Senna tote gift


I made this bag for a very special person…my college roommate of all four years. We were randomly paired up freshman year and managed to stick together for all of college. We had our ups and downs, as all roommates do (I know who ate all of my brownies that one night…), but we’re closer now thanks to it. After she saw the Senna Tote that I made myself last year, Sarah asked for one of her own.  Something that she could show off to her classmates, I think she said. 


Back view with large pocket

It was hard to get any details out of her as to what she wanted.  She said blue and grey. Immediately, I thought, oh, UNC colors (my school).  No, no, no, she assured me, they were Hopkins colors (her current school and our alma mater). Starting in about July, every time I went to the fabric store I texted her pictures of fabric that I thought might work. When I texted her the photo of this fabric, she jumped all over it. Winner!

I hemmed and hawed over what color to use for the contrast bottom and straps. I thought that a cognac color would look great, and also thought about grey, but Sarah insisted on blue. Good call, Sarah! The main fabric and the contrast pleather were almost the only materials I had to buy.  The underlining used to make the bag stiff came from my stash, and the lining was free. I got it at Joann’s, but the cashier couldn’t figure out the label, and gave up and just stuck it in my bag. No complaints here. I’ll let you in on a little secret.  The underside of the lining is *covered* in sparkles. I didn’t notice until after I bought the fabric, ha! Since I had made this pattern before, I decided to take it up a notch, and matched the pattern on the main bag and the front and back pockets.  The pockets are basically incognito.


Front view with small pocket between the straps

After making the bag, I had some leftover fabric, and some free time, so I also whipped up a matching zipper pouch and coin pocket using some tried-and-true free patterns: Dog Under My Desk’s Circle Earbud Pouch and Needle and Spatula’s Pleated Zipper Pouch. The lining and zippers for these came for my stash. Stashbusting for the win!


My bag has held up really well over the past year.  I hope hers does as well. Now, in addition to being college roommates, we’re grad school bag twins.

Patterns: Senna Tote by Willow & CoDog Under My Desk’s Circle Earbud Pouch, and Needle and Spatula’s Pleated Zipper Pouch
Fabric: ~1 yard patterned indoor/outdoor main fabric, 1/2 yard marine vinyl contrast fabric, upholstery cloth underlining from stash, 3/4 yard blue lining
Cost: ~$5 main fabric + $10.00 yard vinyl contrast fabric +  $2.99 22″ zipper + $2.40 heavy duty needles = $20.39
Time: 8 hours


One thought on “Senna tote gift

  1. HPS

    This is an absolutely gorgeous bag. I made a few Senna totes a couple years ago and in trying to find my pattern again found this version. I also just acquired some faux leather for the first time, and your bag is an inspiration to me. It is simply stunning!

    Also, the one Senna tote I kept for myself has held up extremely well. I’m glad to hear yours has, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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