed up as you work with it. It can't be avoided, and really shouldn't be, as it definitely adds to the look of the finished bag.

I made the 'mini' version of the bag, vs. the 'regular.' It measures 8 ¼” wide by 2 ½” deep (measured at base), 8 ¼” tall, width at top opening is 10 ½”, and I think it's perfect for something lightweight yet sturdy for spring and summer. It went together swimmingly, and despite one slightly crooked rivet on the strap, I have no complaints whatsoever.

Soooo, once the tote was done, it suddenly made perfect sense to make a coordinating Minimalist Wallet to use with it. Another pattern by Anna, I made the 'mini,' which measures 4 ½” W x 3 ½” H rather than the 'regular,' which is sized more like your average wallet. Happily, I had enough of the mustard canvas to use for the exterior. I found a sweet stashed fabric for the zippered pocket, and I have no idea why, but I also had a gold 4" zipper on hand, which was perfect!

There was a slight misunderstanding on my part which left me to spending a little time with my seam ripper, but it wasn't too traumatic; and before long, I was back on track and had a finished wallet. 

I made it a little harder on myself by going off-script as to Anna's suggested fabrics for this little project, but then again, I have a pretty cute little companion to use with my bag, so there's that.

Gotta say, I really enjoyed the little bag-making detour and am looking forward to putting my new pair to good use!


  1. beautiful bags! I hope things open up soon so you are comfortable taking them out for a spin in the world

  2. Debbie, this bag is terrific! And the little wallet is sweet one. I’ve never heard of that fabric let alone ever sewn with it. It sounds pretty interesting. I like the scuffed look too.

  3. Love the look of the wax canvas! And the mustard is such an awesome pop :) xo

  4. Superb! Yes, perfect for spring.
    Anna has great ideas/patterns doesn't she?

  5. Your new bag is beautiful - as is the wallet! The waxed canvas really does give it a « broken in » look which I love. I do hope you get to take them out for a spin soon!

  6. Did you use any interfacing in the wallet? Am making these for my granddaughters, and using a linen/cotton canvas for the main piece, and trying to decide. Thanks.

    1. I don't remember! I THINK I used the suggested SF101 but not the other interfacting because of the fabric I used for the exterior. Sorry I can't remember for sure!

  7. That's okay. Since I'm using the light canvas, I'm using a light interfacing. I'm making 4 wallets; we'll see!