My mom's birthday is tomorrow and for once in my life, I managed to send a gift on time.
When I was visiting AR my mom said that she wanted a new handbag, but she needed one with lots of pockets. I thought that the 241 Tote with all of its options would fit the bill nicely. I used Amy Butler prints for the exterior and the lining and kona cotton in stone for the accent fabric.
I shortened the strap so it could be used as either a shoulder bag or a handbag and inserted craft-fuse interfacing. I only added one zipper pocket to the outside and I put in an additional zipper pocket in the lining using the same method. basically you make a welt pocket and sew in the zipper. it's fairly easy to do. i also put the slip pocket on the opposite side of the lining, so that makes 5 pockets total. hopefully that's enough.
i like this bag a lot and i may make another one for myself, but it is a bit smaller than i was anticipating. it's the right size for my mom, but i think that my perspective may be a bit skewed because i'm used to carrying larger bags now. i believe i could stand for it to be a wee bit bigger, so next time i might print out the pattern at 125% or something.
i'm not sure that i would recommend the bag for an absolute beginner, just because the curves can be a little tricky. for someone new to sewing, i'd probably suggest the Jane Market Bag over this one because it's all straight seams. but if you have just a little experience, this bag is pretty easy as well and the instructions are nice and clear.