Everyone Loves a Great Bucket Bag

Feb 2023

Meet the Blithe Bucket Bag - the perfect stitchy project bag with cool storage

Beautiful Storage for WIPs

In my quest for better organisation, I’ve turned my attention to some larger storage solutions. I love tote bags for the room they offer, so I set about designing something roomy, sturdy, and beautiful all at the same time.

If you’ve been around here for a while, you might remember my love of cathedral windows – I have been fascinated by these ever since I was a young girl and received a book where they were featured as lavender sachets.

Years later, when I stumbled upon and even easier way of constructing them, I was hooked – it was time to put cathedral windows onto everything ... everywhere and in unexpected places.

For me, that’s the fun of sewing – designing something unexpected, beautiful and yet still functional. There has to be function, because at the heart of it all, we need to use what we make!

All that preamble to say, welcome to the new Blithe Bucket Bag … a simple drawstring tote with a twist.

It’s sturdy with slouch, has edgy, modern storage, and an unexpected Easy Cathedral Window front and centre.

This bag is perfect for organising your WIPs, be they knitting, crochet, embroidery, or even popping you gym clothes into and heading out for a workout.

There’s amply internal storage, and clever external storage with three pockets, including one with a flap to securely cover the contents. You can store keys and a phone, extra notions, and even emergency sugar supplies. Extra sustenance always welcome 😊

2.     Easy to Construct & Stunning Options

This is one of those projects that looks complicated and yet is really simple to construct. The window on the front is just made from squares, and yet once it’s done, you really can’t tell how it’s made!

You can choose to make the applique window version with the sweet Scandi themed design, if you're into slow stitching a feature panel.

This can be made with needle turn applique, raw edge applique, woolen applique – choose whichever technique you’d prefer.

This is the perfect opportunity to select a favourite large print for the exterior of the bag, then feature the main colours in it as the colours in the applique window.

I can’t tell you how much I loved this print when I first saw it! Betsy has always had a special place in my heart ... sometimes there’s one that just calls to you! So I couldn’t wait to feature this Liberty as the main print here, and it turned out even better than I’d hoped.

That’s what I’ve done here with this Liberty themed version, made in Betsy Spring from the Strawberry Thief. I pulled a lovely palette of colours from the shades in the fabric using Kona solids.

These look simply stunning featured on the front, and the result is a beautiful pastel array that really pops.

In this version I settled on using the Kona solids Petal, Robin Egg, Pistachio, Capri, & Key Lime. These were all perfect to pull together an attractive array for the window.

So my top tip for you here is to find a fabulous print that you just adore, and use the colours in it for the applique design - colour palette done!

Now if this design isn't quite your style, there's three more options that fit the window for this bag in the Mini-stitch Applique pattern I designed earlier.

3.  Fussy-Cut Your Favourite Print

Your second option for the window is to select a favourite fabric and fussy-cut a picture print to feature front and centre. Included in the pattern is a clever template to help you plan, audition and decide exactly how your finished fussy cut will look, taking all the stress out of this part.

After all, cutting a big hole in your fabric is traumatic enough without getting it wrong!

Using the fussy-cut option will obviously greatly speed up the construction of the bag, but whether you choose the applique window or the fussy cut window, your bag will look simply stunning.

When you’re ready to use the bag, simply fold down the lining, and you have a stable bag ready to work out of.

This is roomy for sure, and I love a bag that can stand up for its self!

A little bit of sass is welcome sometimes ...

4.    Add Those Little Details

Whenever I design a pattern, I’m always looking for ways to incorporate a little extra cute.

In this case it’s adding binding around the pocket and flap. Of course that’s not necessary at all – but why stop at boring seams when you can add a tiny floral binding that just makes you smile?!

Then there’s the drawstring you make yourself. It matches perfectly and means you don’t have to hunt through the store, only to find they don’t have the colour cord you’re after.

Learn how to make your own, do it right and don't settle for second place!

And what about those connectors that hold them together? Also not essential, but another little detail that really works.  

You can totally choose to leave these out if you wish, but why not take the extra time to stamp your own bit of personality into the project and add these unique touches.

As usual for my latest patterns, there's full video support on YouTube, to take you through this bag from start to finish.

If you're a confident beginner, you'll be fine making this bag!

I can’t wait to see you take this pattern, put your own spin on the design, then fill ‘er up and take ‘er out on the town!

Will you use it for sewing, knitting, or something completely unrelated?

And most importantly, will you gift it or keep it?

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