Finally Finished A Sewing Project – Review of the Professional Tote by The Creative Thimble


Yesterday I finally had a finish!  I love days like that, they make you feel like you’ve accomplished something.  This time it was the Professional Tote pattern from The Creative Thimble!  I want to start this review by saying I LOVE THE BAG.  I really do.


I just have one thing I would like to address.  Patterns.  Designers, please give us a pattern!  When I bought this pattern this past July I actually was under the impression there were pattern pieces inside the pattern envelope.  This, I soon discovered, was not the case.  Instead of pattern pieces you get 2 sheets of cutting labels, each label has a dimension on it and a notation as to what size to cut from fabric or interfacing.DSCF6283-001 Now, on the surface this might sound okay, until you realize you have to do this 33 times! Tedious!!!!  Just plain tedious and I will say for $12.00 I expected more, I really did.  I did not expect to be making the patterns for all of these parts from these sheets.

That was the bad news.

The good news is, despite spending more time than I wanted to figure out each pattern piece, once that was done the bag went together without too much difficulty.  One thing I was cursing throughout though…because the lack of a paper pattern…was also the lack of ‘pattern matching points’.  That’s right, you have no idea where to match up the pattern on the fabric!  You can tell this right off with the paisley in the pictures.

DSCF6276-001 My pocket is going one way and the side panel is going the opposite direction.  It would have been nice to have all that match….erg..for $12.00 I expect better, I really do!

On a positive note, I do love all the pockets, inside and out.  Lots of fun places to keep your things, including an inside zippered pocket to store an electronic reader, private file, or anything you don’t necessarily want to fall out.DSCF6281-001 DSCF6282-001 DSCF6278-001

I was intrigued about this top zipper…


Everything inside the bag gets covered which is nice, especially if you are using this while traveling, nobody can reach in easily and nothing is going to fall out too easily with the zipper closed.  As far as constructing this last step, be prepared to have a machine that will go through 6 layers, 2 of those layers are THICK interfacing!  I sewed this on my Bernina 170 and didn’t have a problem but I know there are some machines out there that this could be an issue, so just beware of that.

The side pockets use a drawstring cord and a cord lock.  They are big enough to pack a water bottle or a small umbrella…DSCF8692-001

All in all it’s a great bag, just remember if you do decide to make it be prepared to spend a lot of prep time marking up the pattern pieces.

Happy Sewing Everyone!


~side note…this one is going to someone special!  I have two more lined up already!

5 thoughts on “Finally Finished A Sewing Project – Review of the Professional Tote by The Creative Thimble”

  1. I appreciate the review since I am considering making this bag. I have done the Carol Convertible Purse and know how she had things set up. I sort of get why she did it that way and saved paper. I guess if you came to this project by using traditional patterns you would expect the stuff to be drawn out and written like McCall’s and Simplicity might?. Lots of the pieces, at least for the one I did, are easily cut with the rotary cutter however tedious it might be. Not what you were expecting though and I get that. All that heavy interfacing was a pain especially since mine would not fuse. I know I was using a heavy jeans needle and my walking foot on parts of it. I also know for a fact that my machine that bulks at 4 layers of just fabric would NOT be the machine of choice for this.


    1. I asked some quilters and they said that all the patterns these days are like this, just the dimensions. I guess my whole point was I don’t mind making the cuts I just feel like I’m paying too much for a set of instructions when they call it a ‘pattern’, it is not a pattern at all but construction instructions…
      Thanks for the comment! I’ll look into the Carol Convertible Purse!
      Sounds like fun!


  2. I made this bag too, and I LOVE IT! I’m a quilter so I didn’t have any issues with cutting the pieces by instruction and I was really pleased that the pattern gave me the labels. I just finished a quilt where I had to make my own labels as I went along. :-. The instructions for this rather complex bag were GREAT. The diagrams were spot-on and the written words were very clear. The designers of this bag get an A+ in my book. I’ve heard there is a pattern fir a smaller version of this bag and I plan to make it too.


    1. HI Bjh. Yes, I was just in a shop that had the pattern for the smaller bag! I’ve made 3 of these bags so far! Now that I’ve made the patterns they go much more quickly! Thank you for your comment!


  3. I do feel that its a pain to have to cut by dimension only. I am intending to make up this bag several times as diaper bags for my daughters. As I have done several times with other patterns, I drafted my own pattern from the dimensions using pattern pellon. I now have a worKing pattern. I labeled the pattern pieces and created some match points and grain lines as well! I’m ready to cut my subsequent bags more quickly now!


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