I have an enormous file of patterns, torn out of magazines or photocopied out of library books, that I’ve been accumulating for many years . One of them is for a tote bag that I’ve always wanted to make.
I chose to make it for someone’s birthday, but thought I should make a test tote bag first, in case the pattern was wonky. I followed the directions, but the fat quarters I used were on the skimpy side, so when the tote bag came out long and skinny instead of almost square (as the photo of the tote bag on the pattern looked), I figured it was because the fat quarters were a little smaller than normal:
No worries, I can always use another tote bag, even if it’s so long it looks like you could store wine bottles in it (hmmm, there’s an idea….). Anyways, I chose some fat quarters for the birthday-gift tote bag, and was pleased to discover that they were the exact size they should be (18″ X 22″). I followed the pattern to the letter (it only had one illustration, so I had to read and re-read it), and here’s how it turned out:
Better, but still not square or even almost square. So I went over the pattern instructions very carefully, and came to the conclusion that there’s an error in it; there’s no way you’re going to get anything but a long rectangular tote bag out of that pattern. Lesson learned: never assume that a pattern’s directions will be right, even though most of them are. Fortunately, the recipient seemed pleased, and that’s all that counts!