wool & wax


Technically not wool or wax, but Rifle Paper Co. Amalfi canvas from Cotton & Steel.


Made into a Wool & Wax Tote (another noodlehead pattern :) this project was also featured in the second issue of Making, Fauna.

I made a few modifications, the first one was to work it all out of the same fabric, no contrast bottom. For some reason every contrast bottom I tried reminded me of commercial tote bags, conference tote bags, promotional tote bags ..ew.. this was going to be my everyday carry and the fabric a gift, so I wanted it to be extra special. (Heavy weight toffee colored canvas was used as a interfacing/lining two-in-one)


 I also changed the handles and added a patch (exactly like my making backpack). The original pattern has you sandwich straps between the lining and outter prior to sewing, and I did try that first, but again it really toted it up and pulled hard on the top edge puckering the shape. I did however slip in little fabric loops and silver rectangle rings at each side, just in case at some point I want to clip on cute charm dangles or hook on a key strap.


My handles were sewn on after all layers of the bag were finished, working through all layers so as to not put extra strain on only the outter layer when carrying.

Tip: To have the stitches disappear when sewing on after thought handles, use top thread to match handles and bobbin thread to match lining!


Sometimes I like to sling my bags, so I opted for a matching adjustable strap. Utilizing those side loops, but leaving enough room to clip on my cute stuffs!


I really loved the oversized divided pocket on the front, so I did the same thing on the back, never enough pockets! Rivit front/back detail to help secure the thick layers and prevent it from ripping out when I over stuff these sweet pockets! I added simple slip pockets to the lining, putting them down low around the inside base, because the outter pockets fall roughly 3″ short of the bottom of the bag and I didn’t want them doubling up on eachother creating overlapping inner/outter pocket bulge. (Because I’m gonna stuff them!)


 Just enough little bits leftover to make a small matching Petal Pouch (again another noodlehead pattern, and this pattern was also featured in an issue of Making, issue one Flora).


Added a little washable paper zip pull to match the patch.


I like to take the time to hand finish the fine details, on this, it was blind stitching the lining opening, it’s the kind of a peaceful wind down I need at the end of every project, the last little drag out to something I thoroughly enjoyed making.

I thought about fussy cutting the hell out if this, and having seamless pattern matching at every intersection, but this fabric was too pretty to waste and I am trying to be more chill about being perfect. Ginger beer helps keep me chill, real beer helps Jason :)


Close up view of washable paper. It’s this really interesting material that off the bolt is stiff like thick stock paper, but becomes soft and supple like leather the more you crumple, crinkle and wrinkle it. You can get completely wet and even wash & dry it, without it falling apart (I can’t even rip it!) It comes it quite a few colors and is easily ironed or sewn into anything you can imagine. I want to make a bag out of it at some point, like an indestructible brown paper bag tote!

6 thoughts on “wool & wax

  1. Do you save the selvages? I have made zipper pouches out of them, and I’ve started saving up to make a quilt. (C&S has the best selvages.) Your bag is beautiful!


    1. I do! You are so right, c&s selvages are little works of art 😍! Sometimes on bags, wallets or things that aren’t going to get washed, I’ll just leave the whole fabric width intact and not even trim off the salvages, sometimes it’s all eaten up in the seam allowance and sometimes (if it’s cute) I’ll go with a scant seam allowing as much of that pretty wording to show!


  2. awesome bag!
    i lol’ed at “overlapping inner/outter pocket bulge” –
    and, curious – where do you get washable paper? have you seen La Fortuna’s brown paper bag totes made out of cool materials? metallics and such –


    1. Ooof glad to know others get the struggle of the pocket bulge!

      I bought my washable paper online (the brand I bought was called Kraft-Tex kraft paper fabric or search washable paper, there may be other brands out there) I think it may also be at some fabric/craft stores too? When I was looking there were lots of etsy shops selling it (even in metallics!) Those bags are 😍



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