Among the various things I did differently from Sue Spargo's Victoria pattern (other than changing the floral appliqué to elephants) is the closure I added. Victoria is an open tote, but I need something to secure the contents of my bag, seeing as how I'm habitually clumsy. I have a kind of phobia about zippers, though, which would be the best first choice. I've never sewn one, and you have to use a different foot on the machine that I don't understand, and I can just see myself getting everything skewed up and small clumps of graying hair coming out of my head and into my hands...
I know, I know. Zippers are easy. But a phobia, while irrational, is still very much real. I could foreseeably hyperventilate over the whole thing and rust the zipper closed before I even get started.
So, a zipper was out. So was a simple button/velcro/snap flap because, really, what's the point? The stuff that wouldn't spill out of the middle of the bag would do so from the sides. Stuff finds a way of escaping though half-hearted efforts.
Then I saw this at dontcallmebecky (fourth picture down). Drawstring top! Beautiful. But, what? Twenty-one days to wait for the Japanese craft book to traverse the globe to me???
Uh, no. I'm an impatient American consumer, after all, so I did what any red-blooded patriot would do: whimpered about it, then found a way to figure it out myself. I did math. I punched buttons on a calculator, digging way back into my junior high school memories for how to calculate ratios. I messed up with the fabric only once, and then got it right.
And now I have a tote that will carry my big 12" x 18" press and cut board. And lots of other things.
Here is evidence that fall has returned to the prairie. Despite the fact that it was 70+ degrees F outside yesterday.