Bag · Bag of the Month Club · Sewing

The Celine Zip Top Tote


The Celine Tote was my April Bag of the Month.  The BOTMC is a club that runs twice a year and offers brand new patterns.  There is one from January – June, and another from July – December.  You can start the club at any time and still get all the patterns.  If you would like more information about the Bag of the Month Club, you can find it on their site HERE.  I also wrote up some information on my first blog post about the BOTMC.  You can find that first post HERE.

Here are the Designers listed for the first half of the year:

JANUARY – Christine Welsh – Chris W Designs – The Podium Bag

FEBRUARY – Betz White – Betz White – The Ravenwood Messenger Bag

MARCH – Celine Allaert – Blue Calla Patterns – The Stargazer Tote

APRIL – Alicia Miller – Swoon Sewing Patterns – The Celine Zip Top Tote

MAY – Samantha Hussey – Sewing Patterns by Mrs. H – The Holey Mayole

JUNE – Janelle Mackay – Emmaline Bags Sewing Patterns – NOT AVAILABLE YET

If you check out most of these sites, they offer free patterns.




Some of my initial supplies for the bag.  I picked up my fabric, vinyl and rectangle rings at Joann Fabrics. The zipper and other hardware was picked up online.


My pieces prepped and attached to the needed interfacing.

The front pocket with zipper.  This zipper was harder to attach because it doesn’t sit flat on the front of the purse.  The zipper is actually facing upward so you can get into the pocket easier.

The front panel pieces and the attached top panel pieces.


I made the gusset out of vinyl.  I was very happy with the stitching this time.  I invested in a Teflon foot for my sewing machine.  The new foot went over the vinyl easily and made the stitches look even and smooth.  I also changed my stitch length from a 2.6 to a 3.0 to make them pop a little more.

The exterior panel piece.  I found I had to trim the bottom pieces up a little bit at the bottom.  It allowed for the differences in size when I had to raise the front panel piece because of the zipper placement.

Attaching the gusset to the exterior panels.  This is one of my favorite part of putting a bag or purse together.  I can really see the progress at this point and it really motivates me to push forward on a project.

Attaching the woven handle connectors.  I would have liked to use vinyl here, but my machine couldn’t handle all the thick materials.


The vinyl straps came out perfect as well using my new Teflon foot.  I did end up going back and making the straps about 6″ longer than the size in the pattern.  I found with the original size, I couldn’t sit it on my shoulder without it being really snug.

The top zipper closure.

I attached the top zipper panel to the inside lining of the bag.  I closed off all the sides of the bag except for a 6″ section at the bottom.  I left that space open so I could turn the bag inside out when I was finished.


The top of the bag closed with the zipper and the side connectors.  The side connectors will help keep things from falling out of your bag.


Front view.


Side view.


Top view.


Front view with open pocket.


Finished bag.



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